Percutaneous tracheostomy in patients on anticoagulants

Laura Pasin, Elena Frati, Luca Cabrini, Landoni Giovanni, Pasquale Nardelli, Tiziana Bove, Maria Calabro, Anna Scandroglio, Federico Pappalardo, Alberto Zangrillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To determine if percutaneous tracheostomy is safe in critically ill patients treated with anticoagulant therapies. Settings and Design: Single-center retrospective study including all the patients who underwent percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy (PDT) placement over a 1-year period in a 14-bed, cardiothoracic and vascular Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Materials and Methods: Patients demographics and characteristics, anticoagulant and antiplatelet therapies, coagulation profile, performed technique and use of bronchoscopic guidance were retrieved. Results: Thirty-six patients (2.7% of the overall ICU population) underwent PDT over the study period. Twenty-six (72%) patients were on anticoagulation therapy, 1 patient was on antiplatelet therapy and 2 further patients received prophylactic doses of low molecular weight heparin. Only 4 patients had normal coagulation profile and were not receiving anticoagulant or antiplatelet therapies. Overall, bleeding of any severity complicated 19% of PDT. No procedure-related deaths occurred. Conclusions: PDT was proved to be safe even in critically ill-patients treated with anticoagulant therapies. Larger prospective studies are needed to confirm our findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-334
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Cardiac Anaesthesia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Anticoagulants
  • Antiplatelet therapies
  • Critically ill patients
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Percutaneous tracheostomy
  • Procedure related bleeding complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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