To review the incidence and complications of conservative management of bilateral diaphragm paralysis following pediatric cardiac surgery.Design and setting:
Retrospective clinical review based on computerized database with daily follow-up in a pediatric cardiac intensive care unit in a tertiary care center.Patient and participants:
Were reviewed the data on nine patients with bilateral diaphragm paralysis from the 3,214 consecutive children (0.28%) after operations performed between 1995 and 2004.Measurements and results:
A fluoroscopy-confirmed diagnosis of bilateral diaphragm paralysis was made in all nine patients. Mechanical ventilation was required for 14–62 days; maximum time to recovery was 7 weeks. Three patients underwent unilateral plication. Patients with a complicated postoperative course required longer mechanical ventilation. All patients were managed with a nasotracheal tube. One patient had minor subglottic stenosis. All patients survived.Conclusions:
Bilateral diaphragm paralysis can be managed conservatively with good prognosis and minor complications. The recovery time is relatively short, less than 7 weeks.