The Impact of Socioeconomic Disadvantage on Pediatric Tracheostomy Outcomes

Kershena Liao, Stephen R. Chorney, Ashley B. Brown, Rebecca L. Brooks, Ashley Sewell, Candice Bailey, Cindy Whitney, Romaine F. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine if socioeconomic disadvantage impacts perioperative outcomes after tracheostomy. Methods: We performed a retrospective case series of children who underwent tracheostomy. Children were divided into less and more disadvantaged groups based on their community's Area Deprivation Index (ADI), a validated socioeconomic vulnerability measure. Primary outcomes were the length of stay, total cost, in-hospital mortality, and 30-day all-cause readmission after tracheostomy placement. Length of stay was further analyzed using parametric survival analysis. Results: A total of 239 patients met inclusion criteria, with 153 (64%) residing in more disadvantaged communities. Children from more disadvantaged communities were less likely to be White (42% vs. 26%, P =.009) and more likely to have Medicaid coverage (90% vs. 62%, P <.001). The two groups had similar medical complexity and comorbidities. The main outcome measures showed differences in median total length of stay (113 vs. 79 days, P =.04) and median total cost ($461 000 vs. $279 000, P =.01). Children with tracheostomies who were from more disadvantaged communities also had increased risk of prolonged hospitalizations (HR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.48–0.83, P =.001). Readmissions, mortality rates, and quality of life scores were similar between groups. Conclusions: Community disadvantage was associated with differences in hospitalization length and costs after pediatric tracheostomy placement. Further research should continue to describe how health disparities impact children's safe and efficient care with tracheostomies. Level of Evidence: 4 Laryngoscope, 131:2603–2609, 2021.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2603-2609
Number of pages7
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Tracheostomy
  • pediatrics
  • perioperative outcomes
  • quality of life
  • socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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