Objective: The primary objective of this study was to review the complication rate of percutaneous tracheostomies performed by a single surgeon in a community teaching hospital. Methods: This retrospective study reviewed the patients who underwent percutaneous tracheostomy with bronchoscopic guidance in a community hospital setting between 2009 and 2017. Patients older than the age of 18 requiring percutaneous tracheostomy were chosen for this retrospective study. Patients who were medically unstable, had no palpable neck landmarks, and inadequate neck extension were excluded. Indications for percutaneous tracheostomy included patients who had failed to wean from mechanical ventilation, required pulmonary toileting, or in whom airway protection was required. Results: Of the 600 patients who received percutaneous tracheostomy, 589 patients were included in the study. Intraoperative complication (2.6%) and postoperative complication rates (11.4%) compared similarly to literature reported rates. The most common intraoperative complications were bleeding, technical difficulties, and accidental extubation. Bleeding, tube obstruction, and infection were the most common postoperative complications. Overall burden of comorbidity, defined by Charlson Comorbidity Index, and coagulopathy were also found to be associated with higher complication rates. The decannulation rate at discharge was 46.3%. Conclusion: Percutaneous tracheostomy is a safe alternative to open tracheostomies in the community setting for appropriately selected patients.
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