Dexmedetomidine for Cardiac Surgery Education Intervention

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Cardiac surgery is the definitive treatment for many cardiac defects. Cardiac surgery is a high risk surgery that is associated with a systemic inflammatory response that can lead to increased morbidity and mortality postoperatively. Dexmedetomidine is a presynaptic alpha-2 agonist that reduces sympathetic outflow via negative feedback and has been shown to reduce this systemic inflammatory response. This is associated with improved postoperative outcomes. There was a knowledge gap on the benefits of dexmedetomidine in cardiac surgery amongst anesthesia providers. Methods: An educational intervention was provided to the anesthesia staff on the current literature for the uses of dexmedetomidine in cardiac surgery. The retrospective chart review was completed five weeks prior to the intervention and five weeks after the intervention. Statistical analysis was carried out and results were presented to the anesthesia staff. Results: This has led to increased usage of dexmedetomidine in cardiac surgery. Dexmedetomidine was used during cardiac surgery in 88% of cases prior to the intervention vs. 98.6% in the postintervention group. Discussion: Dexmedetomidine has shown promising results in improving patient outcomes when used in cardiac surgery. By educating the cardiac anesthesia staff, the cardiac anesthetists have gained a better understanding of dexmedetomidine in cardiac surgery. This led to increased usage.

DNP project