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Anesthesiology. 2008 Jul;109(1):61-6. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e31817881b3.

Cardiac surgery fast-track treatment in a postanesthetic care unit: six-month results of the Leipzig fast-track concept.

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Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Leipzig, Leipzig Heart Center, Leipzig, Germany.



The authors compared the safety and efficacy of a newly developed fast-track concept at their center, including implementation of a direct admission postanesthetic care unit, to standard perioperative management.


All fast-track patients treated within the first 6 months of implementation of our direct admission postanesthetic care unit were matched via propensity scores and compared with a historical control group of patients who underwent cardiac surgery prior to fast-track implementation.


A total of 421 fast-track patients were matched successfully to 421 control patients. The two groups of patients had a similar age (64 +/- 13 vs. 64 +/- 12 yr for fast-track vs. control, P = 0.45) and European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation-predicted risk of mortality (4.8 +/- 6.1% vs. 4.6 +/- 5.1%, P = 0.97). Fast-track patients had significantly shorter times to extubation (75 min [45-110] vs. 900 min [600-1140]), as well as shorter lengths of stay in the postanesthetic or intensive care unit (4 h [3.0-5] vs. 20 h [16-25]), intermediate care unit (21 h [17-39] vs. 26 h [19-49]), and hospital (10 days [8-12] vs. 11 days [9-14]) (expressed as median and interquartile range, all P < 0.01). Fast-track patients also had a lower risk of postoperative low cardiac output syndrome (0.5% vs. 2.9%, P < 0.05) and mortality (0.5% vs. 3.3%, P < 0.01).


The Leipzig fast-track protocol is a safe and effective method to manage cardiac surgery patients after a variety of operations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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