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Tracheostomy - series—Indications



The indications for tracheostomy include:

  • Prolonged intubation during the course of a critical illness
  • Subglottic stenosis from prior trauma
  • Obstruction from obesity for sleep apnea
  • Congenital (inherited) abnormality of the larynx or trachea
  • Severe neck or mouth injuries
  • Inhalation of corrosive material smoke or steam
  • Presence of a large foreign body that occludes the airway
  • Paralysis of the muscles that affect swallowing causing a danger of aspiration
  • Long term unconsciousness or coma

Review Date 1/22/2023

Updated by: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, MHS, Paul F. Harron, Jr. Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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