The association of early postoperative desaturation in the operating theatre with hospital discharge to a skilled nursing or long-term care facility

P RostinM Eikermann


It is unclear which criteria should be used to define readiness for tracheal extubation in the operating theatre. We studied the effects of desaturation in the operating theatre immediately after tracheal extubation on long-term outcomes. Performing a pre-specified, retrospective analysis of 71,025 cases involving previously independent adults undergoing non-cardiac surgery, we evaluated the association between desaturation events (oxygen saturation < 90%) within 10 min of tracheal extubation and adverse discharge (to a skilled nursing facility or long-term care facility). A total of 404 (12.3%) cases with, and 5035 (7.4%) cases without, early postoperative desaturation had an adverse discharge. Early postoperative desaturation was associated with higher odds of being discharged to a nursing facility (adjusted odds ratio 1.36 (95%CI 1.20-1.54); p < 0.001). Increased duration of desaturation augmented the effect (p for trend < 0.001). Desaturation was associated with a higher risk of respiratory, renal and cardiovascular complications as well as increased duration of hospital stay, postoperative intensive care unit admission frequency and cost. Several modifiable factors were associated with desaturation including: high intra-op...Continue Reading


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