Early extubation, defined as removal of the endotracheal tube at the end of surgery before transfer to a designated postoperative care area, is associated with better outcomes after elective infratentorial craniotomy. The Predicting Infratentorial Craniotomy Extubation (PRICE) project was an international survey designed to estimate the rate of early extubation after elective infratentorial craniotomy, as reported by neuroanesthesiologists, neurosurgeons, and neurocritical care specialists.
Following research ethics board waiver, the 15-question online PRICE survey was circulated to the members of 5 international medical societies over a 15-week period.
One hundred and ninety of 5453 society members completed the survey (3.5% response rate). Respondents represented a total of 99 institutions from 92 cities, in 27 countries. While 84 of 188 (44.7%) respondents reported achieving early extubation in more than 95% of cases, 43 of 188 (22.9%) reported extubating fewer than 75% of cases early. The proportion of physicians who reported extubating at least 75% of cases early was greater in high-volume compared with low-volume institutions (73.5% vs. 50.9%, respectively; P=0.003) and among anesthesiologists compared with other specialties (75.6% vs. 45.6%, respectively; P<0.001). Preoperative bulbar dysfunction, preoperative altered consciousness and the course of surgery were the 3 factors with the biggest impact on the decision to extubate early versus late among respondents.
The reported rate of early extubation after elective infratentorial craniotomy varies widely between institutions, with respondents from high-volume institutions reporting greater rates of early extubation than those from lower-volume centers. The course of surgery, evidence of bulbar dysfunction, and altered consciousness, appear to affect the decision to extubate early more than other predictors.