Comprehensive quality initiative leads to immediate postoperative extubation following liver transplant

Aliaksei Pustavoitau, Caroline X. Qin, Sergio B. Navarrete, Sneha Rao, Erik Almazan, Promise Ariyo, Steven M. Frank, William T. Merritt, Nicole A. Rizkalla, April J. Villamayor, Andrew M. Cameron, Jacqueline M. Garonzik-Wang, Shane E. Ottman, Benjamin Philosophe, Ahmet O. Gurakar, Allan Gottschalk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Immediate postoperative extubation (IPE) can reduce perioperative complications and length of stay (LOS), however it is performed variably after liver transplant across institutions and has historically excluded high-risk recipients from consideration. In late 2012, we planned and implemented a single academic institution structured quality improvement (QI) initiative to standardize perioperative care of liver transplant recipients without exceptions. We hypothesized that such an approach would lead to a sustained increase in IPE after primary (PAC) and delayed abdominal closure (DAC). Methods: We retrospectively studied 591 patients from 2013 to 2018 who underwent liver transplant after initiative implementation. We evaluated trends in incidence of IPE versus delayed extubation (DE), and reintubation, LOS, and mortality. Results: Overall, 476/591 (80.5%) recipients underwent PAC (278 IPE, 198 DE) and 115/591 (19.5%) experienced DAC (39 IPE, 76 DE). When comparing data from 2013 to data from 2018, the incidence of IPE increased from 9/67 (13.4%) to 78/90 (86.7%) after PAC and from 1/12 (8.3%) to 16/23 (69.6%) after DAC. For the same years, the incidence of IPE after PAC for recipients with MELD scores ≥30 increased from 0/19 (0%) to 12/17 (70.6%), for recipients who underwent simultaneous liver-kidney transplant increased from 1/8 (12.5%) to 4/5 (80.0%), and for recipients who received massive transfusion (>10 units of packed red blood cells) increased from 0/17 (0%) to 10/13 (76.9%). Reintubation for respiratory considerations <48 h after IPE occurred in 3/278 (1.1%) after PAC and 1/39 (2.6%) after DAC. IPE was associated with decreased intensive care unit (HR of discharge: 1.92; 95% CI: 1.58, 2.33; P < 0.001) and hospital LOS (HR of discharge: 1.45; 95% CI: 1.20, 1.76; P < 0.001) but demonstrated no association with mortality. Conclusion: A structured QI initiative led to sustained high rates of IPE and reduced LOS in all liver transplant recipients, including those classified as high risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111040
JournalJournal of Clinical Anesthesia
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Airway extubation
  • Liver transplantation
  • Perioperative care
  • Quality improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Comprehensive quality initiative leads to immediate postoperative extubation following liver transplant'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this