Objective: To assess late outcome following
percutaneous tracheostomy using the Portex kit (Hythe, Kent, UK).
Design: Prospective observational cohort study.
Setting: Teaching hospital.
Forty-nine consecutive patients who underwent percutaneous tracheostomy
in the ICU using the Portex kit and who survived 6 months after the
Interventions: Questionnaires regarding six
symptoms were sent to all 49 surviving patients; the 39 respondents
were invited to attend for review. Thirteen patients underwent
pulmonary function testing, of whom 10 also underwent fiberoptic
laryngotracheoscopy under local anesthesia.
The most common symptom was a minor change in voice. One patient had
required treatment for symptomatic tracheal stenosis by the time of
review; one was referred for revision of a tethered scar. Pulmonary
function testing was easily performed by all patients and revealed no
evidence of upper airway obstruction. Tracheoscopy likewise showed no
evidence of tracheal stenosis.
Conclusions: One of 49
patients had developed tracheal stenosis. None of the patients
attending for detailed review showed any sign of late complications
other than one tethered scar.
Abbreviations: APACHE = acute physiology and
chronic health evaluation; FIF50 = forced inspiratory
flow at 50% of vital capacity