Navigating the uncharted is a common theme in the COVID-19 pandemic. The introduction of SARS-CoV-2 has impacted how we care for critically ill patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation. Patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who were admitted into the intensive care unit (ICU) often require prolonged mechanical ventilation as a result of respiratory failure; for these patients, a tracheostomy is considered to facilitate long periods of ventilator dependency and weaning. By definition, a tracheostomy is defined as a procedure where a small incision is made in the windpipe to relieve an obstruction to breathing. Although tracheostomy is a well-established procedure, there are significant controversies regarding the timing, location and technique of tracheostomies in the era of COVID-19.
The purpose of this observational study is to investigate the use of tracheostomy in COVID patients in comparison to non-COVID patients to examine if there is a difference in time to tracheostomy based on COVID status. Key patient characteristics reviewed in the study include, but are not limited to, mechanical ventilation parameters, comorbidities, gender, BMI, pertinent coagulation labs and P/F ratio at the time of tracheostomy. Furthermore, comparison of COVID patients and non-COVID patients through a logistic regression analysis of risk factors, disease progression, total ventilator days, and hospital stay trajectory will be highlighted and analyzed. By the end of the study, we hope to provide clinical research on certain patient characteristics that affect tracheostomy care, which will help guide the overall sequelae of patient care in the ICU.