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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 1/25/2015

Updated by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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