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Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2015 Nov;16(9):859-67. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000000512.

Risk Factors for Extubation Failure Following Neonatal Cardiac Surgery.

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1Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University/Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, MI. 2Division of Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University/Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, MI. 3Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Wayne State University/Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, MI. 4Division of Critical Care, Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University/Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, IN.



Extubation failure after neonatal cardiac surgery has been associated with considerable postoperative morbidity, although data identifying risk factors for its occurrence are sparse. We aimed to determine risk factors for extubation failure in our neonatal cardiac surgical population.


Retrospective chart review.


Urban tertiary care free-standing children's hospital.


Neonates (0-30 d) who underwent cardiac surgery at our institution between January 2009 and December 2012 was performed.


Extubation failure was defined as reintubation within 72 hours after extubation from mechanical ventilation. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to determine independent risk factors for extubation failure.


We included 120 neonates, of whom 21 (17.5%) experienced extubation failure. On univariate analysis, patients who failed extubation were more likely to have genetic abnormalities (24% vs 6%; p = 0.023), hypoplastic left heart (43% vs 17%; p = 0.009), delayed sternal closure (38% vs 12%; p = 0.004), postoperative infection prior to extubation (38% vs 11%; p = 0.002), and longer duration of mechanical ventilation (median, 142 vs 58 hr; p = 0.009]. On multivariate analysis, genetic abnormalities, hypoplastic left heart, and postoperative infection remained independently associated with extubation failure. Furthermore, patients with infection who failed extubation tended to receive fewer days of antibiotics prior to their first extubation attempt when compared with patients with infection who did not fail extubation (4.9 ± 2.6 vs 7.3 ± 3; p = 0.073).


Neonates with underlying genetic abnormalities, hypoplastic left heart, or postoperative infection were at increased risk for extubation failure. A more conservative approach in these patients, including longer pre-extubation duration of antibiotic therapy for postoperative infections, may be warranted.

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