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Revista Española de Cirugía Oral y Maxilofacial

On-line version ISSN 2173-9161Print version ISSN 1130-0558


CASTILLO PARDO DE VERA, José Luis del et al. Tracheotomies in critical patients during the COVID-19 pandemia. Preliminary study of our experiences at La Paz University Hospital of Madrid. Rev Esp Cirug Oral y Maxilofac [online]. 2020, vol.42, n.2, pp.60-68.  Epub July 06, 2020. ISSN 2173-9161.

The outbreak caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is currently very active in Spain. Many infected people still require to be hospitalized. Around 10-15 % of hospitalized patients require intensive care, where they are intubated for a prolonged period, needing tracheotomies some weeks after the intubation.

We will be conducting an observational study of the tracheotomies performed by our oral and maxillofacial Department to COVID-19 patients on intensive care units between March 17th and April 17th, 2020. This study will be analyzing the patients' epidemiological and clinical aspects, surgical technique employed, surgical time, type of cannula used, postoperative complications and the patients' clinical monitoring.

A total of 22 patients underwent open elective tracheotomy. There were twenty-two males and three females aged between 40 and 77 (mean: 64,9 years-old). In all cases tracheotomy was carried out due to pulmonary process caused by COVID-19 bilateral pneumonia. Two patients presented pneumothorax in the immediate postoperatory care as a complication, one perished during the procedure and another did so after arriving to the Intensive Care Unit after the tracheotomy surgery.

Even though tracheotomy is a ruled surgical technique, the special characteristics of COVID-19 patients make of this procedure a critical situation, mainly due to lung instability and quick desaturation of the patients. This requires the surgery to be carried out by experienced physicians in order to reduce operative time and to be able to react to any eventualities that may arise.

Keywords : COVID-19; tracheostomy; protective equipment; risk of infection.

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