Volume 13
Number 5
Dec 2009
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JH Heijmans, PMHJ Roekaerts

For several decades, the medical care of the cardiac surgical patient in the perioperative setting consisted of high-dose opioid stress-free anaesthesia and prolonged mechanical ventilation in the ICU. In recent years, the concepts of fast-track cardiac an- aesthesia and short-stay intensive care have become the backbone of modern perioperative care. This review will focus on the safety and efficacy of early extubation and short-stay intensive care and will highlight some of the pitfalls associated with the implementation of a clinical pathway protocol for these patients.

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