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Children with congenital heart disease are at high risk for malnutrition. Standardisation of feeding protocols has shown promise in decreasing some of this risk. With little standardisation between institutions’ feeding protocols and no understanding of protocol adherence, it is important to analyse the efficacy of individual aspects of the protocols.
Adherence to and deviation from a feeding protocol in high-risk congenital heart disease patients between December 2015 and March 2017 were analysed. Associations between adherence to and deviation from the protocol and clinical outcomes were also assessed. The primary outcome was change in weight-for-age z score between time intervals.
Increased adherence to and decreased deviation from individual instructions of a feeding protocol improves patients change in weight-for-age z score between birth and hospital discharge (p = 0.031). Secondary outcomes such as markers of clinical severity and nutritional delivery were not statistically different between groups with high or low adherence or deviation rates.
High-risk feeding protocol adherence and fewer deviations are associated with weight gain independent of their influence on nutritional delivery and caloric intake. Future studies assessing the efficacy of feeding protocols should include the measures of adherence and deviations that are not merely limited to caloric delivery and illness severity.
Our primary goal was to decrease time to resolution of postoperative chylothorax as demonstrated by total days of chest tube utilisation through development and implementation of a management protocol.
A chylothorax management protocol was implemented as a quality improvement project at a tertiary-care paediatric hospital in July, 2015. Retrospective analysis was completed on patients aged 0–17 years diagnosed with chylothorax within 30 days of cardiac surgery in a pre-protocol cohort (February, 2014 to June, 2015, n=20) and a post-protocol cohort (July, 2015 to March, 2016, n=22).
Measurements and results
Patient characteristics were similar before and after protocol implementation. Duration of mechanical ventilation and cardiac ICU and hospital lengths of stay were unchanged between cohorts. Following protocol implementation, total duration of chest tube utilisation decreased from 12 to 7 days (p=0.047) with a decrease in maximum days of chest tube utilisation from 44 to 13 days. Duration of medium-chain triglyceride feeds decreased from 42 days to 31 days (p=0.01). In total, three patients in the post-protocol cohort underwent additional surgical procedures to treat chylothorax with subsequent resolution of chylothorax within 24 hours. There were no chest tube re-insertions or re-admissions related to chylothorax in either the pre- or post-protocol cohorts. Protocol compliance was 81%.
Adoption of a chylothorax management protocol is feasible, and in our small cohort of patients implementation led to a significant decrease in the duration of chest tube utilisation, while eliminating practice variability among providers.
This study evaluates the morbidity, mortality, and cost differences between patients who underwent either a simple or a complex arterial switch operation.
A retrospective study of patients undergoing an arterial switch operation at a single institution was performed. Simple cases were defined as patients with d-transposition of the great arteries with usual coronary anatomy or circumflex artery originating from the right with either intact ventricular septum or ventricular septal defect. Complex cases included all other forms of coronary anatomy, aortic coarctation or arch hypoplasia, and Taussig–Bing anomalies. Costs were acquired using an institutional activity-based accounting system.
A total of 98 patients were identified, 68 patients in the simple group and 30 in the complex group. The mortality rate was 2% for the simple and 7% for the complex group, p=0.23. Major morbidities including cardiac arrest, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, a major coronary event, surgical or catheter-based re-intervention, stroke, or permanent pacemaker placement, non-cardiac surgical procedures, mediastinitis, and sepsis did not differ between the simple and complex groups (16 versus 27%, p=0.16). The complex group had increased bleeding requiring re-exploration (0 versus 10%, p=0.04). Hospital and ICU length of stay did not differ. Complex patients had higher overall hospital costs (simple $80,749 versus complex $97,387, p=0.01) and higher postoperative costs (simple $60,192 versus complex $70,132, p=0.02). The operating room and supplies accounted for the majority of the cost difference.
Complex arterial switches can be safely performed with low rates of morbidity and mortality but at an increased cost.
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