Tracheostomy remains one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the setting of acute respiratory failure. Tracheostomy literature focuses on 2 aspects of this procedure: when (timing) and how (technique). Recent trials have failed to demonstrate an effect of tracheostomy timing on most clinically important endpoints. Nonetheless, relative to continued translaryngeal intubation, studies suggest that tracheostomy use is associated with less need for sedation and enhanced patient comfort. Evidence likewise suggests that percutaneous dilational tracheostomy is advantageous with respect to cost and complication profile and should be considered the preferred approach in appropriately selected patients.
- Acute respiratory failure
- Critical illness
- Intensive care units
- Percutaneous dilational tracheostomy
- Practice variation