Development of a Pediatric Cardiac Mechanical Support Program.
The development of a pediatric cardiac support program is a complex, multidisciplinary project. This study describes the University of Iowa Congenital Heart Program's experience from its inception to the present. In, we examine those specific factors that have led to substantial improvements in the program, additionally identifying where further gains can be made. We retrospectively reviewed all pediatric patients who received mechanical cardiac support at the University of Iowa from the inception of the program in 1991. In total, 29 patients received mechanical support between December 1991 and December 2015 and are included in the study. Twelve patients received continuous flow devices and 17 patients received pulsatile flow devices. Median age at implant was 12.8 years (range 0.1-18.2 years). Median weight at implant was 40.5 kg (3.2-123.4 kg). Factors examined included: operating room (OR) time, intensive care unit and hospital length of stay, intubation days, blood product usage, pre- and post-operative bilirubin, creatinine, natriuretic peptide B (NPPB), and device implanted. Categorical and continuous variables were compared using Chi-squared and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests, respectively. Of the 29 patients who received mechanical support, 17 (58.6%) were discharged home, 11 (37.9%) died during their hospitalization, and 1 (3.5%) remains hospitalized. Median length of ventricular assist device support was 59.5 days (range 1-653 days). Between December 1991 and December 2011, in-hospital mortality was 64.3%. Following this period, significant changes were made to patient management with in-hospital mortality decreasing to 13.3% between February 2013 and December 2015. Comparison between deceased and living patients revealed several significant factors including: median number of packed red blood cells transfused, 8 versus 4 units (P = 0.048), median OR time, 396 versus 299 min (P = 0.003), and device implanted. During the early stages of the mechanical support program, higher than expected mortality rates prompted changes in the management of pediatric cardiac patients, specifically, the development of a dedicated management team. These changes significantly improved outcomes and we suggest can be used as a model for similar cardiac support programs, especially in smaller volume programs.
Kashyap, A; Turek, JW; Wagner, SJ; Felderman, L; Jaggers, EA; Gruber, PJ; Edens, RE
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