Study objective: To examine the safety of bedside
percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy in obese patients.
Design: Case series of consecutive obese patients (body
mass index ≥ 27 kg/m2) with acute respiratory failure in
a medical, cardiac, or surgical ICU unit who required tracheostomy for
failure to wean and continued mechanical ventilatory support.
Results: Thirteen obese patients were identified and
consented to the procedure. Bedside percutaneous dilatational
tracheostomy was successfully performed in the ICU for all 13 patients.
Procedural complications were limited to paratracheal tracheostomy tube
placement in one patient, with immediate identification and appropriate
correction. Postprocedural complications were limited to a cuff leak in
Conclusion: Bedside percutaneous
tracheostomy can be safely performed in obese