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No data are currently available regarding the current clinical practice in postoperative care of cardiac surgical patients in Austria.
The study investigated the current intensive care management concerning hemodynamic monitoring and strategies to treat common perioperative disorders of patients after cardiac surgery in Austria.
A survey consisting of 31 questions was sent to intensivists at all 9 hospitals offering cardiac surgery in Austria.
The response rate was 100%. The mean number of procedures on cardiopulmonary bypass per centre was 722 ± 223. In the majority of cases postoperative critical care is performed by anesthesiologists. Blood gas analysis, pulse oximetry, electrocardiogram, temperature, central venous pressure, arterial pressure and hourly urine output are de facto standard monitoring in all centers. Transesophageal echocardiography is available in all centers and is frequently used. Crystalloids are the first choice for volume replacement, whereas levosimendan and adrenaline are employed for the treatment of low cardiac output syndrome.
This study provides insights into the current state of postoperative management of cardiac surgical patients in Austria. Standard monitoring as proposed by international guidelines is well established in Austrian intensive care units. Echocardiography is widely seen as a very important tool in the postoperative care of cardiac surgical patients. Knowledge about the status quo of postoperative intensive care management of cardiac surgical patients enables further development of patient care.