Operating Room Versus Intensive Care Unit Extubation Within 6 Hours After On-Pump Cardiac Surgery: Early Results and Hospital Costs

Published:November 29, 2022DOI:
      Time-directed extubation (fast-track) protocols may decrease length of stay and cost but data on operating room (OR) extubation is limited. The objective of this study was to compare the outcomes of extubation in the OR versus fast-track extubation within 6 hours of leaving the operating room. Patients undergoing nonemergent STS index cases (2011–2021) who were extubated within 6 hours were identified from a regional STS quality collaborative. Patients were stratified by extubation in the OR versus fast track. Propensity score matching (1:n) was performed to balance baseline differences. Of the 24,962 patients, 498 were extubated in the OR. After matching, 487 OR extubation cases and 899 fast track cases were well balanced. The rate of reintubation was higher for patients extubated in the OR [21/487 (4.3%) vs 16/899 (1.8%), P = 0.008] as was the incidence of reoperation for bleeding [12/487 (2.5%) vs 8/899 (0.9%), P = 0.03]. There was no significant difference in the rate of any reoperation [16/487 (3.3%) vs 15/899 (1.6%), P = 0.06] or operative mortality [4/487 (0.8%) vs 6/899 (0.6%), P = 0.7]. OR extubation was associated with shorter hospital length of stay (5.6 vs 6.2 days, P < 0.001) and lower total cost of admission ($29,602 vs $31,565 P < 0.001). OR extubation is associated with a higher postoperative risk of reintubation and reoperation due to bleeding, but lower resource utilization.Future research exploring predictors of extubation readiness may be required prior to widespread adoption of this practice.

      Graphical abstract



      STS (Society of Thoracic Surgeons), VCSQI (Virginia Cardiac Services Quality Initiative), OR (operating room), ICU (intensive care unit), ORE (operating room extubation), CABG (coronary artery bypass graft), FTE (fast-track extubation)
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