Early extubation in pediatric heart surgery across a spectrum of case complexity: Impact on hospital length of stay and chest tube days

Academic Article


  • Early extubation is increasingly common in congenital heart surgery, but there are limited outcomes data across the spectrum of case complexity. We performed a retrospective review of 201 pediatric operations using cardiopulmonary bypass between 2012 and 2014. Patients extubated in the operating room or immediately on arrival to the ICU were compared to those extubated by traditional protocols. In-hospital mortality, major complications, need for re-intubation, hospital length of stay, and chest-tube days were compared between groups and by Society of Thoracic Surgeons-European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery Congenital Heart Surgery (STAT) mortality category. Outcome measures of hospital length of stay and chest tube days were analyzed using multivariable regression modeling. Early extubation subjects were older, weighed more, had shorter bypass and aortic cross-clamp time, more often received caudal anesthesia, and had shorter hospital length of stay and fewer chest tube days. Subjects not extubated early had more chromosomal abnormalities, more preoperative co-morbidities, and had more major complications. In-hospital death, major complications, and re-intubation were rare outcomes for both groups across all STAT categories. Multivariable regression analysis showed that cardiopulmonary bypass time was a significant predictor of hospital length of stay and chest tube days. Hospital LOS and chest tube days were significantly lower for the early extubation group in both the unadjusted and adjusted analyses. Early extubation can be performed safely in congenital heart surgery across a spectrum of case complexity. No increased early mortality or re-intubation was observed with early extubation although there were important differences between the groups that merits further study. The potential benefits of early extubation include decreased hospital length of stay and fewer chest tube days, particularly in young children and patients with long bypass times.
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    Author List

  • Beamer S; Ferns S; Edwards L; Gunther G; Nelson J
  • Start Page

  • 63
  • End Page

  • 68
  • Volume

  • 45