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Study of Bacterial biofilm presence in pediatric tracheotomy tubes

Bacterial biofilm presence in pediatric tracheotomy tubes.
Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2004; 130(3):339-43 (ISSN: 0886-4470)

To determine whether bacterial biofilms are present on pediatric tracheotomy tubes.

Perkins J; Mouzakes J; Pereira R; Manning S
Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Seattle, WA 98105-0371, USA. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether bacterial biofilms are present on pediatric tracheotomy tubes.

DESIGN: Prospective observational series.

INTERVENTIONS: Eleven tracheotomy tubes removed during routine tracheotomy tube changes were analyzed for biofilm and live bacteria presence using confocal microscopy and vital stains. The external and internal surfaces of the tracheotomy tubes were studied in 3 locations: distal tip, midtracheotomy tube, and proximal opening. These data were correlated with tracheotomy site cultures and the reason for tracheotomy dependence.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Microscopic images were analyzed for the presence of a biofilm (its morphological features and the presence of live and dead bacteria within the biofilm).

RESULTS: Of 11 tracheotomy tubes, 10 had biofilm present on the internal surface of the distal tip. Externally, at the same location, 4 tubes had biofilms. On the internal surface of the midtracheotomy site, 8 had biofilm present, whereas only 1 had a biofilm on the internal surface of the proximal tracheotomy tube site. In the distal internal tracheotomy tube site, the biofilm was confluent in 5 tubes and patchy with evidence of microcolony formation in the remaining 5 tubes. Live bacteria were present in all biofilms. Control tracheotomy tubes did not have biofilms. All tracheotomy site cultures and disease states (chronic aspiration and bronchopulmonary dysplasia) were associated with tracheotomy tube biofilms.

CONCLUSION: Bacterial biofilms containing live bacteria were demonstrated in most pediatric tracheotomy tubes, being most frequent and extensive on the internal surface of the distal tracheotomy tip.

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