What is the role of a tracheostomy in the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)?

Updated: Mar 27, 2020
  • Author: Eloise M Harman, MD; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Answer

In patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation, tracheostomy allows the establishment of a more stable airway, which may allow for mobilization of the patient and, in some instances, may facilitate weaning from mechanical ventilation. Tracheostomy, may be performed in the operating room or percutaneously at the bedside. Timing of the procedure should be individualized, but it is generally performed after about 2 weeks of mechanical ventilation.


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