Tracheostomy dislodgement: Are obese patients at increased risk?

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BACKGROUND: Obesity is a risk factor for tracheostomy-related complications. We aimed to investigate whether obesity was associated with a risk of unplanned tracheostomy dislodgement or decannulation (DD).

METHODS: Retrospective review of patients undergoing tracheostomy at a single institution from 2013 to 2019 was performed. The primary outcome was unplanned DD within 42 days. Obesity was assessed by body mass index (BMI) and skin-to-trachea distance (STT) measured on computed tomographic images.

RESULTS: 25 (12%) episodes of unplanned DD occurred in 213 patients within 42 days. BMI ≥35 kg/m

CONCLUSIONS: STT ≥80 mm was a better predictor of unplanned DD than BMI. Assessment of STT in addition to BMI may be useful to identify patients that would benefit from extended length tracheostomy tubes.


This article was published in American Journal of Surgery, Volume 21, pages 00722-4.

The published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjsurg.2021.11.039.

Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc.

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American Journal of Surgery

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