Higher Cumulative Dose of Opioids and Other Sedatives are Associated with Extubation Failure in Norwood Patients

Sebastian Acosta, Adel M. Hassan, Zbigniew Gugala, Zena Karagoli, Jessica Hochstetler, Amy L. Kiskaddon, Paul Checchia, David Faraoni, Feng Zheng, Fabio Savorgnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The primary purpose of this study is to evaluate the relationship between sedation usage and extubation failure, and to control for the effects of hemodynamic, oximetric indices, clinical characteristics, ventilatory settings pre- and post-extubation, and echocardiographic (echo) findings in neonates with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) post-Norwood procedure. Methods: Single-center, retrospective analysis of Norwood patients during their first extubation post-surgery from January 2015 to July 2021. Extubation failure was defined as reintubation within 48 h of extubation. Demographics, clinical characteristics, ventilatory settings, echo findings (right ventricular function, tricuspid regurgitation), and cumulative dose of sedation medications before extubation were compared between patients with successful or failed extubation. Results: The analysis included 130 patients who underwent the Norwood procedure with 121 (93%) successful and 9 (7%) failed extubations. Univariate analyses showed that vocal cord anomaly (p = 0.05), lower end-tidal CO2 (p < 0.01), lower pulse-to-respiratory quotient (p = 0.02), and ketamine administration (p = 0.04) were associated with extubation failure. The use of opioids, benzodiazepines, dexmedetomidine, and ketamine are mutually correlated in this cohort. On multivariable analysis, the vocal cord anomaly (OR = 7.31, 95% CI 1.25–42.78, p = 0.027), pre-extubation end-tidal CO2 (OR = 0.80, 95% CI 0.65–0.97, p = 0.025), and higher cumulative dose of opioids (OR = 10.16, 95% CI 1.25–82.43, p = 0.030) were independently associated with extubation failure while also controlling for post-extubation respiratory support (CPAP/BiPAP/HFNC vs NC), intubation length, and echo results. Conclusion: Higher cumulative opioid doses were associated with a greater incidence of extubation failure in infants post-Norwood procedure. Therefore, patients with higher cumulative doses of opioids should be more closely evaluated for extubation readiness in this population. Low end-tidal CO2 and low pulse-to-respiratory quotient were also associated with failed extubation. Consideration of the pulse-to-respiratory quotient in the extubation readiness assessment can be beneficial in the Norwood population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPediatric Cardiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Extubation failure
  • Norwood
  • Parallel circulation
  • Post-extubation respiratory support
  • Sedation
  • Single ventricle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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