Document Detail

Standardized endoscopic swallowing evaluation for tracheostomy decannulation in critically ill neurologic patients.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23774336     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
OBJECTIVES: : Decisions regarding tracheostomy tube removal after mechanical ventilation often depend on the physician's individual experience because evidence-based practice guidelines are still scarce, especially for critically ill neurologic patients. In these patients, the prevalence of aspiration is high and regarded as an important contributor to decannulation failure. The presence of severe neurological deficits may, however, give clinicians the subjective impression that a tracheostomy tube is still necessary although decannulation may actually be safe. It is therefore crucial to test swallowing function reliably prior to decannulation in this patient population.
DESIGN: : Prospective observational study.
SETTING: : University hospital, neurological ICU.
PATIENTS: : One hundred tracheostomized patients with acute neurologic disease completely weaned from mechanical ventilation.
INTERVENTIONS: : An endoscopic protocol evaluating readiness for decannulation and a conventional clinical swallowing examination were carried out by separate, experienced practitioners blinded to each other's decisions. Patient management always followed the decision made with endoscopy.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: : Practitioners' decannulation decisions (yes/no) reached with both assessments were compared. Decannulated patients were monitored throughout their stay for complications related to tube removal. Endoscopy was performed successfully in all subjects without any complications. Following the protocol, the tracheostomy tube was successfully removed in 54 patients, whereas according to the clinical swallowing examination, only 29 patients would have been decannulated at that point. Only one patient needed recannulation due to respiratory problems, resulting in a failure rate of 1.9%.
CONCLUSIONS: : In neurologic patients, speech-language pathologists' impressions about the patient's state when clinically assessing indirect variables of swallowing function often lead to the unnecessary prolongation of cannulation time. Endoscopic evaluation has the advantage of objectively visualizing the patient's ability to manage secretions directly and allows for faster but, nonetheless, safe decannulation. The endoscopic protocol proposed here is a safe, efficient, and objective bedside tool to guide decannulation decisions.
Tobias Warnecke; Sonja Suntrup; Inga K Teismann; Christina Hamacher; Stephan Oelenberg; Rainer Dziewas
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Critical care medicine     Volume:  41     ISSN:  1530-0293     ISO Abbreviation:  Crit. Care Med.     Publication Date:  2013 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-06-18     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0355501     Medline TA:  Crit Care Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1728-32     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
All authors: Department of Neurology, University of Muenster, Münster, Germany.
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