Critical Care Archives - PulmCCM
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Critical Care Articles

Jul 302014
 
What are Ventilator-Associated Events (and why should you care)?

Have you heard of ventilator-associated events (VAEs)? Like it or not, this neologism of healthcare-speak is coming to an ICU near you soon. Here’s the lowdown on VAEs and why they matter to the practicing intensivist. What are Ventilator-Associated Events? Ventilator-associated events are an invention of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), created in [... read more]

Jul 172014
 
Inspiratory collapse of the inferior vena cava: What is it telling us?

image: EM Ultrasonography Inspiratory collapse of the inferior vena cava: What is it telling us? Jon-Emile S. Kenny M.D. With the dissemination of small, portable, ultrasound devices [or SPUDs], it seems that it is every house-officer’s dream to own the ability and wherewithal to place an ultrasound probe on a patient and find something meaningful; [... read more]

Jul 112014
 
Prone positioning reduces ARDS mortality by 26%: meta-analysis

Image: Rotoprone Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) injures the lungs in a heterogeneous pattern, and the damaged areas are particularly vulnerable to further ventilator-induced lung injury. This is why a lung-protective ventilator strategy using low tidal volumes reduces mortality from ARDS, experts believe. Tidal volumes of 6 mL/kg ideal body weight (calculated from height) using conventional [... read more]

Jun 082014
 
PulmCCM Roundup #4

All the best in pulmonary and critical care from around the web. Browse all the PulmCCM Roundups. Asthma Childhood obesity increases the risk for asthma, and obesity is also strongly associated with asthma in adults. The mechanisms are likely multiple, complex and interdependent (pro-inflammatory mediators, etc.), not simply causative. Losing weight does seem to improve [... read more]

Jun 052014
 
Tenecteplase for submassive PE: more conflicting evidence (TOPCOAT)

By Parth Rali, MD and Marvin Balaan, MD Submassive pulmonary emboli (PE) are those that are severe enough to produce right ventricular dysfunction on echocardiogram or elevated biomarkers (mainly troponin), but not hemodynamic instability (i.e., systemic blood pressure and cardiac output are preserved). The management of the patient with submassive PE is a matter of controversy with several [... read more]

May 162014
 
How to provide nutrition for critically ill patients (Review)

Nutritional Support During Critical Illness This PulmCCM topic review will be periodically updated and expanded as new research is published. Originally published 22 September 2013. Most recent update: 16 May 2013. During critical illness, catabolism (breakdown of muscle protein, fat and other complex molecules) occurs faster than anabolism (synthesis of these same macromolecules). Historically, the [... read more]

May 082014
 
Red blood cell transfusions increase hospital-acquired infections (meta-analysis)

Red Cell Transfusions Increase Risk for Nosocomial Infection: Meta-Analysis Transfusing blood to anemic patients has an almost irresistible intuitive and theoretical appeal both to physicians and the patients who get transfused. It’s perhaps the archetypal example of the “find it – fix it” approach to doctoring: correct all laboratory abnormalities and ipso facto, the patient [... read more]

May 022014
 
Diaphragmatic ultrasound could predict extubation success

Source: criticalecho.com Diaphragmatic Ultrasonography to Assess Readiness for Extubation By Muhammad Adrish, MD Weaning a patient from mechanical ventilation is a challenge that intensivists face routinely. Clinical examination and objective measurements like minute ventilation, respiratory rate, maximal inspiratory pressure, and ratio of respiratory rate to tidal volume have all been used with varying reported sensitivity [... read more]

Apr 182014
 
Thrombolytics (tPA) improve intermediate risk PE outcomes, with a few head bleeds (PEITHO Trial)

The use of thrombolytics for pulmonary embolism is not controversial — that is, if the PE is massive with hypotension (give thrombolytics) or mild, with normal blood pressure and right ventricular function (don’t give them). It’s the patients with intermediate risk pulmonary emboli — with normal blood pressure but with evidence of right ventricular dysfunction [... read more]

Apr 182014
 
Steroids did not improve outcomes in severe COPD exacerbations (RCT)

Image: 1800petmeds Systemic steroids in COPD exacerbations requiring ventilator support: Are we treating our patients, or ourselves? By Muhammad Adrish, MD Acute exacerbations of COPD are a major cause of hospitalizations, and are associated with more rapid decline in lung function and reduced survival. Because COPD exacerbations are associated with increased inflammatory responses, corticosteroids have [... read more]

Apr 132014
 
Albumin for severe sepsis and septic shock: More confusing findings (ALBIOS Trial)

Source: KP Albumin: Better Than Crystalloid in Septic Shock? Human albumin boosts oncotic pressure, and has a number of important biologic functions (protein binding, antioxidant, etc.) that could in theory support the body during critical illness. In the 2004 SAFE study, which tested albumin against crystalloid solutions in ~7,000 critically ill patients of various etiologies, 4% [... read more]

Apr 112014
 
PulmCCM Roundup #3

PulmCCM Roundup #3 All the best in pulmonary and critical care we’ve found lately. Browse all the PulmCCM Roundups. Surviving Sepsis Campaign Responds to ProCESS Trial In the wake of the ProCESS trial demonstrating no benefit from use of protocols for septic shock, the Surviving Sepsis Campaign released a statement in which they “continue to recommend [... read more]

Apr 042014
 
Catheter directed thrombolysis for submassive PE: better than heparin? (RCT)

Image: EKOS Patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE) fall into three general clinical categories: Massive PE, most often defined as hypotension due to right ventricular dysfunction. Short-term mortality is high (more than 1 in 7 die in-hospital). Systemic thrombolytic therapy (tissue plasminogen activator or tPA) is considered standard care by AHA and ACCP, because it [... read more]

Apr 032014
 
PulmCCM Roundup, Issue #2

PulmCCM Roundup #2 Welcome back to the PulmCCM Roundup, formerly the Critical Care Roundup. Let’s jump right in to issue #2. Browse all the PulmCCM Roundups here. Etomidate for intubation in sepsis: what’s the risk, really?  Etomidate has been suspected of causing adrenal insufficiency and potentially death in patients with severe sepsis, when used as an anesthesia-induction agent [... read more]

Mar 162014
 
Bleeding and Coagulation Disorders in the ICU (Review)

Because coagulopathies (an impairment of blood clotting), thrombotic states, and bleeding are all interrelated through the coagulation cascade, and because they occur often in critically ill patients, it makes sense to consider these bleeding and clotting disorders together. That’s what Beverly Hunt did in a review in the February 27 2014 New England Journal of [... read more]

Mar 082014
 
Community Acquired Pneumonia (Review)

Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is “ordinary” pneumonia, usually (but not always) caused by one of a short list of pathogens susceptible to common antibiotics. Pneumonia remains one of the main reasons for hospital admissions, and causes an estimated 3.5 million deaths yearly, including more than 50,000 in the U.S. Catching pneumonia also increases the risk for [... read more]

Mar 012014
 
Resuscitation Fluids in Critical Illness (Review)

Resuscitation fluids may be the most common intervention in critical care, with more than 200 million liters of normal saline infused each year in the U.S. alone. However, there is scarce evidence to guide the best use of resuscitation fluids in the ICU. John Myburgh and Michael Mythen’s review article in the September 26 2013 [... read more]

Feb 282014
 
Bloggers correct the New England Journal on ICU decontamination article

Blogger Peer Review Corrects NEJM Article’s Error In June 2013, PulmCCM unquestioningly reported the results of a major randomized trial in the New England Journal of Medicine by Susan S. Huang et al, showing that decontaminating patients upon arrival to the ICU with chlorhexidine baths and nasal mupirocin resulted in a dramatic drop in nosocomial infections [... read more]

Feb 232014
 
Critical Care Roundup: Issue #1

Welcome to issue #1 of the Critical Care Roundup, a new occasional feature on PulmCCM. Here we’ll touch briefly on all the interesting stuff there wasn’t time to thoroughly review. Got a study that should go in the next roundup? Post a link in the comments or by emailing [email protected] Or, browse all the PulmCCM [... read more]

Feb 222014
 
Epitaph for nitric oxide for ARDS

Image: Dartmouth Nitric Oxide: No Benefit Even in Severe ARDS Giving inhaled nitric oxide to people with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) improves oxygenation, but has never been demonstrated to improve survival. Not many physicians seem to use nitric oxide for ARDS anymore, except possibly as salvage therapy in life-threatening refractory disease. Even that well-meaning [... read more]