Fast track in liver transplantation: 5 years' experience
Background and objective: Reducing postoperative mechanical ventilation in patients undergoing liver transplantation may have clinical and organizational advantages. On the basis of our experience, we here evaluate the possibility of practising immediate tracheal extubation in the operating theatre. Methods: In this prospective study, patients consecutively undergoing liver transplantation between 1 June 1999 and 31 May 2004 were extubated in the operating theatre at the end of surgery on the basis of standardized and universally accepted criteria, under conditions of haemodynamic and metabolic stability. Results: Two hundred and seven of the 354 patients (58.5%) were extubated immediately after the completion of the surgical procedure (mean time between end of surgery and extubation: 0.4 ± 1.4 min); two were re-intubated. In the last of the 5 yr of the study, the percentage of immediate extubations increased to 82.5%. During the study period, there was a progressive increase in the number of immediate extubations per individual member of the team of anaesthetists. The pre-transplant Child-Pugh severity of the underlying liver disease did not predict rapid extubation, but the Model for End-stage Liver Disease score of <11 did (receiver operator characteristic area under the curve = 0.61; P < 0.05). Conclusions: Immediate extubation after liver transplantation is possible in a substantial percentage of cases; confidence, habit and a spirit of emulation are decisive factors in encouraging anaesthetists to extend this practice to the largest possible number of patients. A successful immediate extubation may be an important indicator of perioperative quality of care in liver transplantation.(Accepted May 2005)
Key Words: LIVER TRANSPLANTATION; ANAESTHESIA GENERAL; INTUBATION, intratracheal; VENTILATOR WEANING.
c1 Correspondence to: Gianni Biancofiore, UTI Postchirurgica e Trapianti, Ospedale Cisanello, 56100 Pisa, Italy. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: +39 50 996815; Fax: +39 50 996984