A 3-hour fast-track extubation protocol for early extubation after cardiac surgery

Mohammad A. Helwani, Cynthia Copeland, Clare H. Ridley, Heiko A. Kaiser, Charl J. De Wet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Early extubation after cardiac surgery improves outcomes and reduces cost. We investigated the effect of a multidisciplinary 3-hour fast-track protocol on extubation, intensive care unit length of stay time, and reintubation rate after a wide range of cardiac surgical procedures. Methods: We performed an observational study of 472 adult patients undergoing cardiac surgery at a large academic institution. A multidisciplinary 3-hour fast-track protocol was applied to a wide range of cardiac procedures. Data were collected 4 months before and 6 months after protocol implementation. Cox regression model assessed factors associated with extubation time and intensive care unit length of stay. Results: A total of 217 patients preprotocol implementation and 255 patients postprotocol implementation were included. Baseline characteristics were similar except for the median procedure time and dexmedetomidine use. The median extubation time was reduced by 44% (4:43 hours vs 3:08 hours; P < .001) in the postprotocol group. Extubation within 3 hours was achieved in 49.4% of patients in the postprotocol group compared with 25.8% patients in the preprotocol group; P < .001. There was no statistically significant difference in the intensive care unit length of stay after controlling for other factors. Early extubation was associated with only 1 patient requiring reintubation in the postprotocol group. Conclusions: The multidisciplinary 3-hour fast-track extubation protocol is a safe and effective tool to further reduce the duration of mechanical ventilation after a wide range of cardiac surgical procedures. The protocol implementation did not decrease the intensive care unit length of stay.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJTCVS Open
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • cardiac surgery
  • early extubation
  • multidisciplinary protocol

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