Fast-track cardiac anaesthesia protocols: Is quality pushed to the edge?

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  • Rajesh Bhavsar
  • ,
  • Pia K. Ryhammer
  • ,
  • Jacob Greisen
  • ,
  • Carl Johan Jakobsen

Background: The quest for methods expediting rapid postoperative patient turnover has triggered implementation of various fast-track cardiac anaesthesia protocols. Using three different fast-track protocols in randomized controlled studies (RCT) conducted 2010-2016 we found minimal achievements in ventilation time together with actual and eligible length of stay in cardiac recovery unit. The comparable control group patients were evaluated in this retrospective post hoc analysis, for an association between above mentioned parameters and quality parameters, to assess whether the marginal gains have been at the expense of quality of recovery and patient comfort. Method: 90 control patients from three RCT with comparable demographic parameters and receiving standard department treatment were evaluated using time parameters and an objective/semi-objective Intensive Care Unit (ICU) score system (IDS score). Results: Ventilation time was statistical significant lower in latest study (C) than the early (A) and intermedium (B) studies (A=293, B=261, C=205 minutes; P=0.04). The IDS was lower at extubation and all time points in the early study compared to other studies (P < 0.001;). The average IDS in latest study were the double of previous studies at the end of observations, and marginally above the acceptable score for discharge. The postoperative morphine requirement A=15.0, B=10.0 and C=26.5 mg; P=0.002) was statistical significant higher in the latest study compared to previous studies. Conclusion: The implementation of strict fast-track protocols resulting in shorter ventilation time did not convert to earlier eligibility to discharge from the ICU. However, the quality of recovery appears challenged.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Cardiac Anaesthesia
Pages (from-to)142-148
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Cardiac anesthesia, fast-track protocols, quality of recovery, ventilation time

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