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Authors Lippert D, Hoffman MR, Dang P, McMurray JS, Heatley D, Kille T
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Journal Int. J. Pediatr. Otorhinolaryngol. Volume: 78 Issue: 12 Pages: 2281-5
Publish Date 2014 Dec
PubMed ID 25468464

To analyze the safety of a standardized pediatric tracheostomy care protocol in the immediate postoperative period and its impact on tracheostomy related complications.Retrospective case series.Pediatric patients undergoing tracheotomy from February 2010-February 2014.In 2012, a standardized protocol was established regarding postoperative pediatric tracheostomy care. This protocol included securing newly placed tracheostomy tubes using a foam strap with hook and loop fastener rather than twill ties, placing a fresh drain sponge around the tracheostomy tube daily, and performing the first tracheostomy tube change on postoperative day 3 or 4. Outcome measures included rate of skin breakdown and presence of a mature stoma allowing for a safe first tracheostomy tube change. Two types of tracheotomy were performed based on patient age: standard pediatric tracheotomy and adult-style tracheotomy with a Bjork flap. Patients were analyzed separately based on age and the type of tracheotomy performed.Thirty-seven patients in the pre-protocol group and 35 in the post-protocol group were analyzed. The rate of skin breakdown was significantly lower in the post-protocol group (standard: p=0.0048; Bjork flap: p=0.0003). In the post-protocol group, all tube changes were safely accomplished on postoperative day three or four, and the stomas were deemed to be adequately matured to do so in all cases.A standardized postoperative pediatric tracheostomy care protocol resulted in decreased rates of skin breakdown and demonstrated that pediatric tracheostomy tubes can be safely changed as early as 3 days postoperatively. Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System