Critical Care Archives - PulmCCM
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Critical Care Articles

Dec 012016
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: The Folly of Pulmonary Vascular Resistance

By Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] When interpreting hemodynamic studies of drugs which – potentially – alter the resistance of the pulmonary vascular tree, we often turn to the calculated pulmonary vascular resistance [cPVR] as our guide.  For instance, a vasopressor determined to increase the cPVR is wholly avoided in a patient with pulmonary arterial hypertension.  We [… read more]

Nov 182016
 
Does intensive rehab and physical therapy in the ICU really help?

Every year, over a million people in the U.S. suffer respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation. They experience enormous catabolic stress, extended periods of inactivity, and usually go without their usual caloric intake. It’s no surprise that many are rendered profoundly debilitated by the experience. For many, this weakness and loss of muscle mass represents a second [… read more]

Nov 172016
 
Older transfused blood as good as fresh (INFORM)

What’s the shelf life of human blood? Like the milk in your fridge, stored donated human blood has an expiration date: currently it’s 42 days, set by the FDA. But is fresher blood actually better? As with ordering wine by the glass, should patients about to be transfused blood ask for “whatever was opened most recently”? There’s [… read more]

Nov 092016
 
Almost half of intensivists feel severe burnout, report says

Almost half of critical care physicians report symptoms of severe burnout associated with their ICU work, according to a report and “call to action” from the Critical Care Societies Collaborative (CCSC). Symptoms of severe burnout were highest among pediatric critical care specialists, while 45% of intensivists caring for adults acknowledged severe burnout. Burnout symptoms include [… read more]

Nov 052016
 
Levosimendan in Septic Shock: the LeoPARDS study

“I want to be your medicine, I want to feed the sparrow in your heart …” -Kristian Matsson Case A 39 year old woman is admitted to the intensive care unit for hypotension, anuria and altered mentation despite 3 litres of intravenous lactated ringers infusion.  She is febrile and found to have gram negative bacteremia [… read more]

Oct 282016
 
Corticosteroids for sepsis didn't prevent septic shock (HYPRESS trial)

The idea that augmenting cortisol levels to normal or supranormal levels must be somehow beneficial in septic shock has a compelling basis in physiology and intuition. For physicians, injecting powerful synthetic hormones to restore homeostasis to save a dying patient is a seductive fulfillment of the scientist-savior fantasy. So intensivists were primed to believe the results of [… read more]

Oct 202016
 
Mechanical Circulatory Support Devices: What You Need to Know (Part 2 of 2)

The Rise of Mechanical Circulatory Support Devices What Critical Care Physicians Need to Know Felipe Teran-Merino M.D. Part 2 of 2 (read part 1)   II. Main MCS devices used for emergency and short-term support Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump The oldest and simplest mechanical device is the intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP). Introduced in 1968, the IABP is still used as a [… read more]

Oct 202016
 
Mechanical Circulatory Support Devices: What You Need to Know (Part 1 of 2)

The Rise of Mechanical Circulatory Support Devices What Critical Care Physicians Need to Know Felipe Teran-Merino M.D. Part 1 of 2 (read part 2)   I. The failing pump and hemodynamic rationale for the use of MCS devices The rising field of mechanical circulatory support (MCS) offers a spectrum of therapies and devices with the potential to rescue patients [… read more]

Oct 142016
 
Piperacillin-Tazobactam: The Antibiotic You’re Not Administering Correctly

“Half of the time we’re gone but we don’t know where, and we don’t know where …” -Paul Simon The Case A 42 year old man is admitted with fever, right upper-quadrant pain and jaundice.  Over the last few hours he has become progressively confused and hypotensive.  He has normal renal function with adequate urine [… read more]

Sep 252016
 
Sepsis-Associated AKI – Bellomo Kidney – Implications for Management

“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” -Thoreau The Case A 56 year old man with non-ischemic cardiomyopathy [LVEF 40% and mitral regurgitation] is admitted with severe sepsis due to appendicitis.  One month prior to admission, his outpatient cardiologist saw him and noted a dry weight of 88 kg.  On admission to the [… read more]

Sep 102016
 
Let’s Plan for Extubation in the Morning

“Truth is like the sun, its value wholly depends upon our being at a correct distance away from it.” -Hjalmar Söderberg The evening is invigorating; the Stockholm Marathon has been run and cobblestoned cafés, concealed within winding, narrowed side-streets are in the throes of summer’s end.  I take a coffee and meander about the Grand [… read more]

Aug 262016
 
Rising Lactate & the Art of Venous Blood Gas Interpretation

A 23 year old woman is admitted with severe abdominal pain following 5 days of profound non-bloody diarrhea and 72 hours of recalcitrant non-bloody emesis.  She has lost 7 pounds in this time frame and has been unable to maintain oral hydration.  Her eyes are sunken and her vital signs are notable for a heart [… read more]

Intra-abdominal Pressure and Renal Function: The Venous Side of the Road

 Critical Care, GI and Nutrition  Comments Off on Intra-abdominal Pressure and Renal Function: The Venous Side of the Road
Jul 142016
 
Intra-abdominal Pressure and Renal Function: The Venous Side of the Road

“An’ it ain’t no use in turnin’ on your light, babe, I’m on the dark side of the road …” -Bob Dylan A 44 year old man with cryptogenic cirrhosis is admitted with large ascites and acute kidney injury.  A 50 mL, diagnostic paracentesis reveals 12 PMNs and he is admitted from the emergency department for further [… read more]

Jul 072016
 
The Revised Starling Principle: Implications for Rational Fluid Therapy

“Doctrine once sown strikes deep its root, and respect for antiquity influences all men.” -William Harvey [1628] The use of hyperoncotic albumin to draw fluid from the interstitial space permeates dark corners of the critical care community.  The ‘pull and push’ of 25% albumin followed by furosemide remains somewhat of a cryptic lore – its [… read more]

Jun 122016
 
Blood Pressure Goals in Intracerebral Hemorrhage - ATACH II

“… it is a tale.  Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Macbeth: Act V, Scene V The results of the ATACH II trial are out; we have even more guidance when managing the blood pressure of hypertensive patients with supratentorial, intra-cerebral hemorrhage of less than 60 cm3 in volume.  The question: [… read more]

Jun 112016
 
ICU Physiology in 1,000 Words: ARDS - Part 3

Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] While parts 1 and 2 of this trilogy considered the mechanical power applied to the lung skeleton and the effects of lung inhomogeneity [i.e. ‘stress raisers’], respectively; this final installment will draw the reader towards the pulmonary vasculature as a key mediator of ventilator induced lung injury [VILI].  That the pulmonary [… read more]

May 282016
 
The Cerebral Circulation and Sepsis-Associated Delirium

The Journal of Intensive Care has newly published a series of sepsis-related organ dysfunction reviews.  Additionally, a comprehensive yet concise overview of the cerebral circulation was just disseminated.  This summary draws on both of these terrific primary resources as a point-of-departure for discussion of sepsis-associated delirium [SAD]. Cerebral blood flow [CBF] ultimately depends on 1. the [… read more]