Paediatric tracheostomy is most commonly performed in children on the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) to facilitate long-term ventilation. We sought to identify trends in UK tracheostomy practice in PICUs. Data were analysed from 250 261 admissions, including 4409 children tracheostomised between 2003 and 2017. The incidence of tracheostomy in 2017 was approximately half that in 2003 (incidence rate ratio=0.48, 95% CI 0.40 to 0.57). The percentage of patients tracheostomised during a PICU admission, as a proportion of all admissions, was 2.44% (n=319) in 2003 and reduced to 0.97% (n=180) in 2017. Nevertheless, we identified great variability in practice between different PICUs with tracheostomy rates between 0.0% and 4.0% of all admissions. Risk-adjusted PICU mortality was comparable between tracheostomised children and all admissions to PICU.
Data availability statement
Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. Yearly summary data on UK PICU practice are published by PICANet and are freely available to view via https://www.picanet.org.uk Further detailed data can be requested through data requests to the PICANet team.