Atypical presentation of tracheoesophageal fistula: immediate failure of ventilation via tracheostomy tube

Qi Yi Bong, Doh Jeing Yong, Heng Yao Tan


Tracheoesophageal fistula (TOF) is a rare complication of prolonged endotracheal intubation. Undiagnosed TOF during tracheostomy poses a risk of improper placement of tracheostomy tube and can lead to a potentially life-threatening situation. We report a case of an undiagnosed tracheoesophageal fistula during tracheostomy in a lady in which we encountered difficulty in placement of tracheostomy tube and were eventually able to cannulate the trachea with the help of a fibre optic bronchoscope.


Prolonged ventilation, Tracheostomy, Tracheoesophageal fistula, Fibre optic bronchoscope

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