Percutaneous tracheostomy: Don't beat them, join them

D. Russ Blankenship, Christine G. Gourin, W. Bruce Davis, Amy R. Blanchard, Melanie W. Seybt, David J. Terris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objectives: The introduction of percutaneous tracheostomy (PercTrach) has resulted in tension over the scope of practice between otolaryngologists and pulmonary/critical care (PCC) specialists. We sought to determine the value of a collaborative approach to the performance of PercTrach at the bedside in the intensive care unit setting. Study Design and Methods: A retrospective study of consecutive patients who underwent bedside PercTrach at the Medical Colege of Georgia between May of 2003 and November of 2003. All cases were performed in conjunction with the PCC team, which typically provided bronchoseopic guidance during the performance of the procedure, whereas the PercTrach was performed by the otolaryngology team, although these roles were occasionally reversed. In all cases, the PercTrach was performed using the Ciaglia Blue Rhino introducer set. Results: Twenty-three patients (12 males, 11 females) with a mean age of 47.6 ± 14.3 (range 23-65) years underwent PercTrach. The procedural times ranged from 7 to 21 minutes, with a mean of 13.9 ± 4.4 minutes; this represented 9.6 minutes on average to insert the tracheostomy tube and an additional 4.3 minutes to completely secure the tracheostomy tube. The time interval from consultation to PercTrach was less than 24 hours in 16 of 23 cases (overall mean time to PercTrach = 41.7 ± 37.1 hours), with delays beyond 24 hours related in most instances to patient stability. Conclusion: A multidisciplinary approach to PercTrach results in a number of clinical and educational benefits. Chief among these benefits is a rapid, cost-effective response to requests for elective tracheostomy. Practicing otolaryngologists with a prior bias against this approach (as we had) should reconsider adopting this revised procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1517-1521
Number of pages5
Issue number9 I
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Collaborative
  • Percutaneous
  • Tracheostomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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