Review Articles

Nov 112016
 
Methylene Blue: the drug you’ve never used

By Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] “Major Major had been born too late and too mediocre. Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three …” -Joseph Heller In my younger days, parked on a bench overlooking Stanley Park, I sought [… 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]

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]

May 012016
 
ICU Physiology in 1,000 Words: ARDS - Part 2

Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] Gattinoni and Quintel have, very recently, outlined their approach to managing the acute respiratory distress syndrome [ARDS] [1].  They argue that treatment of ARDS should minimize firstly, the mechanical power applied to the lungs – as described in part 1.  Secondly, Gattinoni and Quintel note that, in the treatment of ARDS, [… read more]

Mar 182016
 
The Physiologically Difficult Airway – Part 2

Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] In part 2, I continue my commentary on this excellent review; part 1 may be found here.  In this post I will consider patients with severe metabolic acidosis and those with right ventricular [RV] dysfunction and/or failure. Severe Metabolic Acidosis In patients with severe metabolic acidosis, alveolar ventilation tends to be maximal [… read more]

Mar 112016
 
The Physiologically Difficult Airway – Part 1

Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] To celebrate the birthday of Dr. Erin Hennessey [@ErinH_MD] – my former co-fellow and current Stanford intensivist-anesthesiologist – I will interpret a relatively recent and terrifically high-yield overview of physiologically challenging intubations.  In this must-read survey, the authors highlight particularly troublesome intubations not from the classic, anatomical perspective, but from the [… read more]

Mar 012016
 
An Expected or Maladaptive Response to Infection?  Sepsis Reconsidered

Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] “A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks … English … becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.” [… read more]

Feb 132016
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: Driving Pressure & Stress Index

By Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] The problem with the lung in the acute respiratory distress syndrome [ARDS] is not that it is stiff, but rather, that it is small [1].  In the 1980s, CT scans of the lungs of patients with ARDS revealed that the functional lung was attenuated in size and that dependent densities [… read more]

Jan 172016
 
Review: Lactate & Sepsis

Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] On this snowy, Stockholm Sunday, I look out from my quarters on the Mälardrottningen across the still, icy waters and I think about a cirrhotic patient for whom I recently cared.  She presented with significant dyspnea as she had stopped taking her diuretics.  Instead, she was using excessive doses of her friend’s [… read more]

Aug 012015
 

ICU Physiology in 1000 Words Veno-Arterial Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (VA-ECMO) Jon-Emile S. Kenny M.D. [@heart_lung] Perhaps the most memorable patient of both my pulmonary and critical care fellowships was that of a very young woman who suffered from propofol-related infusion syndrome [PRIS]. As a consequence of PRIS, she endured multiple cardiac arrests and was placed [… read more]

May 172015
 
The only VAP prevention method that saves lives is the one you’re not using

There’s always been doubt about the efficacy of the numerous “ventilator bundles” hospitals use to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). A provocative new analysis concludes that none of these methods save lives — except the one that almost no ICUs are using today. Healthcare associated pneumonias (HAP), especially ventilator-associated pneumonias (VAP), are associated with increased mortality, excess antibiotic use, lengthened hospital [… read more]

May 062015
 
Is more than one patient per ICU nurse dangerous?

The fewer patients an ICU nurse has to juggle, the better those patients’ chances of making it out of the hospital alive, according to a large observational study published in Critical Care Medicine. Data from the large EPIC II study suggested that two patients per nurse may be too many for safe, high-quality critical care. Nurse-to-patient [… read more]

Mar 282015
 
Surviving Sepsis Says EGDT Not Needed in All Patients with Septic Shock

As regular PulmCCM readers know, the ProCESS, ARISE and ProMISe randomized trials showed no benefit of protocolized early goal-directed therapy as compared to usual conscientious care in the treatment of severe sepsis and septic shock. In response to ProCESS and ARISE, the influential Surviving Sepsis Campaign now advises that measurement of central venous pressure (CVP) and [… read more]

Mar 192015
 
ICU Physiology in 1,000 Words: The Right Ventricular Afterload (Part 2 of 2)

ICU Physiology in 1000 Words The Right Ventricular Afterload [Part 2 of 2] Jon-Emile S. Kenny M.D. [@heart_lung] Having considered the short-comings of Laplace’s Law and the PVR with respect to the RV afterload in part 1, we will now turn to each of the following in turn: the pulmonary arterial input impedance, a measureable [… read more]

Mar 152015
 
How safe is thoracentesis? Giant case series sheds light

Thoracentesis for pleural effusion — that is, inserting a long needle between someone’s ribs to drain a fluid collection from the chest — has always come with a scary menu of potential risks, including pneumothorax, hemothorax and pulmonary edema. A new study reports a low complication rate from thousands of thoracenteses. But debate will remain whether the safety results — achieved [… read more]

Mar 132015
 
ICU Physiology in 1,000 Words: Right Ventricular Afterload (Part 1 of 2)

ICU Physiology in 1,000 Words: The Right Ventricular Afterload (Part 1 of 2) By Jon-Emile S. Kenny M.D. With my trusted-resident – Dr. Lina Miyakawa – at my side we watched as our patient could not maintain his oxygen saturation above 82%. The patient had terrible aspiration pneumonia superimposed upon horrendous methamphetamine-related pulmonary arterial hypertension [… read more]