Publications by authors named "Dawn Freiberger"

8 Publications

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The impact of gastrointestinal dysmotility on the aerodigestive microbiome of pediatric lung transplant recipients.

J Heart Lung Transplant 2021 Mar 5;40(3):210-219. Epub 2020 Dec 5.

Aerodigestive Center, Division of Gastroenterology, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address:

Background: Delayed gastric emptying has been associated with increased graft rejection, although the mechanism of this association is not known. This study aims to investigate the interrelationship between delays in gastrointestinal motility and the diversity and composition of gastric, oropharyngeal, and lung microbiomes in pediatric lung transplant recipients.

Methods: We prospectively recruited 23 pediatric lung transplant recipients and 98 pediatric patients with respiratory symptoms undergoing combined endoscopy and bronchoscopy. Gastric, oropharyngeal, and bronchoalveolar lavage samples were collected for 16S sequencing. Gastric samples were also analyzed for bile composition using liquid chromatography.

Results: Patients who underwent lung transplantation had significantly reduced alpha diversity in gastric and oropharyngeal sites compared with patients with respiratory symptoms. This reduction in alpha diversity was especially evident in gastric samples in patients with delayed gastric emptying defined as abnormal gastric emptying on nuclear scintigraphy or as an elevation in gastric bile concentration (p ≤ 0.05). Whereas monocolonies were seen in the lungs of patients who underwent transplantation, these were not the same microbes seen in the stomach; the microbial overlap between lung and gastric samples within patients was low, and data indicated high individual variation between lung transplant recipients. Other contributors to reduced alpha diversity included antibiotics in combination with proton pump inhibitors, especially in gastric and oropharyngeal samples.

Conclusions: Lung transplant recipients have reduced microbial diversity in gastric fluid (GF) and oropharynx compared with patients who did not undergo lung transplantation. The decreased alpha diversity in GF may be associated with dysmotility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.healun.2020.11.013DOI Listing
March 2021

Pediatric lung transplant: Correlation of pretransplant condition with post-transplant outcomes.

Pediatr Transplant 2021 Mar 28;25(2):e13889. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Pediatric Transplant Center, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: It is generally accepted that patients who have greater functional capacity are better candidates for lung transplantation. Accurate assessment of physical condition is important in identifying appropriate candidates for transplant. The focus of this study was to determine which measures of pretransplant physical condition correlate with positive post-transplant outcomes in children undergoing lung transplant.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was done on 44 patients, ages 5 to 21 years. The pretransplant data collected included functional status, 6MWT, ambulatory status, and mechanical support. Post-transplant outcome data included time on the ventilator, days in the ICU, length of hospitalization, and 12-month survival.

Results: Results were analyzed using Fisher exact and Kruskal-Wallis tests. Patients with limited ambulation had more days in the ICU compared to the most ambulatory group (P = .043). Patients independent or needing some help with ADL had less time on the ventilator compared to patients needing total help. (P = .014). Patients with 6MWT result greater than 500' had fewer ICU days (P = .044) and marginally better 12-month survival (P = .057). The 12-month survival of children needing invasive ventilatory support pretransplant was not significantly worse than those who did not; however, they required significantly more time on the ventilator (P = .004), days in ICU (P = .013), and longer hospitalization.

Discussion: This study demonstrated that pretransplant physical condition affects post-transplant outcomes in children. Measures associated with positive post-transplant outcomes were identified and could be beneficial in determining which patients are optimal candidates for lung transplant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/petr.13889DOI Listing
March 2021

Competency-based Professional Advancement Model for Advanced Practice RNs.

J Nurs Adm 2019 Feb;49(2):66-72

Author Affiliations: Nurse Practitioner (Dr Paul), Center for Motility and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders; Clinical Nurse Specialist (Ms Abecassis), Medical Intensive Care; Clinical Nurse Specialist (Ms Freiberger), Pulmonary/Pediatric Transplant Center; Clinical Nurse Specialist (Ms Hamilton), Medical Surgical Intensive Care; Nurse Practitioner (Ms Kelly), Urology and Urodynamics; Clinical Nurse Specialist (Ms Klements), Asthma and Medicine Patient Services; Nurse Practitioner (Dr LaGrasta), Cardiovascular Surgical Services; Nurse Practitioner (Mss Lemire, O'Donnell, and Phinney), General Surgery; Nurse Practitioner (Ms Patisteas), Orthopedic Surgery; Professional Development Specialist (Ms Conwell), Clinical Education and Informatics; Nurse Practitioner (Dr Saia), Cardiology; Nurse Practitioner (Ms Whelan), Cardiac Intensive Care; Senior VP, Patient Care Operations and Chief Nursing Officer (Dr Wood); and Nurse Practitioner (Ms O'Brien), Cardiology: Boston Children's Hospital, Massachusetts.

The process of developing a 3-tiered advanced practice RN (APRN) competency-based professional advancement model at Boston Children's Hospital is described. The model recognizes the contributions of entry-level and expert APRNs to advanced clinical practice and outcomes, impact, and leadership, while incorporating the tenets of Patricia Benner's Novice to Expert Model and the American Association of Critical- Care Nurses Synergy Model of Care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/NNA.0000000000000719DOI Listing
February 2019

Impact of gastroesophageal reflux and delayed gastric emptying on pediatric lung transplant outcomes.

J Heart Lung Transplant 2017 Aug 6;36(8):854-861. Epub 2017 Jan 6.

Aerodigestive Center, Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Gastroesophageal reflux disease is thought to predispose to adverse lung allograft outcomes. However, little is known about the burden of gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and gastroparesis in pediatric patients. In this study we describe the burden of reflux and gastroparesis in children undergoing lung transplant, and evaluates their impact on allograft survival and rejection incidence.

Methods: This study is a retrospective analysis of pediatric lung transplant recipients who had combined pH and multichannel intraluminal impedance testing (pH-MII) and gastric-emptying scans (GES). Hazard ratios with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) estimated from Cox proportional hazard models were used to examine the associations between reflux parameters and adverse allograft outcomes. Covariates considered in the multivariate analysis included abnormal pH-MII testing, abnormal GES and Nissen fundoplication status. Kaplan-Meier curves were created, with log-rank testing employed to assess differences between groups.

Results: Thirty lung transplant recipients, aged 1 to 21 years, were identified. Eight of 30 patients (27%) had abnormal reflux by impedance, and 12 (40%) had abnormal pH-metry. Of 19 patients tested, 5 (26.3%) had evidence of gastric dysmotility; however, the severity of GER did not trend with delays in gastric emptying. Neither reflux burden by pH-MII testing nor fundoplication status impacted survival or rejection. However, delayed gastric emptying appeared significantly linked to the development of chronic lung allograft dysfunction, independent of GER.

Conclusions: In children, reflux burden and fundoplication status do not impact lung transplant outcomes, but gastric dysmotility may be linked to allograft dysfunction in children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.healun.2017.01.005DOI Listing
August 2017

Outcomes of mechanical support in a pediatric lung transplant center.

Pediatr Pulmonol 2017 03 27;52(3):360-366. Epub 2016 Oct 27.

Division of Respiratory Diseases, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Pediatric lung transplantation is a lifesaving option for patients with end stage lung disease, although the scarcity of suitable donor organs results in long wait times and increased waitlist mortality. Many pediatric centers consider mechanical ventilatory support, such as long-term invasive ventilation and ECMO, a contraindication to lung transplantation. We hypothesized that current survival rates and outcomes for patients on mechanical ventilatory support in the pre-transplant period were not remarkably different. In our retrospective analysis we included patients between the ages of 0-21 years listed for lung transplantation from deceased donors between 2007 and 2014 at our institution. One-year survival outcomes were compared between three groups of patients: (i) patients bridged to transplant on ECMO (n = 6, 1-year survival = 67%); (ii) patients needing mechanical ventilation (either through endotracheal intubation or tracheostomy) but not ECMO (n = 12, 1-year survival = 75%); and (iii) patients who did not need endotracheal ventilation, tracheostomy, or ECMO (n = 25, 1-year survival = 88%). Comparison of outcomes of transplanted patients between these three groups were not statistically different in terms of successful hospital discharge and 1-year survival rates (P > 0.05). We believe that "bridging" the end-stage lung disease patient with long-term mechanical ventilation and/or ECMO support is a reasonable option in selected patients until suitable donors become available. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2017;52:360-366. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ppul.23535DOI Listing
March 2017

Palliative and end-of-life care in pediatric solid organ transplantation.

Pediatr Transplant 2015 Feb 25;19(1):11-7. Epub 2014 Nov 25.

Freeman Hospital, The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle, UK.

End-of-life care is a component of palliative care and takes a holistic, individualized approach to patients, focusing on the assessment of quality of life and its maintenance until the end of life, and beyond, for the patient's family. Transplant teams do not always make timely referrals to palliative care teams due to various clinician and perceived family barriers, an important one being the simultaneous, active care plan each patient would have alongside an end-of-life plan. Application of findings and further research specific to the pediatric solid organ population would be of significant benefit to guide transplant teams as to the most effective time to introduce end-of-life care, who to involve in ongoing discussions, and important ethical and cultural considerations to include in care planning. Attention must also be paid to clinician training and support in this challenging area of health care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/petr.12387DOI Listing
February 2015

An empirically based practice perspective on the transition to adulthood for solid organ transplant recipients.

Pediatr Transplant 2014 Dec 16;18(8):794-802. Epub 2014 Sep 16.

Fordham University, Bronx, NY, USA.

Preparing patients for transitioning to self-managed care and subsequently transferring to the adult healthcare system has become a critical process for clinicians working with pediatric transplant recipients. This paper reviews several barriers to a successful transition. These include patient barriers, caregiver barriers, and considerations within pediatric and adult centers. To date, few approaches for improving the transition process have been empirically tested. This review details studies that have examined possible models including usage of a transition coordinator and transition clinics. Recommendations are offered to promote an optimal transition including the importance and content of preparation, assessing and addressing transition readiness, insuring the involvement of all stakeholders, and finally, at minimum providing services during the transfer period. Future directions are offered aiming to advance this important area of investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/petr.12359DOI Listing
December 2014

Pretransplant six-minute walk test predicts peri- and post-operative outcomes after pediatric lung transplantation.

Pediatr Transplant 2013 Feb 15;17(1):34-40. Epub 2012 Oct 15.

Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Unlabelled: The purpose of the pretransplant assessment in lung transplantation is to determine a patient's need for transplant as well as their potential survival post-procedure. In 2005, the UNOS introduced the LAS, a calculation based on multiple physiologic measures to determine need and likelihood for survival. Measures include NYHA class and the 6-MWT. Some adult studies indicate a positive correlation with 6-MWT and waiting list survival. In pediatric/adolescent patients, there are minimal data regarding the predictive value of physiologic markers in either wait list survival or post-transplant outcome. A retrospective cohort study of 60 consecutive lung transplantations from 1990 to 2008 was performed at a pediatric tertiary care facility. Functional pretransplant assessments were abstracted from the medical record and compared with outcomes after transplantation.

Results: a 6-MWT of >1000 ft (305 m) prior to transplantation correlated with a shorter ICU stay (7 vs. 11 days, p = 0.046) and fewer days of mechanical ventilation (2 vs. 4, p = 0.04). A pretransplant 6-MWT greater than 750 ft (229 m) correlated with shorter overall hospitalization (37 vs. 20 days, p = 0.03). Measuring pretransplant 6-MWT tests for pediatric patients is valuable in predicting peri-operative outcomes after lung transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/petr.12010DOI Listing
February 2013