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Respir Care. 2017 Oct;62(10):1277-1283. doi: 10.4187/respcare.05575. Epub 2017 Jun 20.

Preoperative Functional Status Is Associated With Unplanned Intubations Following Thyroidectomies.

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Department of Anesthesiology
Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California.
Department of Anesthesiology.



Unplanned postoperative intubation is an important event that may influence the outcome of thyroid- and parathyroidectomies. We performed a focused study on the association of preoperative functional status with unplanned intubation outcomes in these relatively common surgeries.


Utilizing data from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database from 2007 to 2013, a propensity score-matched retrospective cohort study was performed assessing this outcome in the functionally independent versus dependent groups. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and a Cox proportional hazards model were performed to assess the difference.


There were a total of 98,035 thyroid- and parathyroidectomies identified from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program from 2007 to 2013. After propensity score matching, there were 1,862 and 931 cases in the independent and dependent group, respectively. There were 11 versus 33 per 1,000 persons in the independent and dependent group, respectively, who experienced an unplanned intubation within 30 d following surgery (P < .001). The dependent group showed worse intubation-free survival over 30 d (P < .001). There were no differences in this outcome during postoperative days 0-1 (P = .17). Dependent functional status was statistically significantly associated with unplanned intubations up to 30 d postoperatively (hazard ratio 2.4, 95% CI 1.4-4.18, P = .002).


Preoperative functional status is a good marker for identifying patients at risk for re-intubation after thyroid- and parathyroidectomy.


frail elderly; intubation; parathyroidectomy; perioperative care; respiratory insufficiency; thyroidectomy

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