Pulmonary complications related to residual neuromuscular blockade lead to morbidity and mortality. Using an interrupted time series design, we tested whether proportions of reintubation for respiratory failure or new noninvasive ventilation were changed after a system-wide transition of the standard reversal agent from neostigmine to sugammadex.
Adult patients undergoing a procedure with general anesthesia that included pharmacologic reversal of neuromuscular blockade and admission ≥1 night were eligible. Groups were determined by date of surgery: August 15, 2015 to May 10, 2016 (presugammadex), and August 15, 2016 to May 11, 2017 (postsugammadex). The period from May 11, 2016 to August 14, 2016 marked the institutional transition (washout/wash-in) from neostigmine to sugammadex. The primary outcome was defined as a composite of reintubation for respiratory failure or new noninvasive ventilation. Event proportions were parsed into 10-day intervals in each cohort, and trend lines were fitted. Segmented logistic regression models appropriate for an interrupted time series design and adjusting for potential confounders were utilized to evaluate the immediate effect of the implementation of sugammadex and on the difference between preintervention and postintervention slopes of the outcomes. Models containing all parameters (full) and only significant parameters (parsimonious) were fitted and are reported.
Of 13,031 screened patients, 7316 patients were included. The composite respiratory outcome occurred in 6.1% of the presugammadex group and 4.2% of the postsugammadex group. Adjusted odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the composite respiratory outcome were 0.795 (95% CI, 0.523–1.208) for the immediate effect of intervention, 0.986 (95% CI, 0.959–1.013) for the difference between preintervention and postintervention slopes in the full model, and 0.667 (95% CI, 0.536–0.830) for the immediate effect of the intervention in the parsimonious model.
The system-wide transition of the standard pharmacologic reversal agent from neostigmine to sugammadex was associated with a reduction in the odds of the composite respiratory outcome. This observation is supported by nonsignificant within-group time trends and a significant reduction in intercept/level from presugammadex to postsugammadex in a parsimonious logistic regression model adjusting for covariates.