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Children with heart disease may require inpatient care for many reasons, but ultimately have a final reason for hospitalisation prior to discharge. Factors influencing length of stay in paediatric cardiac acute care units have been described but the last reason for hospitalisation has not been studied. Our aim was to describe Final Hospital Need as a novel measure, determine Final Hospital Need in our patients, and describe factors associated with this Need.
Single-centre survey design. Discharging providers selected a Final Hospital Need from the following categories: cardiovascular, respiratory, feeding/fluid, haematology/ID, pain/sedation, systems issues, and other/wound issues. Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed separately for outcomes “cardiovascular” and “feeding/fluid.”
Measurements and Results:
Survey response rate was 99% (624 encounters). The most frequent Final Hospital Needs were cardiovascular (36%), feeding/fluid (24%) and systems issues (13%). Probability of Final Hospital Need “cardiovascular” decreased as length of stay increased. Multivariate analysis showed Final Hospital Need “cardiovascular” was negatively associated with aortic arch repair, Norwood procedure, and Final ICU Need “respiratory” and “other.” Final Hospital Need "feeding/fluid” was negatively associated with left-sided valve procedure, but positively associated with final ICU need “respiratory,” and tube feeding at discharge.
Final Hospital Need is a novel measure that can be predicted by clinical factors including age, Final ICU Need, and type of surgery. Final Hospital Need may be utilised to track changes in clinical care over time and as a target for improvement work.
Chylothorax after congenital cardiac surgery is associated with increased risk of malnutrition. Nutritional management following chylothorax diagnosis varies across sites and patient populations, and a standardised approach has not been disseminated. The aim of this review article is to provide contemporary recommendations related to nutritional management of chylothorax to minimise risk of malnutrition.
The management guidelines were developed by consensus across four dietitians, one nurse practitioner, and two physicians with a cumulative 52 years of experience caring for children with CHD. A PubMed database search for relevant literature included the terms chylothorax, paediatric, postoperative, CHD, chylothorax management, growth failure, and malnutrition.
Fat-modified diets and nil per os therapies for all paediatric patients (<18 years of age) following cardiac surgery are highlighted in this review. Specific emphasis on strategies for treatment, duration of therapies, optimisation of nutrition including nutrition-focused lab monitoring, and supplementation strategies are provided.
Our deliverable is a clinically useful guide for the nutritional management of chylothorax following paediatric cardiac surgery.
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%.
The aim of this study was to describe the development and assess the usefulness of a feeding clinic to help infants with CHD tolerate the highest level of oral feeding while achieving growth velocity and supporting neurodevelopment.
Materials and methods:
This retrospective, cohort study assessed feeding outcomes for infants who underwent cardiac surgery at <30 days of age with cardiopulmonary bypass between February 2016 and April 2020. Diagnoses, age at surgery, hospitalisation variables, and feeding outcomes were compared between two cohorts, pre- and post-implementation of a specialised feeding clinic using Exact Wilcoxon signed-rank test, chi-squared, or Fisher’s exact test. The association between time to full oral feed and risk factors was assessed using univariable and multivariable Cox regression model.
Post-clinic infants (n = 116) surgery was performed at a median of 6 days of life (interquartile range: 4, 8) with median hospital length of stay of 19 days (interquartile range: 16, 26). Infants’ median age at first clinic visit was at 30 days old (interquartile range: 24, 40) and took median 10 days (interquartile range: 7, 12) after hospital discharge to first clinic visit. In the post-clinic cohort, the median time to 100% oral feeding was 47 days (interquartile range: 27, 96) compared to the 60 days (interquartile range: 20, 84) in the pre-clinic cohort (n = 22), but the difference was not statistically significant.
The cardiac feeding clinic was utilised by our neonatal surgery population and feasible in coordination with cardiology follow-up visits. Future assessment of cardiac feeding clinic impact should include additional measures of feeding and neurodevelopmental success.
To determine the Final ICU Need in the 24 hours prior to ICU discharge for children with cardiac disease by utilising a single-centre survey.
A cross-sectional survey was utilised to determine Final ICU Need, which was categorised as “Cardiovascular”, “Respiratory”, “Feeding”, “Sedation”, “Systems Issue”, or “Other” for each encounter. Survey responses were obtained from attending physicians who discharged children (≤18 years of age with ICU length of stay >24 hours) from the Cardiac ICU between April 2016 and July 2018.
Measurements and results:
Survey response rate was 99% (n = 1073), with 667 encounters eligible for analysis. “Cardiovascular” (61%) and “Respiratory” (26%) were the most frequently chosen Final ICU Needs. From a multivariable mixed effects logistic regression model fitted to “Cardiovascular” and “Respiratory”, operations with significantly reduced odds of having “Cardiovascular” Final ICU Need included Glenn palliation (p = 0.003), total anomalous pulmonary venous connection repair (p = 0.024), truncus arteriosus repair (p = 0.044), and vascular ring repair (p < 0.001). Short lengths of stay (<7.9 days) had significantly higher odds of “Cardiovascular” Final ICU Need (p < 0.001). “Cardiovascular” and “Respiratory” Final ICU Needs were also associated with provider and ICU discharge season.
Final ICU Need is a novel metric to identify variations in Cardiac ICU utilisation and clinical trajectories. Final ICU Need was significantly influenced by benchmark operation, length of stay, provider, and season. Future applications of Final ICU Need include targeting quality and research initiatives, calibrating provider and family expectations, and identifying provider-level variability in care processes and mental models.
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.
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