OPEN Research Support

Susanne Djernes Bird
Department of Ear, Nose, Throat Diseases, Odense University Hospital

Projekt styring
Projekt status    Sampling ongoing
Data indsamlingsdatoer
Start 01.11.2018  
Slut 31.12.2019  

Occurrence of treatment-requiring lower respiratory tract infection after tracheotomy

Short summary

This study will be conducted on otorhinolaryngeal patients who have had a surgical


tracheotomy. In a five year period we want to identify, how many of these patients contract a treatment-requiring lower respiratory tract infection. In addition we want to identify the conditions under which patients are at high risk of infection. 


Statistically we compare with tracheotomized patients, who did not contract an airway infection. The study is retrospective.



2191 patients were tracheotomized in Denmark in 2016.  The indication for tracheotomy can be respiratory obstruction based on changes in larynx, trachea or supralaryngeal. At the department of ORL-Head and Neck surgery and Audiologi at Odense University Hospital, tracheotomy is usually performed on the basis of irreversible airway obstruction due to cancer, or as a preventive procedure after major neck surgery. A tracheostomy can be either temporary or permanent. 


Complications in connection to a tracheostomy can be nosocomial pneumonia, air pockets under the skin, bleeding, dysphagia and constriction of the trachea. Surgical tracheostomy is a significant risk factor for developing a pneumonia.  Pneumonia leads to prolongation of hospitalization and increased hospital cost. Studies indicate that preventive antibiotics reduce the number of hospitalized pneumonia in tracheotomy, but further studies are needed.


For newly tracheostomized patients, pneumonia is a life-threatening condition. In the study we will evaluate the risk of pneumonia and data will form the baseline for a prospective research project, where we look at the presence of pneumonia after intervention with preventive antibiotics. In addition we will examine the tracheotomized patients ability to swallow via a FEEST examination.


Description of the cohort

All otorhinolaryngeal patients (over 15 years) who have had a surgical tracheotomy at Odense University hospital from 01.10.2013 to 01.10.2018. \n

Data and biological material

Data will be extracted from a digital record system.\n

Collaborating researchers and departments

Department of ORL- head and neck surgery and audiology, Odense University Hospital

  • Nurse Sara Brandt Johansen
  • Specialist registrar Benjamin Staugaard
  • Development Nurse Susanne Djernes Bird
  • Professor Anette Droehse Kjeldsen, PhD
  • Consultant Bahareh Bakhshaie Phillipsen