Tracheostomy weaning outcomes in relation to the site of acquired brain injury: A retrospective case series

Kay Mitton, Krystyna Walton, Manoj Sivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To analyse whether the outcome of tracheostomy weaning is influenced by the site of injury in acquired brain injury.

METHODS: A retrospective case review of all the consecutive admissions to an acute neurorehabilitation unit in a 2-year period was performed. Patients with a diagnosis of acquired brain injury and tracheostomy in situ were included in this study.

RESULTS: One hundred and six patients were included in the analysis. They were considered in two groups based on the site of brain injury: Group S, those with supratentorial brain injury only; and Group I, those with any injury with infratentorial involvement. Fifty-one (82%) patients in Group S were successfully weaned from the tracheostomy, compared to only 27 (61%) of patients in Group I. In other words, the proportion of unsuccessful weans (long-term tracheostomy) was 11 (18%) in Group S compared to 17 (39%) in Group I. The statistical significance of successful weans between the groups was p = 0.01 (Chi-square test). The common reasons for unsuccessful weaning were excessive secretion load and recurrent aspiration pneumonia.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with isolated supratentorial brain injury have a statistically significant higher chance of successful decannulation when compared to those patients with any infratentorial brain injury involvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-271
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number2
Early online date19 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2017


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Injuries/rehabilitation
  • Device Removal
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurological Rehabilitation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tracheostomy
  • Young Adult


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