Health care professionals (HCPs) performing tracheostomies in patients with COVID-19 may be at increased risk of infection.
To evaluate factors underlying HCPs’ COVID-19 infection and determine whether tracheostomy providers report increased rates of infection.
An anonymous international survey examining factors associated with COVID-19 infection was made available November 2020 through July 2021 to HCPs at a convenience sample of hospitals, universities, and professional organizations. Infections reported were compared between HCPs involved in tracheostomy on patients with COVID-19 and HCPs who were not involved.
Of the 361 respondents (from 33 countries), 50% (n = 179) had performed tracheostomies on patients with COVID-19. Performing tracheostomies on patients with COVID-19 was not associated with increased infection in either univariable (P = .06) or multivariable analysis (odds ratio, 1.48; 95% CI, 0.90–2.46; P = .13). Working in a low- or middle-income country (LMIC) was associated with increased infection in both univariable (P < .001) and multivariable analysis (odds ratio, 2.88; CI, 1.50–5.53; P = .001).
Performing tracheostomy was not associated with COVID-19 infection, suggesting that tracheostomies can be safely performed in infected patients with appropriate precautions. However, HCPs in LMICs may face increased infection risk.