Publication Date



The Journal of ExtraCorporeal Technology


Although the ideal timing of tracheostomy for critically ill patients is controversial, transitioning from an endotracheal tube can be beneficial. Concerns arise for patients under extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support. Studies have described percutaneous and open tracheostomy approaches for critically ill patients but, to our knowledge, have not compared the two specifically in ECMO patients. This study analyzed safety and aimed to identify if there was a difference in major bleeding or other tracheostomy-associated complications. A single-center retrospective cohort study of all patients who received tracheostomy while on ECMO from July 2013 to May 2019 was completed. The primary endpoint was a significant difference in the incidence of a major bleeding adverse event at 48 hours. Secondary endpoints included differences in the incidence of complications (e.g., procedure-related mortality, ECMO decannulation, tracheal/esophageal injury, and pneumothorax/pneumomediastinum) and survival to discharge. A secondary analysis separated the groups further by comparing those with bleeding events and those without. The study included 27 ECMO patients: 16 (59%) in the percutaneous arm and 11 in the open arm. The median number of ECMO days before tracheostomy was 10 vs. 13, respectively. There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups for major bleeding events (percutaneous 44% vs. open 27%,


Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, Hemorrhage, Humans, Postoperative Complications, Retrospective Studies, Tracheostomy



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.