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To assess the training and the future workforce needs of paediatric cardiac critical care faculty.
REDCap surveys were sent May−August 2019 to medical directors and faculty at the 120 US centres participating in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database. Faculty and directors were asked about personal training pathway and planned employment changes. Directors were additionally asked for current faculty numbers, expected job openings, presence of training programmes, and numbers of trainees. Predictive modelling of the workforce was performed using respondents’ data. Patient volume was projected from US Census data and compared to projected provider availability.
Measurements and main results:
Sixty-six per cent (79/120) of directors and 62% (294/477) of contacted faculty responded. Most respondents had training that incorporated critical care medicine with the majority completing training beyond categorical fellowship. Younger respondents and those in dedicated cardiac ICUs were more significantly likely to have advanced training or dual fellowships in cardiology and critical care medicine. An estimated 49–63 faculty enter the workforce annually from various training pathways. Based on modelling, these faculty will likely fill current and projected open positions over the next 5 years.
Paediatric cardiac critical care training has evolved, such that the majority of faculty now have dual fellowship or advanced training. The projected number of incoming faculty will likely fill open positions within the next 5 years. Institutions with existing or anticipated training programmes should be cognisant of these data and prepare graduates for an increasingly competitive market.
To assess current demographics and duties of physicians as well as the structure of paediatric cardiac critical care in the United States.
REDCap surveys were sent by email from May till August 2019 to medical directors (“directors”) of critical care units at the 120 United States centres submitting data to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database and to associated faculty from centres that provided email lists. Faculty and directors were asked about personal attributes and clinical duties. Directors were additionally asked about unit structure.
Measurements and main results:
Responses were received from 66% (79/120) of directors and 62% (294/477) of contacted faculty. Seventy-six percent of directors and 54% of faculty were male, however, faculty <40 years old were predominantly women. The majority of both groups were white. Median bed count (n = 20) was similar in ICUs and multi-disciplinary paediatric ICUs. The median service expectation for one clinical full-time equivalent was 14 weeks of clinical service (interquartile range 12, 16), with the majority of programmes (86%) providing in-house attending night coverage. Work hours were high during service and non-service weeks with both directors (37%) and faculty (45%).
Racial and ethnic diversity is markedly deficient in the paediatric cardiac critical care workforce. Although the majority of faculty are male, females make up the majority of the workforce younger than 40 years old. Work hours across all age groups and unit types are high both on- and off-service, with most units providing attending in-house night coverage.
Diaphragm dysfunction following surgery for congenital heart disease is a known complication leading to delays in recovery and increased post-operative morbidity and mortality. We aimed to determine the incidence of and risk factors associated with diaphragm plication in children undergoing cardiac surgery and evaluate timing to repair and effects on hospital cost and length of stay.
We conducted a multi-institutional retrospective observational cohort study. Forty-three hospitals from the Pediatric Health Information System database were included, and a total of 112,110 patients admitted between January 2004 and December 2014 were analysed.
Patients less than 18 years of age who underwent cardiac surgery were included. Risk Adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery was utilized to determine procedure complexity. The overall incidence of diaphragm dysfunction was 2.2% (n = 2513 out of 112,110). Of these, 24.0% (603 patients) underwent diaphragm plication. Higher complexity cardiac surgery (Risk Adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery 5–6) and age less than 4 weeks were associated with a higher likelihood of diaphragm plication (p-value < 0.01). Diaphragmatic plication was associated with increased hospital length of stay (p-value < 0.01) and increased medical cost.
Diaphragm plication after surgery for congenital heart disease is associated with longer hospital length of stay and increased cost. There is a strong correlation of prolonged time to plication with increased length of stay and medical cost. The likelihood of plication increases with younger age and higher procedure complexity. Methods to improve early recognition and treatment of diaphragm dysfunction should be developed.
In this study, we report a patient with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum (PA/IVS), confluent pulmonary arteries supplied by an arterial duct, and chromosome 22q11.2 microdeletion. The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome has been associated with anomalies of the outflow tracts, such as tetralogy of Fallot with either pulmonary stenosis or atresia, but we are aware of a solitary case described with pulmonary atresia when the ventricular septum is intact. The presence of genetic malformations can have long-term co-morbidities. By describing our patient, we aim to create awareness of this rare association.
The care of patients with CHD remains a challenge in low- and middle-income countries. Their health systems have not been able to achieve consistently high performance in this field. The large volume of patients, manpower constraints, inconsistencies in the level and type of background training of the teams caring for this patient population, and the inadequate quality control systems are some of the barriers to achieving excellence of care. We describe three different international projects supporting the paediatric cardiac surgical and paediatric cardiac intensive care programmes in Latin America, Asia, and the Caribbean.
In 2007, a partnership was initiated between a small-volume paediatric cardiac surgery unit located in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, and a large-volume cardiac surgery unit located in Milan, Italy. The main goal of this partnership was to provide surgical treatment to children with CHD in the Canary Islands.
An operative algorithm for performing surgery in elective, urgent, and emergency cases was adopted by the this joint programme. Demographic and in-hospital variables were collected from the medical records of all the patients who had undergone surgical intervention for CHD from January, 2009 to March, 2013. Data were introduced into the congenital database of the European Congenital Heart Surgeons Association Congenital Database and the database was interrogated.
In total, 65 surgical mission trips were performed during the period of this study. The European Congenital Heart Surgeons Association Congenital Database documented 214 total patients with a mean age at operation of 36.45 months, 316 procedures in total with 198 cardiopulmonary bypass cases, 46 non-cardiopulmonary bypass cases, 26 cardiovascular cases without cardiopulmonary bypass, 22 miscellaneous other types of cases, 16 interventional cardiology cases, six thoracic cases, one non-cardiac, non-thoracic procedure on a cardiac patient with cardiac anaesthesia, and one extracorporeal membrane oxygenation case. The 30-day mortality was 6.07% (13 patients).
A joint programme between a small-volume centre and a large-volume centre may represent a valid and reproducible model for safe paediatric cardiac surgery in the context of a peripheral region.
Introduction: The diagnosis of trisomy 21 in children has been associated with failed extubation after CHD surgery. Dexmedetomidine may be a useful agent to improve postoperative outcomes in these patients, such as ventilator time, ICU length of stay, or hospital length of stay. Materials and methods: The Pediatric Health Information System database was queried from January, 2008 to December, 2010 for patients with trisomy 21 who underwent CHD surgery. Patients who received dexmedetomidine were matched to patients who did not by propensity score. The primary outcome was ventilator days charged, and secondary outcomes included ICU and hospital length of stay. Results: A total of 1088 patients (544 matched pairs) met inclusion criteria. Patient characteristics were similar, with the exception of more patients in the dexmedetomidine group undergoing repair of complete atrioventricular canal and fewer undergoing mechanical valve replacement (p<0.01). More patients in the dexmedetomidine group were administered milrinone, epinephrine, vasopressin, benzodiazepines, opiates, and adjunct pain and sedative medications (p<0.01). The dexmedetomidine group had greater time on the ventilator [7 (4.5–11) versus 6 (4–10) days (median, interquartile range) p<0.01] and similar ICU length of stay, hospital length of stay, and mortality compared with controls. Mixed-effects modelling clustered on institution did not show beneficial effect of dexmedetomidine on ventilator time, ICU stay, or hospital length of stay. Conclusions: The use of dexmedetomidine was not associated with the decreased ventilatory time. Routine use of dexmedetomidine is not warranted in this patient population.
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