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Upper Airway Obstruction Requiring Tracheostomy in Jos, Nigeria.

AS Adoga
AT Otene
O Unuajohwofia
OGB Nwaorgu


Tracheostomy remains a very important life saving surgical procedure the world over and particularly in our environment where patients present late in upper airway obstruction. It is the aim of this paper to present the indications for Tracheostomy in upper airway obstruction in our centre.
This is a seventeen-month (April 2005 – August 2006) retrospective review of patients with upper airway obstruction seen in our center. Information analyzed included: age of patients, sex, and clinical diagnosis of the airway obstruction.
Eighteen patients with upper airway obstruction requiring tracheostomy were seen during the study period. Their ages ranged from 9 months to 66 years with a mean of 29.9 years. Cervico-facial trauma and Laryngeal carcinoma constituted 27.8% and 22.2% respectively of the indications while Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP) constituted 16.7%. The trauma was due mainly to road traffic accidents and cut throat injuries.
Malignant tumours of the upper aero-digestive tract still constitute an appreciable percentage of indications for tracheostomy in our environment. This appears to be as a result of lateness in presentation sequel to clinical misdiagnosis by non specialists.

Keywords: Tracheostomy, upper airway obstruction, Jos.

Journal of Medicine in the Tropics Vol. 9 (2) 2007 pp. 41-46