Critical Care

Feb 032019
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: Blood Pressure

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] Why is blood pressure measured by units of length [i.e. millimeters of mercury – mmHg]?  What decides systolic and diastolic pressure?  What are the determinants of tissue perfusion and what are the clinical implications of this physiology?  Can we deceive ourselves into thinking a particular mean arterial pressure [MAP] is [… read more]

Jan 232019
 
Is Critical Care Medicine becoming a Cargo Cult of Vitamin C?

By Nicholas Mark, MD During the 1940s, many Melanesian cultures were profoundly altered as the Second World War was waged in the Pacific around them. Western soldiers constructed airstrips out of the jungles and the natives witnessed vast wealth in the form of manufactured goods literally rain down from the skies on parachutes or carried [… read more]

Jan 162019
 
Atrial Fibrillation for the Intensivist – part 2

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “I’m burnin’ through the sky, yeah Two hundred degrees, That’s why they call me Mister Fahrenheit” -Freddie Mercury Part 1 gave a brief overview of the mechanisms of atrial fibrillation [AF] as well as pertinent features of rate controlling agents and anticoagulation.  In this brief second part, nuanced features of ventricular [… read more]

Jan 152019
 
Atrial Fibrillation for the Intensivist – part 1

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] with illustrations by Carla M Canepa MD [@_carlemd_] “The habit of writing for my eye is good practice. It loosens the ligaments.” ― Virginia Woolf Case A 28 year old woman with known severe mitral stenosis from rheumatic heart disease presents with acute onset shortness of breath.  Her acute dyspnea began while [… read more]

Jan 092019
 
Hospitals should not implement one-hour sepsis bundles, say SCCM and ACEP

In an unusual turn, the Society for Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) is advising against implementation of the one-hour sepsis bundle originally advocated in Spring 2018 by committee members of its Surviving Sepsis Campaign. SCCM and American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) issued a joint statement in which they acknowledged “concerns expressed about the recently released Surviving [… read more]

Jan 062019
 
Keep O2 saturations at 96% or below for hospitalized patients: expert panel

For acutely ill patients, oxygen saturation should not exceed 96%, an international panel recommended. A multidisciplinary team of clinicians was brought together by The BMJ as part of the Rapid Recommendation initiative to focus on the most effective approach to oxygen therapy for patients with acute medical illness. The team used findings from an April 2018 systematic [… read more]

Jan 012019
 
Best of 2018 on PulmCCM

Best of 2018:       Prone positioning for severe ARDS advised by major societies    2018 Update to Surviving Sepsis Guidelines: Cue Backlash   Management of Ground Glass and Subsolid Pulmonary Nodules: Review   Vasopressors and Inotropes for Shock Syndromes: Review     Prophylactic Precedex prevented delirium in ICU patients   Corticosteroids do help [… read more]

Dec 312018
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: Systolic Time Intervals

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] Remarkably, non-invasive cardiology did not begin with ultrasound but rather as investigations into systolic time [1].  Indeed, studies on the duration of systole began in 1875 with Garrod who showed that the left ventricular ejection time [LVET] – the time that the aortic valve is open and ejecting blood – varies [… read more]

Dec 162018
 
Daily chest X-rays the norm in ventilated patients, despite guidelines

More than 60% of patients receiving mechanical ventilation have continued to receive daily chest x-rays since the publication of guidelines recommending against the practice. The findings came from a database review of hundreds of thousands of patients and were published in JAMA Network Open. The American College of Radiology once recommended daily chest films in [… read more]

Dec 072018
 
Why are obese people more likely to survive infections and sepsis?

Obese people are significantly more likely to survive severe illness due to infections, as compared to people with normal weights, according to analyses of three large data sets presented at a European conference. Among more than 1.5 million hospitalizations for pneumonia in the U.S. between 2013-2014, obese patients (BMI > 30) were 29% more likely [… read more]

Nov 292018
 
Delay renal replacement in severe sepsis with acute kidney injury: IDEAL-ICU

Another large study suggests that there is no benefit to early initiation of renal replacement therapy (RRT) in patients with severe sepsis with septic shock and acute kidney injury (AKI). And many patients whose renal replacement was delayed recovered sufficient kidney function to avoid dialysis entirely. Because AKI is associated with worse outcomes in critical [… read more]

Nov 262018
 
Hydrocortisone, Ascorbic Acid and Thiamine (HAT) Therapy in Sepsis: A Question & Answer with Dr. Paul Marik

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] with illustrations by Carla M Canepa MD [@_carlemd_] “I’ve never known any trouble than an hour’s reading didn’t assuage.” -Schopenhauer The last few decades have infamously boasted numerous failed therapies for sepsis and septic shock.  Because sepsis represents an explosive and chaotic cacophony of pro and anti-inflammatory mediators – treatments which [… read more]

Nov 112018
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: Volutrauma or Barotrauma?

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] In a recent and excellent open-access review, Gattinoni, Quintel and Marini ask which is worse, volutrauma or atelectrauma [1]?  This concise review is an absolute must-read and forms the fabric from which this short article assembles.  Last spring – in Montreal – I was asked a few questions about volutrauma [… read more]

Nov 102018
 
Oral Anticoagulants in the ICU: Clinical Review

Oral Anticoagulants in the ICU: A summary of the evidence for efficacy in atrial fibrillation, venous thromboembolism, and unique clinical cases Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are recommended as the preferred treatment for venous thromboembolism (VTE) and as a first-line option for stroke prevention in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF), but warfarin may be preferred in certain [… read more]

Nov 102018
 
Intubation or bag-mask ventilation: Outcomes similar for cardiac arrest patients

Well-done bag-mask ventilation can produce adequate gas exchange for the vast majority of cardiac arrest patients, but does not provide a secure airway and is physically taxing. Patients in cardiac arrest undergoing CPR tend to immediately receive bag-mask ventilation, which is often interrupted to perform endotracheal intubation. To facilitate intubation, chest compressions may also be [… read more]

Oct 302018
 
Point of Care Ultrasound Unhelpful in Undifferentiated Hypotension? The SHOC-ED trial & the 'Tale of the Eighth Mare'

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] with illustrations by Carla M Canepa MD [@_carlemd_] “History does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” -Mark Twain Case An 89 year old man with a 100 pack-year smoking history is admitted with weakness and inability to take anything by mouth.  He was discharged 2 months prior after a treatment [… read more]

Oct 232018
 
Antipsychotics don't help in ICU delirium: MIND-USA

Neither typical antipsychotics (haloperidol) or newer antipsychotics (ziprasidone) were effective in treating delirium in critically ill patients, in a major randomized trial. The results call into question widely used pharmacologic treatments for ICU delirium. Authors enrolled 1,183 adult patients at medical or surgical ICUs at 16 U.S. medical centers who developed delirium while critically ill [… read more]

Oct 162018
 
Near Apneic Ventilation & Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation: close the lungs & keep them closed?

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “Once had a love and it was a gas …” -Blondie Case A 56 year old professor returns from a hiking trip in the ‘Four Corners’ area of New Mexico.  She was previously well and decided to rent a secluded desert cabin whilst writing a novel on the ethical obligations [… read more]

Oct 042018
 
Targeting normal oxygen saturation associated with death: meta-analysis

A new meta-analysis adds to the evidence that liberal use of supplemental oxygen may be harmful in acutely ill, hospitalized patients. Authors performed a meta-analysis of 25 randomized trials of acutely ill patients (total n ~ 16,000) treated with strategies of either “low” or “high” supplemental oxygenation. Although the cutoffs varied between studies, patients receiving [… read more]