Fast-Tracking Cardiac Surgery
AbstractA "fast track" approach to cardiac surgery can be defined as a perioperative process involving rapid progress from preoperative preparation through surgery and discharge from the hospital. Although highly individualized among the various heart surgery centers, the fast-track process is a team activity. It requires a team of health care providers to interact with the patient at various phases, from admission to discharge. The necessary elements of the fast-track program are choice and the titration of short-acting anesthetic drugs, standardized surgical procedures, early extubation, rewarming and sustained postoperative normothermia, postoperative pain control, early ambulation, alimentation and discharge, and follow-up after discharge. We review the current approaches to some of these aspects of patient care.
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