REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0246.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: swallowing; tracheostomy; dysphagia; TLI; COVID-19; ARDS; rehabilitation; physiotherapy
Online: 15 August 2022 (03:50:23 CEST)
During the COVID-19 pandemic, percutaneous tracheostomy proved to be an effective option in the management of patients with prolonged periods of intubation; in fact, among other things, it allowed early discharge from ICUs and contributed to reducing overcrowding in intensive care settings, a central critical point in the COVID pandemic. As a direct consequence, the management and the weaning of frail, tracheostomized and ventilated patients was diverted to sub-intensive or normal hospitalisation wards. One central challenge in this setting is the resumption of swallowing and oral feeding, which needs an interdisciplinary management involving Phoniatrician, ENT, Pneumologist and Speech Therapist. With this article, we aim to share the experience of a Swiss COVID-19 Center and to draw up a narrative review on the issues concerning the management of the tracheostomy cannula during swallowing resumption, integrating the most recent evidence from the literature with the clinical experiences of the professionals directly involved in the management of tracheostomized COVID-19 patients. In view of the heterogeneity of COVID-19 patients, we believe that the procedures described in the article are applicable to a larger population of patients undergoing tracheostomy weaning.