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Pain following surgery for cardiac disease is ubiquitous, and optimal management is important. Despite this, there is large practice variation. To address this, the Paediatric Acute Care Cardiology Collaborative undertook the effort to create this clinical practice guideline.
A panel of experts consisting of paediatric cardiologists, advanced practice practitioners, pharmacists, a paediatric cardiothoracic surgeon, and a paediatric cardiac anaesthesiologist was convened. The literature was searched for relevant articles and Collaborative sites submitted centre-specific protocols for postoperative pain management. Using the modified Delphi technique, recommendations were generated and put through iterative Delphi rounds to achieve consensus
60 recommendations achieved consensus and are included in this guideline. They address guideline use, pain assessment, general considerations, preoperative considerations, intraoperative considerations, regional anaesthesia, opioids, opioid-sparing, non-opioid medications, non-pharmaceutical pain management, and discharge considerations.
Postoperative pain among children following cardiac surgery is currently an area of significant practice variability despite a large body of literature and the presence of centre-specific protocols. Central to the recommendations included in this guideline is the concept that ideal pain management begins with preoperative counselling and continues through to patient discharge. Overall, the quality of evidence supporting recommendations is low. There is ongoing need for research in this area, particularly in paediatric populations.
To develop and implement antibiotic stewardship activities in urgent care targeting non–antibiotic-appropriate acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs) that also reduces overall antibiotic prescribing and maintains patient satisfaction.
Patients and setting:
Patients and clinicians at the urgent care clinics of an integrated academic health system.
Intervention and methods:
The stewardship activities started in fiscal 2020 and included measure development, comparative feedback, and clinician and patient education. We measured antibiotic prescribing in fiscal years 2019, 2020, and 2021 for the stewardship targets, potential diagnosis-shifting visits, and overall. We also collected patient satisfaction data for ARI visits.
From FY19 to FY21, 576,609 patients made 1,358,816 visits to 17 urgent care clinics, including 105,781 visits for which stewardship measures were applied and 149,691 visits for which diagnosis shifting measures were applied. The antibiotic prescribing rate decreased for stewardship-measure visits from 34% in FY19 to 12% in FY21 (absolute change, −22%; 95% confidence interval [CI], −23% to −22%). The antibiotic prescribing rate decreased for diagnosis-shifting visits from 63% to 35% (−28%; 95% CI, −28% to −27%), and the antibiotic prescribing rate decreased overall from 30% to 10% (−20%; 95% CI, −20% to −20%). The patient satisfaction rate increased from 83% in FY19 to 89% in FY20 and FY21. There was no significant association between antibiotic prescribing rates of individual clinicians and ARI visit patient satisfaction.
Although it was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, an ambulatory antimicrobial stewardship program that focused on improving non–antibiotic-appropriate ARI prescribing was associated with decreased prescribing for (1) the stewardship target, (2) a diagnosis shifting measure, and (3) overall antibiotic prescribing. Patient satisfaction at ARI visits increased over time and was not associated with clinicians’ antibiotic prescribing rates.
Advanced practice providers (APPs) are being employed at increasing rates in order to meet new in-hospital care demands. Utilising the Paediatric Acute Care Cardiology Collaborative (PAC3) hospital survey, we evaluated variations in staffing models regarding first-line providers and assessed associations with programme volume, acuity of care, and post-operative length of stay (LOS).
The PAC3 hospital survey defined staffing models and resource availability across member institutions. A resource acuity score was derived for each participating acute care cardiology unit. Surgical volume was obtained from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons database. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used to evaluate the relationship between staffing models and centre volume as well as unit acuity. A previously developed case-mix adjustment model for total post-operative LOS was utilised in a multinomial regression model to evaluate the association of APP patient coverage with observed-to-expected post-operative LOS.
Surveys were completed by 31 (91%) PAC3 centres in 2017. Nearly all centres (94%) employ APPs, with a mean of 1.7 (range 0–5) APPs present on weekday rounds. The number of APPs present has a positive correlation with surgical volume (r = 0.49, p < 0.01) and increased acuity (r = 0.39, p = 0.03). In the multivariate model, as coverage by APPs increased from low to moderate or high, there was greater likelihood of having a shorter-than-expected post-operative LOS (p < 0.001).
The incorporation of paediatric acute care cardiology APPs is associated with reduced post-operative LOS. Future studies are necessary to understand how APPs impact these patient-specific outcomes.
Although magnetic resonance imaging is a primary modality for following patients with connective tissue diseases, only a limited amount of the image data is utilised. The purpose of this study was to show the clinical applicability of an automated four-dimensional analysis method of magnetic resonance images of the aorta and develop normative data for the cross-sectional area of the entire thoracic aorta.
Magnetic resonance imaging was obtained serially over 3 years from 32 healthy individuals and 24 patients with aortopathy and a personal or family history of connective tissue disorder. Graph theory-based segmentation was used to determine the cross-sectional area for the thoracic aorta. Healthy individual data were used to construct a nomogram representing the maximum cross-sectional area 5th–95th percentile along the entire thoracic aorta. Aortic root diameters calculated from the cross-sectional area were compared to measured diameters from echocardiographic data. The cross-sectional area of the entire thoracic aorta in patients was compared to healthy individuals.
Calculated aortic root diameters correlated with measured diameters from echo data – correlation coefficient was 0.74–0.87. The cross-sectional area in patients was significantly greater in the aortic root, ascending aorta, and descending aorta compared to healthy individuals.
The presentation of the dimensional data for the entire thoracic aorta shows an important clinical tool for following patients with connective tissue disorders and aortopathy.
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