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Indications for Tracheostomy

Common indications for tracheostomy


There are four main reasons a tracheostomy may be performed; 

  1. Secure and maintain the airway:

    • In upper respiratory tract obstruction (actual or potential)

    • In patients with severe facial injuries or after certain head and neck surgeries

    • In patients at high risk of aspiration e.g. unconsciousness, neuromuscular disorders, head injuries, stroke etc.

  2. Long-term mechanical ventilation of patients; either in an acute ITU setting or chronically in hospitals or in the community

  3. Facilitate weaning from prolonged ventilation in ITU. A tracheostomy tube is better tolerated by a patient than an orotracheal tube requiring less sedation.

  4. Removal of bronchial secretions where there is a poor cough with sputum retention

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