Do in-hours or off-hours matter for extubating children in the pediatric intensive care unit?

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Purpose:Several studies have suggested worse outcomes for patients requiring medical care at night or on weekends. However, whether or not children should be extubated only during in-hours has not been studied yet. We sought to compare outcomes and complications of in-hours versus off-hours extubated patients.Methods:We prospectively included all children receiving invasive mechanical ventilation (MV) in a pediatric intensive care unit. Off-hours extubations included patients who were extubated at nighttime (8:00 pm-7:59 am) plus weekends/holidays whereas the in-hours extubations included regular daytime weekdays (Monday to Friday: 8:00 am-7:59 pm).Results:Of the 480 patients, 346 (72%) were extubated during in-hours period and 134 (28%) were extubated during off-hours. In-hours patients spent a longer time to have planned extubation and had a longer MV duration and pediatric intensive care unit stay compared to those extubated at off-hours. Kaplan–Meier curve showed that in-hours patients were more likely to have a longer time until the first extubation (log-rank test: P = .006, HR: 5.05).Conclusion:Patients extubated at off-hours had more favorable outcomes with similar complications rate compared with those extubated at in-hours. These results provide no support for delaying extubations until in-hours period. Further studies are required to confirm these findings.

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