Crezeé KL, DiGeronimo RJ, Rigby MJ, Carter RC, Patel S. Reducing Unplanned Extubations in the NICU Following Implementation of a Standardized Approach. Respir Care. 2017 Aug;62(8):1030-1035. doi: 10.4187/respcare.04598. Epub 2017 May 30. PubMed PMID: 28559465.
Unplanned extubations (UEs) have been associated with increased ventilator days, risk of infection, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and resuscitation medication usage. The UE rate in our level 4 NICU is lower than the national average. Efforts to further reduce UE events at our institution led an interdisciplinary group to define steps to eliminate UEs. Steps included: (1) requiring at least 2 care providers at the bedside for movement of an intubated subject; (2) standardizing head and endotracheal tube (ETT) position; (3) defining a set methodology for ETT securing; (4) introducing a postoperative handoff to improve communication; and (5) implementing a post-UE assessment tool.
A quality improvement initiative reviewed subjects and compared UE rates before (January 2013 to December 2013) and after (January 2014 to December 2014) implementation of UE prevention guidelines. A de-identified data set was used for analysis.
67 UE events were identified with 46 UE events at baseline in 2013 compared with 21 in 2014 post-implementation. This amounted to a 64% decrease in total UE events (from 46 to 21) (P < .001). Additionally, monthly UE rates decreased 50% (from 3.8 to 1.9), and UE events per 100 ventilator days decreased 53% (from 1.15 to 0.54).
The development of standard guidelines to prevent UE and a quality review process to track UE provided important information for education and practice change. In our NICU, these changes have significantly improved the UE rate through improved teamwork, accountability, and communication.
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