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1.  Tracheotomy-Related Catastrophic Events: Results of a National Survey 
The Laryngoscope  2012;122(1):30-37.
To gather qualitative and semiquantitative information about catastrophic complications during and following tracheotomy.
Study Design
National survey distributed to American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery members via the Academy weekly email newsletter during April and May 2011.
A total of 478 respondents provided estimates of the number of four specific tracheotomy-related complications (innominate artery fistula, esophageal fistula, acute tracheotomy occlusion, and obstructing granuloma), all catastrophic events, and events resulting in death or permanent disability encountered during their careers. There were 253 respondents who provided 405 free-text descriptions of specific events.
The respondents experienced approximately one catastrophic event every 10 years and one event resulting in death or permanent disability every 20 years. More than 90% occurred more than 1 week after surgery. Categories of physicians who experienced more events per year included academic physicians and laryngologists. Pediatric otolaryngologists had twice as many innominate artery fistulas per year of practice as others. Qualitative (free-text) descriptions of the most serious events demonstrated that more of these events involved loss of airway and volume bleeds, usually from innominate or carotid artery erosion. Many of the events due to airway loss involved potentially correctable deficits in family education, nursing care, home care, and other structural factors.
Even when we allow for selection bias, these data suggest that a substantial number of tracheotomy complications leading to death or permanent disability occur at a national level. The vast majority of events occur more than 1 week after the procedure. Many of the described events were caused by factors that should be amenable to prospective system improvement strategies.
PMCID: PMC3614343  PMID: 22183626
Tracheotomy; patient safety; quality
2.  The Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor Sodium Butyrate Protects Against Cisplatin-Induced Hearing Loss in Guinea Pigs 
The Laryngoscope  2006;116(2):292-296.
There is a need for otoprotective agents that can be administered systemically without compromising cancer treatment. Histone deacetylase inhibitors are anticancer agents that act by upregulating the expression of cell-cycle control genes. They are also neuroprotective, leading us to hypothesize that they might be otoprotective. The goal of this study was to determine if the antitumor agent sodium butyrate (a histone deacetylase inhibitor) protects against cisplatin ototoxicity when administered systemically.
Study Design:
This was an animal study.
Cisplatin was administered to guinea pigs who received either 12 days of sodium butyrate (7 d before and 5 d after cisplatin) or equivolume saline injections. Hearing was tested with distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) analysis before the start of the study and 2 weeks after cisplatin treatment.
Guinea pigs given a single intraperito-neal injection of 14 mg/kg cisplatin experience a mean hearing loss of 8 dB across the frequencies of 3.5, 5, 7, 10, 14, and 20 kHz. Intraperitoneal injection of 1.2 mg/kg sodium butyrate per day for 7 days before and 5 days after cisplatin almost completely eliminates this threshold shift (P = .0011).
The histone deacetylase inhibitor sodium butyrate gives almost complete protection in a single-dose model of cisplatin ototoxicity in guinea pigs. Because histone deacetylase inhibitors are anticancer agents with very few side effects, they may be candidates for clinical use during cisplatin chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC2570099  PMID: 16467722
Cisplatin; HL; histone deacetylase inhibitors; sodium butyrate; otoprotection
3.  Predictors of Clinical Outcomes and Hospital Resource Use of Children After Tracheotomy 
Pediatrics  2009;124(2):563-572.
The objectives are to describe health outcomes and hospital resource use of children after tracheotomy and identify patient characteristics that correlate with outcomes and hospital resource use.
A retrospective analysis of 917 children aged 0 to 18 years undergoing tracheotomy from 36 children’s hospitals in 2002 with follow-up through 2007. Children were identified from ICD-9-CM tracheotomy procedure codes. Comorbid conditions (neurologic impairment [NI], chronic lung disease, upper airway anomaly, prematurity, and trauma) were identified with ICD-9-CM diagnostic codes. Patient characteristics were compared with in-hospital mortality, decannulation, and hospital resource use by using generalized estimating equations.
Forty-eight percent of children were ≤6 months old at tracheotomy placement. Chronic lung disease (56%), NI (48%), and upper airway anomaly (47%) were the most common underlying comorbid conditions. During hospitalization for tracheotomy placement, children with an upper airway anomaly experienced less mortality (3.3% vs 11.7%; P < .001) than children without an upper airway anomaly. Five years after tracheotomy, children with NI experienced greater mortality (8.8% vs 3.5%; P≤.01), less decannulation (5.0% vs 11.0%; P≤.01), and more total number of days in the hospital (mean [SE]: 39.5 [4.0] vs 25.6 [2.6] days; P≤.01) than children without NI. These findings remained significant (P < .01) in multivariate analysis after controlling for other significant cofactors.
Children with upper airway anomaly experienced less mortality, and children with NI experienced higher mortality rates and greater hospital resource use after tracheotomy. Additional research is needed to explore additional factors that may influence health outcomes in children with tracheotomy.
PMCID: PMC3614342  PMID: 19596736
tracheotomy; children; mortality; hospitalization; health services; outcomes
4.  Patient characteristics associated with in-hospital mortality in children following tracheotomy 
Archives of disease in childhood  2010;95(9):703-710.
To identify children at risk for in-hospital mortality following tracheotomy.
Retrospective cohort study.
25 746 876 US hospitalisations for children within the Kids’ Inpatient Database 1997, 2000, 2003 and 2006.
18 806 hospitalisations of children ages 0–18 years undergoing tracheotomy, identified from ICD-9-CM tracheotomy procedure codes.
Main outcome measure
Mortality during the initial hospitalisation when tracheotomy was performed in relation to patient demographic and clinical characteristics (neuromuscular impairment (NI), chronic lung disease, upper airway anomaly, prematurity, congenital heart disease, upper airway infection and trauma) identified with ICD-9-CM codes.
Between 1997 and 2006, mortality following tracheotomy ranged from 7.7% to 8.5%. In each year, higher mortality was observed in children undergoing tracheotomy who were aged <1 year compared with children aged 1–4 years (mortality range: 10.2–13.1% vs 1.1–4.2%); in children with congenital heart disease, compared with children without congenital heart disease (13.1–18.7% vs 6.2–7.1%) and in children with prematurity, compared with children who were not premature (13.0–19.4% vs 6.8–7.3%). Lower mortality was observed in children with an upper airway anomaly compared with children without an upper airway anomaly (1.5–5.1% vs 9.1–10.3%). In 2006, the highest mortality (40.0%) was observed in premature children with NI and congenital heart disease, who did not have an upper airway anomaly.
Congenital heart disease, prematurity, the absence of an upper airway anomaly and age <1 year were characteristics associated with higher mortality in children following tracheotomy. These findings may assist provider communication with children and families regarding early prognosis following tracheotomy.
PMCID: PMC3118570  PMID: 20522454

Results 1-4 (4)