Association between seasonal Fontan timing, viral infection burden, and post-operative length of stay


Advocate Children's Hospital


The Fontan procedure (FP) is typically a semi-elective surgery performed between 2 and 5 years of age to complete staged single ventricle palliation. Optimal timing for the FP, particularly in relation to seasonal infectious burden, remains unclear. We queried the Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS) database for all admissions for viral respiratory infections (VRI) from January 2006 to September 2015 and separately for all admissions with a primary procedure code of FP. The PHIS query generated 2,767,142 admissions for VRI and 6349 admissions for the FP from 45 children's hospitals. Of all FP, 2124 (33.5%) were performed from October through March. The median length of stay after Fontan procedure was 9 days (IQR 7-15). Median length of stay after FP was correlated with VRI burden (correlation coefficient = 0.3, p = 0.03). April through August (weeks 18 through 35) had the lowest VRI admission burden and FP length of stay was significantly shorter during this time (13.6 ± 14.8 days vs 14.9 ± 20.3 days, p = 0.03). The FP is frequently performed during the viral respiratory season. This timing is associated with an increased post-operative length of stay after the FP. For elective FP, ideal timing that avoids the viral respiratory season and minimizes post-operative LOS is April through August.

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