Controversies in Mechanical Ventilation: When Should a Tracheotomy Be Placed?

Christopher King, Lisa K. Moores*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


With the large and increasing population of mechanically ventilated patients, critical care physicians frequently face the dilemma of whether to perform tracheotomy. The decision is a complex one, requiring a detailed understanding of the risks and benefits of both tracheotomy and prolonged translaryngeal intubation (TLI). It also must be individualized, taking into consideration the patient's preferences and expected clinical course. This article reviews the medical literature regarding the benefits and risks of tracheotomy as compared with TLI. The authors then discuss current data regarding the optimal timing for the procedure and propose an algorithm that may aid intensivists in clinical decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-263
Number of pages11
JournalClinics in Chest Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


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