Tracheotomy in severe TBI patients: Sequelae and relation to vocational outcome

O. Keren, M. Cohen, I. Lazar-Zweker, Z. Groswasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the present study was to find the influence of performing tracheotomy on outcome of severe TBI patients. TBI patients, many of them intubated during the very acute phase post-injury, who remain unconscious for more than of a few days, undergo tracheotomy to provide a reliable long term artificial airway. Tracheotomy, although being a simple elective surgical procedure, may have a negative influence on the rehabilitation process. Tracheotomy was performed in 25% (n = 69) of 277 consecutive severe TBI patients admitted to the rehabilitation department during 3 years. In seven patients (10%), tracheotomy was performed immediately after injury due to cranio-facial trauma, in 18 patients (29%) due to respiratory disturbances, in 42 patients (55%) after prolonged intubation, and in two patients (6%) due to combined problems. Forty-five per cent of patients with tracheotomy suffered from respiratory disturbances and 8.6% from complications of tracheotomy. Longer periods of unconsciousness and mechanical ventilation were significantly associated with respiratory complications (p < 0.0001 and p < 0.001, respectively). However, presence of tracheotomies per se, did not affect vocational rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-536
Number of pages6
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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