In a 5-week prospective observational study in 47 Australian & New Zealand ICUs, Pettila et al (the ANZICS group) followed 757 ICU patients receiving red blood cell transfusions for anemia of any cause. Those in the quartile receiving the youngest RBCs (mean age 7.7 days) had an absolute 8% lower mortality than the other 3 [… read more]
In 1998, Dr. Cheryl Misak survived organ failure in the ICU; this month, she shares her story of a long and difficult recovery from debility. Although highly educated and motivated, and in top pre-admission physical shape, her struggle was formidable. Twelve years later, are we doing any better at adequately informing and preparing patients like [… read more]
Stanworth et al previously showed that 30% of ICU patients have prothrombin time prolongation at some point. Here, they examined FFP transfusion In an 8-week-long prospective observational study in 29 ICUs in the UK. Fully 31% of FFP units were given to patients with INR < 1.5. About half the FFP units went to patients [… read more]
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]
Looking retrospectively at 2,399 ICU patients with preadmission vitamin D measurements on file, those with vitamin D deficiency had an odds ratio of ~1.7 for 30, 90, and 365-day mortality after ICU admission, after multivariate analysis. Braun et al, Crit Care Med 2011;39:671-677.
20% of U.S. deaths now occur during or soon after an ICU stay — but the families live on, often with upsetting memories, depression, and anxiety. Kross et al re-heat data from the IPACC palliative care study in Washington, surveying family members of ICU decedents, showing they had a 14% prevalence of PTSD symptoms and 18% of [… read more]
Delirium in the ICU, management of: Schiemann A, Curr Opin Crit Care 2011;17:131-140.
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]
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]
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]
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]
Post cardiac arrest syndrome: Review of therapies: Stub D, Circulation 2011;123:1428-1435.
Pressors and inotropes in circulatory shock: Hollenberg SM, AJRCCM 2011;183:847-855. Vasopressors review.
Status epilepticus, refractory, treatment of: Holtkamp M, Curr Opin Crit Care 2011;17:94-100.
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]
Serious Infections in Intensive Care Units: 100+ pages, 12 articles reflecting the state of the art on managing infections and antibotic usage in the ICU. Sem Resp Crit Care Med, April 2011. Review.
Combating antimicrobial resistance; Policy recommendations to save lives: Clin Infect Dis 2011;52 (supplement 5). ** COMMENTARY by Brad Spellberg, MD **
Candida urinary tract infections: Clin Infect Dis 2011;52 (supplement 6).
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]
Long-term complications of critical care: Desai SV, Crit Care Med 2011;39:371-379.