Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Thorac Surg. 2017 Apr;103(4):1300-1307. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2016.08.075. Epub 2016 Dec 9.

NASA Model of "Threat and Error" in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery: Patterns of Error Chains.

Author information

1
Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address: edward.hickey@sickkids.ca.
2
Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
3
Division of Cardiac Critical Care, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
4
Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Department of Surgery, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We introduced the National Aeronautics and Space Association threat-and-error model to our surgical unit. All admissions are considered flights, which should pass through stepwise deescalations in risk during surgical recovery. We hypothesized that errors significantly influence risk deescalation and contribute to poor outcomes.

METHODS:

Patient flights (524) were tracked in real time for threats, errors, and unintended states by full-time performance personnel. Expected risk deescalation was wean from mechanical support, sternal closure, extubation, intensive care unit (ICU) discharge, and discharge home. Data were accrued from clinical charts, bedside data, reporting mechanisms, and staff interviews. Infographics of flights were openly discussed weekly for consensus.

RESULTS:

In 12% (64 of 524) of flights, the child failed to deescalate sequentially through expected risk levels; unintended increments instead occurred. Failed deescalations were highly associated with errors (426; 257 flights; p < 0.0001). Consequential errors (263; 173 flights) were associated with a 29% rate of failed deescalation versus 4% in flights with no consequential error (p < 0.0001). The most dangerous errors were apical errors typically (84%) occurring in the operating room, which caused chains of propagating unintended states (n = 110): these had a 43% (47 of 110) rate of failed deescalation (versus 4%; p < 0.0001). Chains of unintended state were often (46%) amplified by additional (up to 7) errors in the ICU that would worsen clinical deviation. Overall, failed deescalations in risk were extremely closely linked to brain injury (n = 13; p < 0.0001) or death (n = 7; p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Deaths and brain injury after pediatric cardiac surgery almost always occur from propagating error chains that originate in the operating room and are often amplified by additional ICU errors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center