Short-term complications and long-term morbidities associated with repeated unplanned extubations

Leeann R Pavlek, Julie Dillard, Gregory Ryshen, Emily Hone, Edward G Shepherd, Mohannad Moallem
Journal of Perinatology: Official Journal of the California Perinatal Association 2021, 41 (3): 562-570

OBJECTIVE: To describe characteristics associated with repeated unplanned extubations, short-term complications and outcomes, and longer-term morbidities including acquired subglottic stenosis.

STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study including neonates admitted to a tertiary care neonatal intensive care unit who experienced an unplanned extubation in a 5-year period.

RESULTS: We reviewed 588 events involving 300 patients. Ten percent had airway trauma with reintubation, 42% required ≥2 reintubation attempts, and 39% led to increased baseline oxygen. Increased odds of repeated events were seen in patients with bronchopulmonary dysplasia and were associated with higher rates of tracheostomy and longer length of stay. The 9% of patients diagnosed with acquired subglottic stenosis had more unplanned extubations, higher rates of airway trauma and tracheitis, and were an older gestational age at birth.

CONCLUSION: Unplanned extubations lead to short- and long-term morbidities. Certain patient characteristics are associated with increased odds of repeated events and the development of acquired subglottic stenosis.

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