Tracheostomy is performed in around 10-13% of all level 3 ICU admissions in the UK. The clinical course of Covid-19 in the critically ill has not yet been fully characterized but there are considerations for patients with new or existing tracheostomies, considered below. This short article considers balancing the risks of infection control risks of aerosol spread of the virus versus the best management for the patient with a tracheostomy. 

This guide considers balancing the risks of infection control re aerosol spread of the virus versus the best management for the patient with a tracheostomy. This guidance is written for UK hospitals but is applicable elsewhere. You may adapt/adopt these guidelines without permission. The guidance may change as data on tracheostomy in the Covid-19 becomes available. 

The guidelines have been reviewed by the Intensive Care Society, Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Association of Anaesthetists. The guidance is also available from the Global Tracheostomy Collaborative and has been reviewed by international colleagues.