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October 1994

Tracheotomy in Patients With Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome: Is It Necessary?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Georgetown University School of Medicine (Dr Thomas), and the Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Howard University College of Medicine (Drs Myers and Nunez), Washington, DC. Dr Thomas is now completing a fellowship at the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1994;120(10):1126-1129. doi:10.1001/archotol.1994.01880340066011

Objective:  Patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) who develop respiratory failure and require mechanical ventilation have mortality rates of 85%. Tracheotomies are performed in this patient population for prolonged intubation. However, to date, objective data on tracheotomy in patients with AIDS are lacking. Tracheotomy in ventilator-dependent patients with AIDS presents risks to patients and exposes surgeons, nurses, and operating room personnel to human immunodeficiency virus–infected blood.

Design:  Given these considerations, we retrospectively reviewed our experience with tracheotomy in 10 intubated and ventilator-dependent patients with AIDS.

Conclusions:  Our study shows a mortality rate of 100%. We identify predictive factors and a prognosis that may aid in the treatment of these patients.(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1994;120:1126-1129)

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