In Reply Drs Altman and Merati mention that our low per-site recruitment rate might mean our results could not be generalizable to other populations of critical care patients. The study flow diagram would suggest otherwise. Of 3147 patients screened, 2236 were excluded but only 740 of these were for reasons that might not be relevant outside a trial (for example, refusal of consent for the study). The rest of the patients were excluded for clinical reasons. This suggests there is probably only a small population in whom early tracheostomy is feasible.
Young D. Timing of Tracheostomy—Reply. JAMA. 2013;310(12):1287. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.277972
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