Tracheostomy is a procedure that is performed for various indications, including relieving an upper airway obstruction, removing secretions and preventing laryngeal and upper airway damage from prolonged translaryngeal intubation. The latter is a significant factor recognised by clinicians, and hence as soon as the need for prolonged mechanical ventilation is identified, tracheostomy should be considered. However, the challenge lies in identifying who would require prolonged ventilatory support. Hence, this structured review explores the debate between early versus late tracheostomy and investigates the predictive factors that indicate prolonged mechanical ventilation and a subsequent tracheostomy.
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