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Open Access Research article

Indications and outcome of pediatric tracheostomy: results from a Nigerian tertiary hospital

Adeyi A Adoga* and Nuhu D Ma'an

Author Affiliations

Otorhinolaryngology unit, Department of Surgery, Jos University Teaching Hospital, PMB 2076, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria

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BMC Surgery 2010, 10:2  doi:10.1186/1471-2482-10-2

Published: 12 January 2010



There is a change in the concept of pediatric tracheostomy. This study investigates the indications and outcomes of pediatric tracheostomy in a Nigerian teaching hospital finding out whether there is also a change in the trend in our environment as compared to other centers.


A retrospective chart review of 46 patients aged between 2 months and 15 years who presented to our Otorhinolaryngological facility and had tracheostomy between January 2000 and December 2008.


The age range was 2 months to 15 years. There were 29 males and 17 females. Thirty two (69.6%) patients were in the age range 6-10 years. Forty tracheostomies (87%) were performed as emergency while 6 (13%) as elective procedures. The commonest indication for tracheostomy was upper airway obstruction (n = 29, 63%). Transverse skin incision was employed in all the cases. No intra-operative complication was recorded. The post-operative complication rate was 15.2%. The duration of tracheostomy ranged from 5 days to 3 months. All the patients were successfully decannulated. The overall mortality was 8 (17.4%). There was no tracheostomy related mortality.


There is no increase in the incidence of tracheostomy in patients under 1 year of age and the commonest indication for the procedure in Nigeria has remained relief of upper airway obstruction. Pediatric tracheostomy is safe when performed in the tertiary hospital setting.