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Anaesthesist. 2009 Apr;58(4):379-86. doi: 10.1007/s00101-009-1508-1.

[Leipzig fast-track protocol for cardio-anesthesia. Effective, safe and economical].

[Article in German]

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Abteilung für Anästhesie und Intensivtherapie II, Herzzentrum, Universität Leipzig, Strümpellstr. 39, 04289 Leipzig, Deutschland.



In November 2005 a complex, multimodal anesthesia fast-track protocol (FTP) was introduced for elective cardiac surgery patients in the Cardiac Center of the University of Leipzig which included changing from an opioid regime to remifentanil and postoperative treatment in a special post-anesthesia recovery and care unit. The goal was to speed up recovery times while maintaining safety and improving costs.


A total of 421 patients who underwent the FTP and were treated in the special recovery room were analyzed retrospectively. These patients were compared with patients who had been treated by a standard protocol (SP) prior to instituting the FTP. Primary outcomes were time to extubation, length of stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) and treatment costs.


The times to extubation were significantly shorter in the FTP group with 75 min (range 45-110 min) compared to 900 min (range 600-1140 min) in the SP group. Intensive care unit stay and hospital length of stay were also significantly shorter in the FTP group (p<0.01). The reduction of treatment costs of intensive care for FTP patients was 53.5% corresponding to savings of EUR 738 per patient in the FTP group compared with the SP group.


The Leipzig fast-track protocol for cardio-anesthesia including the central elements of switching opiate therapy to remifentanil and switching patient recovery to a special post-anesthesia recovery and care unit, shortened therapy times, is safe and economically effective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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