Timing of tracheostomy in mechanically ventilated patients is controversial. This multi-center trial randomized 600 intubated patients to early (6-8 days) or late (13-15 days) tracheostomy. Early tracheostomy did not affect the incidence of pneumonia, but did increase ventilator-free and ICU-free days. Tracheostomy in patients still intubated at 6-8 days may reduce ventilator and ICU days, but not pneumonia incidence (abstract)
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.