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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 69-72

Predictors of postoperative pneumonia in patients undergoing oral cancer resections and its management


1 Department of Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Kochi, Kerala, India
2 Department of Anaesthesiology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Kochi, Kerala, India
3 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Kochi, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Deepak Balasubramanian
Department of Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Ponekkara, Kochi - 682 041, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jhnps.jhnps_41_18

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Background: Head-and-neck resections carry a major risk of postoperative pulmonary complications. It adds to morbidity and mortality, adversely affects recovery, and contributes to financial burden. The objective of this study is to find out the incidence of pneumonia and the utility of our institution protocol in the prevention of postoperative pneumonia (POP). Materials and Methods: Retrospective study including patients undergoing oral cavity resection at the tertiary hospital from August 2017 to July 2018. The patients were analyzed in terms of demographic profile, operative findings, and postoperative course. Diagnosis of pneumonia was established by intensivist based on symptoms and signs. Results: Incidence of pneumonia was 5.79% (15 out of 239). Average age of patients with pneumonia was 64.8 years and 60% were male. All had multiple comorbidities. Average preoperative serum albumin was 3.49. POP was seen commonly in patients who had composite resections involving alveolar arch and tongue (26.67%). Majority had reconstruction in the form of free flap (46.6%) with fibula flap being most common. Average intraoperative time was 10.5 h. The most common isolate was Pseudomonas aeruginosa (40%), followed by Klebsiella pneumonia (33.3%). About 26% were multidrug-resistant strains. Average hospital stay was found to be 30.6 days in patients of pneumonia. Conclusions: Data from our cohort indicated a much lower incidence compared to published literature. We attribute this to our routine practice of intensive care unit care in the immediate postoperative setting with a nursing care ratio of 1:1, postoperative early mobilization, frequent tracheal toileting, chest physiotherapy, early diagnosis of pneumonia, and prompt initiation of treatment.


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