Critical Care

May 142011

Protti et al ventilated 29 healthy pigs for 2 days, each at a point on a range of “strain” (tidal volume divided by functional residual capacity). Ventilator-induced lung injury only occurred at strains 1.5-2 or greater (tidal volumes in the >30 mL/kg range). Although pigs’ lungs are inherently different than ours, authors make the argument that mechanical [… read more]

May 092011

Using PCR testing on BAL fluid, Denning et al (in Manchester UK) found Aspergillus DNA in 4 of 11 (36%) healthy volunteers; 21 of 22 patients with culture/microscopy-proven invasive aspergillosis; and 70-80% of patients with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis or chronic pulmonary aspergillosis. Culture was positive in none of the ABPA patients, and only 17% of the CPA [… read more]

May 072011

De Smet et al reheat the data from their 2009 NEJM study, in which they cluster-randomized and crossed-over 5,939 patients staying >48hrs in 13 Dutch ICUs to receive either 1) standard care; 2) selective oropharyngeal decontamination (topical amphotericin B, colistin, and tobramycin in the oropharynx), or 3) selective digestive tract decontamination (the same drugs in the mouth, stomach, [… read more]

May 042011

As part of their landmark Keystone MHA project in Michigan ICUs (that previously demonstrated a 0% catheter-related bloodstream infection rate with adherence to a central-line bundle), Sexton, Pronovost et al also implemented the CUSP intervention to create a climate of continuous quality improvement and safety. Based on surveys of the staff in 71 ICUs, mean safety scores rose from 42.5% in 2004 to [… read more]

May 032011

Clinical research is hamstrung by slow, labor-intensive data collection, necessitated by disparate technologies (or lack of them) in the ICU. Saeed et al announce MIMIC II, a free, public access database that includes nearly all the relevant data from 25,328 ICU stays at Beth Israel 2001-2007 (including hourly vital signs, all labs, and some ECG waveforms). The quantum leap here [… read more]

May 022011

Databases suggest that 60-70% of patients with severe respiratory failure due to H1N1 received steroids. Brun-Buisson et al looked back at a French registry including 208 patients with H1N1 and ARDS, 83 of whom received steroids. They found a hazard ratio of 2.4 for death associated with steroid administration, rising to 2.8 after applying their propensity scoring [… read more]

Apr 272011

Those patients with severe acute lung injury due to pneumonia or aspiration who received the rSP-C surfactant product did no better on important outcomes (28-day survival, need for ventilation, organ-failure-free days) than those receiving usual care, report Spragg et al.(n=843). AJRCCM 2011;183:1055-1061.

Apr 242011

Sacanella et al prospectively observed 230 generally healthy, cognitively intact, highly functional & independently living Spaniards 65 years or older (mean age 75) after urgent admission to a single MICU. About half received mechanical ventilation (54%). Seventy died in-hospital; 48 died within a year, for a one-year survival of 49%. But among the 112 survivors, [… read more]

Apr 242011

Maki et al randomized 407 patients at 25 dialysis units to have their catheters “locked” for up to 6 months with either heparin, or “C-MB-P solution” (citric acid, methylene blue, and propylparaben). The patients getting the antimicrobial potion had a 0.29 relative risk for bloodstream infection (BSI) without loss of catheter patency. (n=407) Crit Care Med 2011;39:613-620.

Apr 222011

Interviewing 100 patients or their surrogates in the ICU, 85% of whom were “full code,” Gehlbach et al found 16% of patients’ code status in the chart did not correlate with their expressed preferences during the interview (10 wanted less care, 6 wanted more). Respondents’ average prediction for their survival should they have a cardiac [… read more]