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There is a paucity of information reported regarding the use of milrinone in patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome prior to the Norwood procedure. At our institution, milrinone is initiated in the pre-operative setting when over-circulation and elevated serum lactate levels develop. We aimed to review the responses associated with the administration of milrinone in the pre-operative hypoplastic left heart syndrome patient. Second, we compared patients who received high- versus low-dose milrinone prior to Norwood procedure.
Single-centre retrospective study of patients diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome between January 2000 and December 2019 who underwent Norwood procedure. Patient characteristics and outcomes were compared.
During the study period, 375 patients were identified; 79 (21%) received milrinone prior to the Norwood procedure with median lactate 2.55 mmol/l, and SpO2 93%. Patients who received milrinone were older at the time of Norwood procedure (6 vs. 5 days) and were more likely to be intubated and sedated. In a subset analysis stratifying patients to low- versus high-dose milrinone, median lactate decreased from time of initiation (2.39 vs 2.75 to 1.6 vs 1.8 mmol/l) at 12 hours post-initiation, respectively. Repeated measures analysis showed a significant decrease in lactate levels by 4 hours following initiation of milrinone, that persisted over time, with no significant difference in mean arterial pressure.
The use of milrinone in the pre-operative over-circulated hypoplastic left heart syndrome patient is well tolerated, is associated with decreased lactate levels, and was not associated with significant hypotension or worsening of excess pulmonary blood flow.
A standardised multi-site approach to manage paediatric post-operative chylothorax does not exist and leads to unnecessary practice variation. The Chylothorax Work Group utilised the Pediatric Critical Care Consortium infrastructure to address this gap.
Over 60 multi-disciplinary providers representing 22 centres convened virtually as a quality initiative to develop an algorithm to manage paediatric post-operative chylothorax. Agreement was objectively quantified for each recommendation in the algorithm by utilising an anonymous survey. “Consensus” was defined as ≥ 80% of responses as “agree” or “strongly agree” to a recommendation. In order to determine if the algorithm recommendations would be correctly interpreted in the clinical environment, we developed ex vivo simulations and surveyed patients who developed the algorithm and patients who did not.
The algorithm is intended for all children (<18 years of age) within 30 days of cardiac surgery. It contains rationale for 11 central chylothorax management recommendations; diagnostic criteria and evaluation, trial of fat-modified diet, stratification by volume of daily output, timing of first-line medical therapy for “low” and “high” volume patients, and timing and duration of fat-modified diet. All recommendations achieved “consensus” (agreement >80%) by the workgroup (range 81–100%). Ex vivo simulations demonstrated good understanding by developers (range 94–100%) and non-developers (73%–100%).
The quality improvement effort represents the first multi-site algorithm for the management of paediatric post-operative chylothorax. The algorithm includes transparent and objective measures of agreement and understanding. Agreement to the algorithm recommendations was >80%, and overall understanding was 94%.
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