Extubation failure in pediatric intensive care incidence and outcomes

Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2005 May;6(3):312-8. doi: 10.1097/01.PCC.0000161119.05076.91.


Objectives: To evaluate the hypotheses that children requiring reintubation are at an increased risk of prolonged hospitalizations, congenital heart disease, and death compared with age- and disease-severity-matched control patients.

Design: Prospective decision to evaluate all children undergoing extubation over a 5-yr time interval (1997-2001) with retrospective analysis of all failed extubation patients.

Setting: A large multidisciplinary, dual-site, single-system pediatric intensive care unit caring for critically ill and injured children.

Patients: All children intubated and ventilated during the study period (1997-2001).

Interventions: None.

Measurements and main results: Failed extubation was defined as the unanticipated requirement to replace an endotracheal tube within 48 hrs of extubation. One hundred thirty children of 3,193 pediatric intensive care unit patients failed extubation (4.1%). The median age of children who failed extubation was 6.5 months, compared with a median age of 21.3 months in the control population. The median age of failed extubation in children with cardiac disease was 9.3 months. Failed extubation patients had lengthier hospital and pediatric intensive care unit stays, longer duration of mechanical ventilation, and a higher rate of tracheostomy placement than nonfailed extubation patients (p < .001). Children with congenital heart disease who failed extubation had the longest duration of hospitalization (40.0 +/- 5.4 days). Conversely, cardiac patients who did not fail extubation had the shortest length of stay (11.2 +/- 0.4 days).

Conclusions: In the present trial, 4.1% of mechanically ventilated children failed extubation. Pediatric intensive care unit patients with failed extubation have longer hospital, pediatric intensive care unit, and ventilator courses but are not at increased risk of death relative to nonfailed extubation patients.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Critical Illness
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / therapy
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric / statistics & numerical data*
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Failure*
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy