Respiratory illness and respiratory syncytial virus hospitalization in infants with a tracheostomy following prophylaxis with palivizumab Academic Article uri icon

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  • Data on respiratory-related illness and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in children with a tracheostomy are sparse. We determined respiratory illness hospitalization (RIH) and RSV-related hospitalization (RSVH) hazard ratios in children with a tracheostomy following prophylaxis compared with infants' prophylaxed for standard indications (prematurity ≤ 35 weeks' gestational age, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and significant congenital heart disease) and children with complex medical disorders. Children who received ≥ 1 injection of palivizumab were prospectively enrolled across 32 Canadian sites during the RSV season. Respiratory illness event data were collected monthly. Data were analyzed using t tests, chi-square tests, and Cox proportional hazards adjusted for confounders. A total of 23,597 infants were enrolled; 220 tracheostomy, 19,402 standard indications, 3975 complex medical disorders. Of the 220 tracheostomy infants, 30 had bronchopulmonary dysplasia, 18 were premature, 12 had congenital heart disease, and 160 had other medical complexities. RIH and RSVH incidences (tracheostomy, standard indications, complex medical disorders) were 24.5%, 6.2%, and 9.8% and 2.0%, 1.5%, and 1.8% respectively. RIH hazard was significantly higher in tracheostomy infants compared with standard indications (HR = 1.8, 95% CI 1.1-3.0, p = 0.02) but was similar between the tracheostomy and complex medical disorders groups (HR = 1.3, 95% CI 0.7-2.2, p = 0.37). RSVH hazard was also similar in tracheostomy infants relative to standard indications and complex medical disorders (both p > 0.75). Children with tracheostomies who received palivizumab had an increased RIH hazard compared with the standard indications group. Similar RSVH hazard between tracheostomy, standard indications, and complex medical disorders groups suggests that children with tracheostomies may benefit from palivizumab by reducing RSVH during the RSV season.


  • Paes, Bosco
  • Saleem, Mahwesh
  • Kim, Doyoung
  • Lanctôt, Krista L
  • Mitchell, Ian

publication date

  • August 2019