Lung transplantation has become an accepted therapeutic option for a select group of children with end-stage lung disease. We evaluated the impact of early extubation in a pediatric lung transplant population and its post-operative outcomes. Single-center retrospective study. PICU within a tertiary academic pediatric hospital. Patients <22 years after pulmonary transplant between January 2011 and December 2016. A total of 74 patients underwent lung transplantation. The primary pretransplantation diagnoses included cystic fibrosis (58%), pulmonary fibrosis (9%), and surfactant dysfunction disorders (10%). Of 60 patients, 36 (60%) were extubated within 24 hours and 24 patients after 24 hours (40%). A total of seven patients (11.6%) required reintubation within 24 hours. Median length of stay for the early extubation group was shorter at 3 days ([(IQR) 2.2-4.7]) compared to 5 days (IQR, 3-7) (P = .02) in the late extubation group. Median costs were lower for the early extubation group with 13,833 US dollars (IQR, 9980-22,822) vs 23 671 US dollars (IQR, 16 673-39 267) (P = .043). Fourteen patients were in the PICU prior to their transplantation; this did not affect their early extubation success. Neither did the fact of requiring invasive or non-invasive mechanical ventilation before transplantation. Early extubation appears to be safe in a pediatric population after lung transplantation and is associated with a shorter LOS and decreased hospital costs. It may prevent known complications associated with mechanical ventilation.
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