Care strategy created by Cincinnati Children's physician cuts pediatric cardiac arrests by 30%

A new, physician-created, low-tech care strategy cut cardiac arrests in pediatric intensive care units by 30 percent, according to a study published July 5 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Jeffrey Alten, MD, a cardiologist in the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center cardiac ICU, created the strategy in 2017. It includes twice-daily bedside huddles that empower nurses to act without approval from physicians if a baby shows signs of cardiac arrest. In 2018, the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium, a group of quality-improvement hospitals, agreed to join the study, and funding followed, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Aug. 8.

Researchers applied the care strategy in 2,664 patients across 31 hospitals and 15 cardiac ICUs from July 2018 to December 2019. During the study, more than 200 cases of cardiac arrest were prevented in children, leading to a 30 percent drop in cardiac arrests in pediatric ICUs.

Michael Gaies, MD, founder of the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium and medical director of Cincinnati Children’s acute care cardiology unit, told the Enquirer the approach can be replicated at any pediatric cardiac ICU. "It changed the way we all practiced our specialty," he said.

Read the full study here.

Read the Enquirer article here.

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