Tracheostomies are highly aerosolizing procedures yet are often indicated in patients with COVID-19 who require prolonged intubation. Robust investigations of the safety of tracheostomy protocols and provider adherence and evaluations are limited.
To determine the rate of COVID-19 infection of health care personnel involved in COVID-19 tracheostomies under a multidisciplinary safety protocol and to investigate health care personnel’s attitudes and suggested areas for improvement concerning the protocol.
All health care personnel involved in tracheostomies in COVID-19–positive patients from April 9 through July 11, 2020, were sent a 22-item electronic survey.
Among 107 health care personnel (80.5%) who responded to the survey, 5 reported a positive COVID-19 test result (n = 2) or symptoms of COVID-19 (n = 3) within 21 days of the tracheostomy. Respondents reported 100% adherence to use of adequate personal protective equipment. Most (91%) were familiar with the tracheostomy protocol and felt safe (92%) while performing tracheostomy. Suggested improvements included creating dedicated tracheostomy teams and increasing provider choices surrounding personal protective equipment.
Multidisciplinary engagement in the development and implementation of a COVID-19 tracheostomy protocol is associated with acceptable safety for all members of the care team.