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The Authors' Reply:
We thank Drs. Grathwohl et al. for their incisive questions on our study. Our institution allows delayed and/or surrogate consent under reasonable conditions. Other institutions in the city, such as the University of Southern California Medical Center, also permit delayed consent under specific circumstances.
The protocol and control groups were not randomized using an even day/odd day design; nor were they linked to the schedule of specific surgical teams. The two study groups were prospectively randomized to calendar days. The difference in the size of the protocol and control groups was due to limitations in personnel, equipment, and hospital resources, such as the availability of Surgical Intensive Care Unit beds.
The discrepancies between the data in Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 and in Table 6 are due to typographical errors in Table 6. The mean values of cardiac index, oxygen delivery index, and oxygen consumption index at 72-120 hours in Figure 1 Figure 2 and Figure 3 are correct; we have reviewed our database and validated these numbers. We greatly appreciate Drs. Grathwohl et al. for calling these errors to our attention.
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