Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Tracheostomy in the management of respiratory problems in a developing country: a study at the lagos University teaching Hospital

  • 164 Accesses


A retrospective study was carried out of 301 tracheostomies performed in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital over a seven year period with the object of determining the usage, complication rate and therapeutic value of this operation. In their order of frequency during the period under review, the main indications for the operation were (1) relief of upper airway obstruction, (2) facilitation of intermittent positive pressure ventilation, (3) for tracheal and bronchial toilet and (4) for the protection of the airway. The number of tracheostomies performed declined in the latter part of the period under review. 192 complications occurred following 146 tracheostomies — an incidence of 47.1 per cent.

The most common cause of complication was infection. Fifteen deaths were directly due to the complications of tracheostomy, being a mortality rate of 5 per cent. The value of tracheostomy outweighed the chances of complications.


Nous avons fait une étude rétrospective de 301 cas de trachéostomie pratiqués dans un hôpital ďenseignement de ľUniversité de Lagos, durant une période de 7 ans, dans le but de préciser ľutilité de cette opération, son taux de complications et sa valeur thérapeutique. Durant les années que couvre cette étude, voici, par ordre de fréquence, quelles ont été les principales indications de cette opération: (1) enlever ľobstruction des voies respiratoires supérieures, (2) rendre plus facile la ventilation avec pression positive intermittente, (3) faciliter ľaspiration de la trachée et des bronches, (4) protéger les voies respiratoires. Au cours de cette période, le nombre des trachéostomies a diminué durant les dernières années. A Ia suite de 146 trachéostomies il est survenu 192 complications; un taux de 47.1 pour cent.

La complication la plus fréquente a été ľinfection. Quinze morts ont été attribuables directement à des complications de trachéostomie, soit un taux de mortalité de 5 pour cent. La valeur de la trachéostomie dépasse les chances de complications.


  1. 1.

    Cherniak, R.M. Tracheostomy and its management. Canad. Anaes. Soc. J.12: 386 (1985).

  2. 2.

    Meade, J.W. Tracheostomy — its complications and their management. A study of 212 cases. New Eng. Med. J.265: 519 (1965).

  3. 3.

    Head, J.M. Tracheostomy in the management of respiratory problems. New Eng. J. Med.264: 587 (1961).

  4. 4.

    Watts, McK.J. Tracheostomy in modern practice. Brit. J. Surg.50: 954 (1963).

  5. 5.

    McClelland, R.M.A. Complications of tracheostomy. Brit. Med. J.2: 567 (1965).

  6. 6.

    Allen, T.H. &Steven, I.M. Prolonged endotracheal intubation in infants and children. Brit. J. Anaes.37: 566 (1965).

  7. 7.

    Turnier, H., Berdnikoff, K., &Chakest, Y. A study of tracheostomy at St. Justine’s Hospital, Montreal. Canad. Anaes. Soc. J.2: 574 (1964).

  8. 8.

    Brit. Med. J. 1: 734 (1969),

  9. 9.

    Robbie, D.S. &Feldman, S.A. Humidification in artificial ventilation. Brit, J. Anaes.35: 771 (1963).

  10. 10.

    Davis, H.S., Kretchmer, H.C., &Bryce-Smith, R. Advantages and complications of tracheotomy. J.A.M.A.153: 1156 (1953).

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Dorothy J. O. ffoulkes-Crabbe or Elizabeth E. Emma.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

ffoulkes-Crabbe, D.J.O., Emma, E.E. Tracheostomy in the management of respiratory problems in a developing country: a study at the lagos University teaching Hospital. Canad. Anaesth. Soc. J. 19, 478–485 (1972). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03005808

Download citation


  • Airway Obstruction
  • Tetanus
  • CANADIAN Anaesthetist
  • General Ward
  • Tracheostomy Tube