OBJECTIVE. To estimate the effect of tracheostomy on ventilation in patients with COVID-19.

MATERIAL AND METHODS. An observational, retrospective, analytical, longitudinal study of a consecutive series of cases was carried out between April 2020 and March 2021. The study included data about different variables, such as age, sex, comorbidities, time of orotracheal intubation, place of surgery, complications and death, ventilatory parameters, blood gas and time of the weaning after tracheostomy. Descriptive statistics were used with measures of central tendency, measures of dispersion and the Wilcoxon test to see differences in the ventilatory parameters.

RESULTS. The study was performed on 130 patients admitted to the ICU with intubation to manage their critical condition. From these patients, the study group included 31 who underwent tracheostomy, 25 males (80.64%) with a mean age of 57.1±13.395 years and with 20.52±6.722 days in orotracheal intubation. Among the most frequent comorbidities, we encountered: arterial hypertension (51.6%), obesity (35.4%), diabetes mellitus (22.5%), hypothyroidism (6.4%), asthma (3.2%), pregnancy (3.2%), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (3.2%) and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (3.2%). The main complications were bleeding (12.9%) and decannulation (3.2%). The survival rate was 90.32%. Comparing the pre-surgical and postoperative outcomes of the ventilatory parameters and blood gas, statistically significant differences were found only in case of PEEP (p = 0.033), FiO2 (p = 0.001) and O2 saturation (p = 0.001). The average removal of the ventilator was 4.3±2.437 days.

CONCLUSION. There were no significant changes in the ventilatory parameters, however, they were sufficient to wean the patients from the ventilation team and discharge them to the internal medicine department to continue their management outside the intensive care unit.