Home surveillance program prevents interstage mortality after the Norwood procedure

Nancy S. Ghanayem, G. M. Hoffman, K. A. Mussatto, J. R. Cava, P. C. Frommelt, N. A. Rudd, M. M. Steltzer, S. M. Bevandic, S. J. Frisbee, R. D B Jaquiss, S. B. Litwin, J. S. Tweddell, J. William Gaynor, Charles D. Fraser, Thomas L. Spray, Frank A. Pigula

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

293 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether early identification of physiologic variances associated with interstage death would reduce mortality, we developed a home surveillance program. Methods: Patients discharged before initiation of home surveillance (group A, n = 63) were compared with patients discharged with an infant scale and pulse oximeter (group B, n = 24). Parents maintained a daily log of weight and arterial oxygen saturation according to pulse oximetry and were instructed to contact their physician in case of an arterial oxygen saturation less than 70% according to pulse oximetry, an acute weight loss of more than 30 g in 24 hours, or failure to gain at least 20 g during a 3-day period. Results: Interstage mortality among infants surviving to discharge was 15.8% (n = 9/57) in group A and 0% (n = 0/24) in group B (P = .039). Surveillance criteria were breached for 13 of 24 group B patients: 12 patients with decreased arterial oxygen saturation according to pulse oximetry with or without poor weight gain and 1 patient with poor weight gain alone. These 13 patients underwent bidirectional superior cavopulmonary connection (stage 2 palliation) at an earlier age, 3.7 ± 1.1 months of age versus 5.2 ± 2.0 months for patients with an uncomplicated interstage course (P = .028). A growth curve was generated and showed reduced growth velocity between 4 and 5 months of age, with a plateau in growth beyond 5 months of age. Conclusion: Daily home surveillance of arterial oxygen saturation according to pulse oximetry and weight selected patients at increased risk of interstage death, permitting timely intervention, primarily with early stage 2 palliation, and was associated with improved interstage survival. Diminished growth identified 4 to 5 months after the Norwood procedure brings into question the value of delaying stage 2 palliation beyond 5 months of age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1367-1375
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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