NE Heart Hospital celebrates extubation outcomes

By: Hannah Paczkowski

You may not know by looking at Barbara Carlson that less than 24 hours ago she had heart surgery.

“Right now I've had some pain medicine, so I'll feel better in a little bit,” she said.

Barbara said her surgery went well, and like many patients at the Nebraska Heart Institute and Hospital, she felt very little pain from her breathing tube coming out of surgery.

“I was not anticipating liking it, I didn't know when they put it in, and I didn't know when they took it out,” she said.

The Nebraska Heart Hospital is one of the top institutions in the country for extubation of patients following coronary artery bypass surgery. Johns Hopkins Hospital released a statistic that their extubation rate within six hours after a procedure is at 38-percent. The Nebraska Heart Hospital is nearly 72-percent.

Doctors said the quicker a patient is off of a breathing machine, the great chance to reduce complications and improve quality of care.

“These patients have to be not only stable, but as comfortable as possible so that they're not impaired in their ability to have success after surgery,” anesthesiologist Dr. Eric Crimmins said.

Like Barbara, who isn't a stranger to heart surgeries, can talk and even move around a day after her operation.

“It's just a very good experience so far,” she said.