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Spectrum and outcome of the use of noninvasive ventilation in a pediatric cardiac intensive care unit: A single-center experience.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The pediatric cardiac intensive care unit (PCICU) frequently uses noninvasive ventilation (NIV). There are several reasons for its use, including prophylactic use right after the patient has been extubated. It is also used when patients are experiencing acute respiratory failure due to either cardiac or noncardiac reasons but are still able to maintain their airways. The objective of this study was to understand the spectrum of use of NIV following congenital cardiac surgery and analyze the outcome.

METHODS AND RESULTS: A retrospective observational study was conducted in a 14-bed PCICU, reviewing data from August 2019 to August 2022. Among 1750 congenital cardiac surgeries, 523 patients (29.9%) received NIV. The median age of the population was 2.5 months. Factors such as higher Risk-Adjusted Classification for Congenital Heart Surgery-1 category, longer intraoperative cardiopulmonary bypass time, and aortic cross-clamp time were associated with increased NIV use. Preoperative ventilator needs, infections, genetic syndromes, diaphragmatic paralysis, high vasoactive inotrope score (VIS) in the first 24 h, neonatal age, and weight <5 kg were independently associated with increased NIV need. The NIV group had a longer intensive care unit (ICU) stay compared to non-NIV patients. The success rate of NIV was 84%, with 440 successful cases and 83 failures. The mortality rate in the success and failure groups was not significantly different (5.27% vs. 6.0%).

CONCLUSIONS: NIV is widely used in PCICU, but it is associated with longer ICU stays. It proves beneficial after congenital cardiac surgery, especially for patients with specific risk factors. However, NIV may not directly impact mortality rates, suggesting that other factors contribute to patient survival.

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