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If at First You Do Not Succeed: Consideration of Attempts in Patients With Trauma

Published:December 02, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2022.08.026

      Abstract

      Introduction

      Failed extubation in critically ill patients is associated with poor outcomes. In critically ill trauma patients who have failed extubation, providers must decide whether to proceed with tracheostomy or attempt extubation again. The aim of this study was to describe the natural history of failed extubation in trauma patients and determine whether tracheostomy or a second attempt at extubation is more appropriate.

      Methods

      Trauma patients admitted to our level I trauma center from 2013 to 2019 were identified. Patients who failed extubation, defined as an unplanned reintubation within 48 h of extubation, were included. Patients who immediately underwent tracheostomy were compared with those who had subsequent attempts at extubation. The primary outcome was mortality, and the secondary outcomes were intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay (LOS), ventilator days, and hospital LOS.

      Results

      The population included 93 patients who failed extubation and met inclusion criteria. A total of 53 patients were ultimately successfully extubated, whereas 40 patients underwent a tracheostomy. There was no statistically significant difference in demographics or injury patterns. Patients who underwent tracheostomy had a longer ICU LOS and more ventilator days. There was no difference in mortality or hospital LOS between the two groups.

      Conclusions

      In trauma patients, those who underwent subsequent attempts at extubation did not experience higher rates of mortality than those who received a tracheostomy. Tracheostomy was associated with longer ICU LOS and ventilator days. In certain situations, it is appropriate to consider subsequent attempts at extubation in trauma patients who fail extubation rather than proceeding directly to tracheostomy.

      Keywords

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