Outcomes, Resource Use, and Financial Costs of Unplanned Extubations in Preterm Infants

Pediatrics. 2020 Jun;145(6):e20192819. doi: 10.1542/peds.2019-2819. Epub 2020 May 6.


Objectives: Unplanned extubations (UEs) in adult and pediatric populations are associated with poor clinical outcomes and increased costs. In-hospital outcomes and costs of UE in the NICU are not reported. Our objective was to determine the association of UE with clinical outcomes and costs in very-low-birth-weight infants.

Methods: We performed a retrospective matched cohort study in our level 4 NICU from 2014 to 2016. Very-low-birth-weight infants without congenital anomalies admitted by 72 hours of age, who received mechanical ventilation (MV), were included. Cases (+UE) were matched 1:1 with controls (-UE) on the basis of having an equivalent MV duration at the time of UE in the case, gestational age, and Clinical Risk Index for Babies score. We compared MV days after UE in cases or the equivalent date in controls (postmatching MV), in-hospital morbidities, and hospital costs between the matched pairs using raw and adjusted analyses.

Results: Of 345 infants who met inclusion criteria, 58 had ≥1 UE, and 56 out of 58 (97%) were matched with appropriate controls. Postmatching MV was longer in cases than controls (median: 12.5 days; interquartile range [IQR]: 7 to 25.8 vs median 6 days; IQR: 2 to 12.3; adjusted odds ratio: 4.3; 95% confidence interval: 1.9-9.5). Inflation-adjusted total hospital costs were higher in cases (median difference: $49 587; IQR: -15 063 to 119 826; adjusted odds ratio: 3.8; 95% confidence interval: 1.6-8.9).

Conclusions: UEs in preterm infants are associated with worse outcomes and increased hospital costs. Improvements in UE rates in NICUs may improve clinical outcomes and lower hospital costs.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Airway Extubation / economics*
  • Airway Extubation / trends
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Health Resources / economics*
  • Health Resources / trends
  • Hospital Costs* / trends
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / physiology*
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight / physiology*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome