Outcomes of tracheostomy following congenital heart surgery: A contemporary experience

John P. Costello, Dominic A. Emerson, Michael K. Shu, Syed M. Peer, David Zurakowski, Brian K. Reilly, Darren Klugman, Richard A. Jonas, Dilip S. Nath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Introduction: Following congenital heart surgery, pediatric patients may experience persistent respiratory failure that requires tracheostomy placement. Currently, definitive knowledge of the optimal timing for tracheostomy placement in this patient population is lacking. Methods: An 8-year retrospective review of 17 pediatric patients who underwent congenital heart surgery and subsequently required tracheostomy placement was performed. Patients were evaluated with regard to the timing of tracheostomy and mortality. Results: The overall study mortality was 24%. The median duration of intubation prior to tracheostomy was 60 days (interquartile range: 19-90 days); there was no difference in the average time between intubation and tracheostomy for survivors compared with nonsurvivors (51 vs. 73 days, P = .37). No difference was observed in the overall duration of positive pressure ventilation when tracheostomy was performed within 30 days of intubation compared with greater than 30 days following intubation (481 vs. 451 days, P = .88). Overall, 18% of patients were successfully weaned from the ventilator after a median duration of positive pressure ventilation of 212 days. Conclusion: The timing of tracheostomy placement may be an important factor in clinical outcomes for pediatric patients with persistent dependence on mechanical ventilatory support following congenital heart surgery. A larger, multi-institution study may help further elucidate our observed clinical findings in this patient population.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E25-E29
JournalCongenital Heart Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Congenital heart surgery
  • Critical care
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Tracheostomy

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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