Bilateral diaphragm paralysis following cardiac surgery in children: 10-years' experience

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Abstract

Objective:

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.

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