24 Scopus citations


Objective. To evaluate the utility of a modified frailty index as an indicator of postoperative mortality in patients undergoing tracheostomy. Study Design. Case series with chart review. Setting. Tertiary care veterans hospital. Subjects and Methods. A chart review was conducted of consecutive tracheostomies performed between April 2007 and September 2012. A modified frailty index consisting of 11 items based on the Revised Minimum Data Set Mortality Rating Index (MMRI-R) was retrospectively applied using the patient's status immediately prior to tracheostomy. The resultant 6-month calculated mortality risk was compared with both the Veterans Health Administration Surgical Quality Improvement Program's (VASQIP) 30-day calculated mortality and actual mortality. Results. One hundred consecutive tracheostomies were analyzed. No patients were excluded. Sixty-nine patients died within the study period, with 1-, 6-, and 12-month mortality rates of 25%, 43%, and 59%, respectively. The average calculated 6-month mortality risk using the modified frailty index was 40.5% for nonsurvivors compared with 25.4% for survivors (P = .001). Both the VASQIP calculator and modified frailty index differentiated mortality risks between patients without head and neck cancer who survived less than 6 months versus those who survived longer than 6 months (P = .006 and .01). However, neither the VASQIP nor the modified frailty index differentiated mortality risks for head and neck cancer patients who survived less than 6 months versus greater than 6 months (P = .94 and .26). Conclusion. A modified frailty index identifies patients without head and neck cancer at high risk of postoperative mortality after tracheostomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)568-573
Number of pages6
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • frailty
  • mortality
  • risk calculator
  • tracheostomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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