Critical Care

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]

Apr 192011
 

A systematic review of 3 trials (n=337) by the Bed Head Elevation Study Group (not to be confused with the Bedhead photo group) found no good evidence that head-of-bed (HOB) elevation to 45′ helps or harms in any way (pneumonia, decubiti, mortality, VTE, or hemodynamic instability). Nevertheless, a consensus panel of 22 experts agrees with previous [… read more]

Apr 182011
 

After implementing an “MRSA bundle” in 2007 including nasal surveillance, contact precautions for positive patients, hand hygiene, and culture-indoctrination of employees, MRSA infections among all VA hospital ICUs fell from 1.64 to 0.62 per 1000 patient-days (a 62% reduction, p<0.001). MRSA infections on the wards fell from 0.47 to 0.26 per 1000 patient-days (45% reduction, [… read more]

Apr 182011
 

Huskins et al cluster-randomized 18 ICUs to an intervention of surveillance cultures with contact precautions for positive patients, or a control of no cultures and universal precautions (gloves). The intervention ICUs used contact precautions more frequently (51% vs. 38%), but had the same MRSA/VRE colonization/infection rates, the primary endpoint (40 vs 35%, p=0.35). Clinician compliance [… read more]

Apr 182011
 

Trouillet et al randomized patients requiring mechanical ventilation 4 days after cardiac surgery to either immediate perc-trach, or delayed percutaneous tracheostomy at 15 days. There were no differences in ventilator-free days at 60 days, nor in survival at 28, 60, or 90 days, nor in rates of VAP; however, the early-trach group had a lower [… read more]

Apr 052011
 

Analyzing 50,481 victims of prolonged mechanical ventilation in Taiwan 1997-2007, Hung et al report outcomes were frankly terrible, with median survival of about 4 months. Those with a primary indication of neurologic damage fared significantly better. Those with a PMV indication of COPD, younger than 85, had 6-18 months median survival. Authors take the additional [… read more]

Mar 312011
 

An excess amount of the chaos and stress endemic to ICUs is due to poor systems engineering (think alarm fatigue); a rational, integrated approach to design & technology selection is needed to make ICUs more effective and safer for patients, argue Mathews & Pronovost. Academic health systems should fill the leadership vacuum, organize stakeholders and [… read more]