(HealthDay)—A high-observation protocol (HOP) appears to optimize clinical care for patients with head and neck cancer undergoing primary surgery, according to a study published online June 20 in Head & Neck.
Brittany Barber, M.D., from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues compared patients with head and neck cancer undergoing primary surgery on the high-observation protocol (52 patients) to a historical cohort (96 patients). Differences in length of intensive care unit (ICU) admission, ICU readmissions, and length of stay were measured.
The researchers found that the HOP clinical pathway was associated with significantly decreased length of ICU admission (1.9 versus 1.2 days; P = 0.021), length of stay (20.3 versus 14.1 days; P = 0.020), and ICU readmissions (10.4 versus 1.9 percent; P = 0.013).
"Rapid weaning of sedation and limiting mechanical ventilation may contribute to a shorter length of ICU admission and length of stay, as well as decreased ICU readmissions," the authors write.
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