Pediatric ventilation liberation: evaluating the role of endotracheal secretions in an extubation readiness bundle

Academic Article


  • Background: An evidence gap exists regarding the role of endotracheal secretions in pediatric extubation decisions. This study aims to evaluate whether endotracheal secretion burden independently correlates with pediatric extubation failure. Methods: This is a single-center, prospective cohort study of children aged <19 years requiring intubation. Nurses (RN) and respiratory therapists (RT) independently used a novel secretion assessment score focusing on secretion volume, character, and trend. We hypothesized that the RN and RT secretion scores would not correlate with extubation outcome and inter-rater reliability would be poor. Results: RN secretion character sub-score (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.1–11.1, p = 0.048) was independently associated with extubation failure. RN and RT inter-rater reliability was poor (correlation 0.385, 95% CI 0.339–0.429, p < 0.001). A failure prediction model incorporating the RN secretion character sub-score as well as indication for mechanical ventilation and spontaneous breathing trial result demonstrated an area under the receiver operating curve of 0.817 (95% CI 0.730–0.904, p < 0.001). Conclusions: In the general pediatric population, the RN assessment of endotracheal secretion character was independently associated with extubation failure. A model incorporating indication for mechanical ventilation, spontaneous breathing result, and RN assessment of endotracheal secretion character demonstrated reasonable accuracy in predicting failure in those clinically selected for extubation. Impact: Development of comprehensive and sensitive extubation readiness bundles are key to balancing the competing risks of prolonged invasive mechanical ventilation duration and extubation failure.Evidence for clinical factors linked to extubation outcomes in children are limited. Endotracheal secretion burden is a common factor considered but has not been studied.This study supports a role for endotracheal secretion burden, as assessed by the bedside nurse, in extubation readiness bundles. Inter-rater reliability with respiratory therapists was poor.A model incorporating other key factors showed good discrimination for extubation outcome and sets the stage for prospective evaluation in the general population and diagnosis-specific subgroups.
  • Published In

  • Pediatric Research  Journal
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    Author List

  • Loberger JM; Jones RM; Phillips AS; Ruhlmann JA; Rahman AKMF; Ambalavanan N; Prabhakaran P