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Performing tracheotomies on AIDS patients with respiratory failure offer little if any benefit to the patients and poses a significant risk to healthcare workers, according to a report from the Georgetown University School of Medicine.
"The extremely poor survival and almost nil possibility for decannulation must be weighed against the risk of exposing an array of healthcare workers to HIV-infected blood," researcher Giovana R. Thomas and colleagues wrote ("Tracheotomy in Patients with AIDS: Is It Necessary?" Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, October 1994; 120:1126-1129).
In patients with advanced AIDS, respiratory failure, sepsis and …