PURPOSE: To prevent the consequences of long-term endotracheal intubation, patients undergo tracheostomies . However, as COVID-19 is highly contagious, its existence has made the tracheostomy a high-risk procedure . Tracheostomy procedures must, therefore, be adjusted for safety reasons . The aim is to present the adjustments that should be made to the surgical technique .
METHODS: Both the medical charts and surgical reports of patients with COVID-19 who were subjected to elective open tracheostomies were reviewed .
RESULTS: The retrospective study included 25 patients . Our adjustments include the timing of tracheostomies, ideally putting them at 21 days after the onset of COVID-19, the advancement of an endotracheal tube to 26-28 cm from the upper-alveolar ridge, surgery being carried out in the intensive care unit with appropriately modified positions of the patient and providers, tracheo-cutaneous sutures, and intentionally making the small tracheal flap and the tracheal window the same shape as a medieval shield .
CONCLUSIONS: A tracheostomy performed in this way is now referred to as the Shield Tracheostomy . Further improvements to the surgical technique are expected in the future.