Fast track extubation in paediatric cardiothoracic surgery in developing countries
In recent years, low-dose, short-acting anesthetic agents, which replaced the former high-dose opioid regimens, offer a faster postoperative recovery and decrease the need for mechanical ventilatory support. In this study, the aim was to determine the success rate of fast-track approach in surgical procedures for congenital heart disease. There is some evidence, mostly from retrospective analyses, that fast tracking can be beneficial. Ninety-one cases with moderate complex cardiac malformations were operated with fast-track protocol during cardiothoracic charitable missions. The essential aspects of early extubation in our cohort included: selected patients with good preoperative status, good surgical result with hemodynamic stability in low dose of inotropic drugs at the end of bypass, no active bleeding. In this setting a carefull choice and dosing of anesthetic agents, alongside a good postoperative analgesia are mandatory. The authors found that an early extubation (< 4 hours) can be both effective and safe as it reduces intubation and ventilator times without increasing post-operative complications in pediatric congenital heart disease. This study supports a wider use of fast-track extubation protocols in paediatric patients submitted for congenital cardiac surgery in developing countries.