Journal 10, October 2020pages: 633-638
Background: In Israel, critically ill patients are ventilated and managed in intensive care units or general wards.
Objectives: To compare the mortality rates and long-term cognitive and functional outcomes of ventilated patients who underwent tracheostomy insertion in the Medical ICU (MICU) versus those cared for in the in-patient wards.
Methods: The study comprised 170 patients who underwent percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy (PDT) over an 18-month period in the MICU (n=102) and in in-patient wards (internal medicine and neurology) (n=68). Telephone interviews were conducted with living patients and/or their relatives at least 6 months after discharge from the hospital.
Results: Ward patients were 10 years older than ICU patients undergoing PDT (P = 0.003). The length of stay (LOS) in the wards was longer than in the ICU (P < 0.001), whereas the total LOS in the hospital was similar (P = 0.43). ICU mortality was lower than in the wards (P = 0.001) but hospital mortality was comparable between the two groups (P = 0.17). At 6 months follow-up more ICU patients were fully conscious, weaned from ventilation, and decannulated. More patients in the ICU group were at home and were independent or had mildly impaired activities of daily living. More patients in the ward group were residing in long-term care facilities with functional limitations.
Conclusions: MICU patients who undergo tracheostomy may have a good long-term functional and cognitive outcome. More studies are needed to further assess long-term outcomes in these patients.