Impact of intensive care unit attending physician training background on outcomes in children undergoing heart operations

Priya Bhaskar, Mallikarjuna Rettiganti, Jeffrey Gossett, Punkaj Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background : The existing training pathways to become a pediatric cardiac intensivist are very variable with physicians coming from varied training backgrounds of pediatric critical care, pediatric cardiology, neonatology, or pediatric anesthesia. Aim : To evaluate the impact of cardiac Intensive Care Unit (ICU) attending physician training background on outcomes in children undergoing heart operations. Setting and Design : Patients in the age group from 1 day to 18 years undergoing heart operation at a Pediatric Health Information System database participating hospital were included (2010-2015). Patients and Methods : Based on the training background of majority of attending physicians in an ICU, the participating ICUs were divided into three groups: critical care medicine (CCM), cardiology, and indeterminate. Statistical Analysis : Multivariable logistic regression models were fitted to evaluate the association of ICU physician training background with study outcomes. Results : A total of 54,935 patients from 42 ICUs were included. Of these, 31,815 patients (58%) were treated in the CCM group (26 ICUs), 19,340 patients (35%) were treated in the cardiology group (12 ICUs), and 3780 patients (7%) were treated in the indeterminate group (4 ICUs). In adjusted models, no specific group based on ICU attending physician training background was associated with lower mortality (CCM vs. cardiology, odds ratio: 0.75, 95% confidence interval: 0.48-1.18), or lower incidence of cardiac arrest, or prolonged hospital length of stay, or prolonged mechanical ventilation. Conclusions : This large observational study did not demonstrate any impact of ICU attending training background on outcomes in children undergoing heart operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-55
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Pediatric Cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes



  • Cardiac intensive care
  • children
  • mortality
  • training background

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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