Clinical and Laboratory Findings of 12 Children with Invasive Meningococcal Disease in Pediatric Intensive Care UnitRead the full article
Critical Care Research and Practice publishes articles related to anesthesiology, perioperative and critical care medicine, and the integration of intraoperative management in preparation for postoperative critical care management.
Chief Editor, Dr Thomas J. Esposito, works in the Division of Trauma Surgical Critical Care and Burns at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, USA.
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Outcomes of Patients with Malignancy Admitted to the Intensive Care Units: A Prospective Study
Introduction. Decisions regarding whether advanced cancer patients should be admitted to the ICU are based on a complex suite of considerations, including short- and long-term prognosis, quality of life, and therapeutic options to treat cancer. We aimed to describe demographic, clinical, and survival data and to identify factors associated with mortality in critically ill advanced cancer patients with nonelective admissions to general ICUs. Materials and Methods. Critically ill adult (≥18 years old) cancer patients nonelectively admitted to the intensive care units at the American University of Beirut Medical Center between August 1st 2015 and March 1st 2019 were included. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were prospectively collected from the first day of ICU admission up to 30 days after discharge. This study was strictly observational, and clinical decisions were left to the discretion of the ICU team and attending physician. Results. 272 patients were enrolled in the study between August 1st 2015 and March 1st 2019, with an ICU mortality rate of 43.4%, with the number rising to 59% within 30 days of ICU discharge. The mean length of stay in our ICU was 14 days (IQR: 1–120) with a median overall survival of 22 days since the date of ICU admission. The major reasons for unplanned ICU admission were sepsis/septic shock (54%) and respiratory failure (33.1%). Cox regression analysis revealed 7 major predictors of poor prognosis. Direct admission from the ED was associated with a higher risk of mortality (48.9%) than being transferred from the floor (32.6%) (). Conclusion. Our study has shown that being directly admitted to the ICU from the ED rather than being transferred from regular wards, developing AKI, sepsis, MOF, and ARDS, or having an uncontrolled malignancy are all predictive factors for short-term mortality in critically ill cancer patients nonelectively admitted to the ICU. Vasopressor use and mechanical ventilation were also predictors of mortality.
Evaluation of Paediatric Critical Care Needs and Practice in Nigeria: Paediatric Residents’ Perspective
Background. There is a dire need for paediatric critical care (PCC) services, but their availability in tertiary hospitals in Nigeria is not well defined. Objective. We evaluated self-reported PCC practice, resources, and perceived challenges in various zones of the country, using paediatric residents’ perspective. Methods. This is a descriptive cross-sectional survey, carried out at an Intensive Course in Paediatrics at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. Participants’ PCC practice and perceived adequacy of PCC resources and services were assessed using a 100 mm uncalibrated visual analogue scale (VAS). A comparison between northern and southern zones was done. A 2-sided value < 0.05 was considered significant. Results. A total of 143 residents participated in the study, 37.1% of them were male, and 62.9% were female. Their mean age was 34.6 ± 3.2 years. They were mainly (86.7%) from federal institutions across the country. Less than a half (46.7%) of the trainees attended to critically ill children daily, but only 4 out of every 10 respondents stated that such severely ill children survived till hospital discharge; 12.1% of the trainees had PICUs in their institutions. Financial constraints hindered PICU admissions. PCC staff were relatively fewer in northern zones than southern zones (). Their perceived adequacy of PCC equipment and services were low (VAS scores 32.7 ± 2.6 and 30.9 ± 2.8, respectively) with a strong positive correlation between the two measurements (r = 0.839; ). Conclusion. There is an unmet need for PCC practice in Nigerian tertiary hospitals with a resultant low survival rate of critically ill children. PCC training curricula and improved critical care resources are desirable in the setting.
From Neonatal Intensive Care to Neurocritical Care: Is It Still a Mirage? The Sicilian Multicenter Project
Background. Neonatal brain injury (NBI) can lead to a significant neurological disability or even death. After decades of intense efforts to improve neonatal intensive care and survival of critically ill newborns, the focus today is an improved long-term neurological outcome through brain-focused care. The goal of neuroprotection in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is the prevention of new or worsening NBI in premature and term newborns. As a result, the neonatal neurocritical care unit (NNCU) has been emerging as a model of care to decrease NBI and improve the long-term neurodevelopment in critically ill neonates. Purpose. Neurocritical care (NCC) Sicilian project includes three academic sites with NICU in Sicily (Catania, Messina, and Palermo), and its primary goal is to develop neurocritical neonatal care unit (NNCU). Methods. In 2018, the three NICUs created a dedicated space for neonates with primary neurological diagnosis or at risk for neurological injuries—NNCU. Admission criteria for eligible patients and treatment protocols were created. Contact with parents, environmental protection, basic monitoring, brain monitoring, pharmacological therapy, and organization of the staff were protocolized. Results. Evaluation of the efforts to establish NNCU within existing NICU, current protocols, and encountered problems are shown. Implications for Practice. Our outcome confirmed the need for dedicated NNCU for neuroprotection of critically ill neonates at risk for a neurological injury. Although the literature on neonatal neurocritical care is still scarce, we see the value of such targeted approach to newborn brain protection and therefore we will continue developing our NNCU, even though there have been problems encountered. The project of building NNCU will continue to be closely monitored. Conclusions. The development of our neonatal neurocritical model of care is far from being completed. Although it is currently limited to the Sicilian area only, the goal of this paper is to share the development of this multicenter interdisciplinary project focused on a newborn brain protection. After evaluating our outcome, we strongly believe that a combined expertise in neonatal neurology and neonatal critical care can lead to an improved neurodevelopmental outcome for critically ill neonates, from the extremely preterm to those with brain injuries.
The Intestinal Barrier Function and Intra-Abdominal Pressure Depend on Postoperative Analgesia Technique in Children with Appendicular Peritonitis
Introduction. Peritonitis is one of the risk factors for the development of intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS). The plasma citrulline and intestinal fatty acid-binding protein (I-FABP) are informative markers of intestinal barrier function. The aim of this study was to determine the correlation of the plasma citrulline and I-FABP with intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) and their relation to analgesia techniques in children suffering from appendicular peritonitis. Materials and Methods. 74 children operated for appendicular peritonitis were randomized into three groups of postoperative analgesia: “Opioids” (n = 25), intravenous morphine of 10 mcg/kg/h; “Lidocaine” (n = 23), intravenous lidocaine with initial bolus of 1.5 mg/kg and then infusion of 1.5 mg/kg/h; and “EA” (n = 26), epidurally 0.25% bupivacaine with initial bolus of 1 mg/kg and then infusion of 0.4 mg/kg/year. Retrospectively patients in each group were divided into the following subgroups: “without IAH” (n = 33), “IAH” (n = 27), and “ACS” (n = 14). We detected citrulline and I-FABP in plasma on day 1 (D1) and day 3 (D3) of hospital stay. Results. The patients without IAH on D1 presented significantly higher plasma citrulline (23.7 (16.0–31.3) nmol/ml) and lower I-FABP (76.9 (32.6–121.1) pg/ml) levels compared with patients in subgroup “IAH” (9.3 (7.3–11.3) nmol/ml and 226.0 (161.8–290.3) pg/ml, respectively) and subgroup “ACS” (6.9 (5.3–8.6) nmol/ml and 1011.7 (731.9–1291.5) pg/ml, respectively). The IAP had strong inverse correlation (rs = −0.74; ) with citrulline and positive strong correlation (rs = 0.73; ) with I-FABP. The citrulline in patients with IAH during three days postoperatively increased significantly in “Lidocaine” to 72% () and in “EA” to 138% (), but it decreased to 13% () in “Opioids” group. In children with ACS, citrulline on D3 was significantly higher than that on D1 and increased in “Lidocaine” to 59% () and in “EA” to 134% (), but in “Opioids” it decreased to 30% (). The I-FABP in patients with IAH decreased to 12% in “Lidocaine” group () and to 75% in “EA” group (), but it increased to 37% () in “Opioids” group. During observation period, I-FABP in patients with ACS decreased significantly in “Lidocaine” to 42% () and in “EA” to 96% (), but it increased in “Opioids” to 63% (). Conclusions. The IAP was inversely correlated with plasma citrulline and positively correlated with I-FABP in children with appendicular peritonitis. Epidural analgesia is the most protective for intestinal wall barrier function in patients at risk of IAH and ACS.
The Use of CytoSorb Therapy in Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients: Review of the Rationale and Current Clinical Experiences
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the biggest global health crisis of our lifetime. There is accumulating evidence that a substantial number of critically ill COVID-19 patients exhibit a dysregulated host response manifesting as cytokine storm or cytokine release syndrome, which in turn contributes to the high observed rates of mortality. Just as in other hyperinflammatory conditions, extracorporeal cytokine removal may have potential beneficial effects in this subgroup of COVID-19 patients. The CytoSorb blood purification device is the most extensively investigated cytokine removal platform with considerable evidence suggesting that early intervention can provide rapid hemodynamic stabilization and improvement in vital organ functions. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the pathophysiological background of hyperinflammation in COVID-19 and to summarize the currently available evidence on the effects of hemoadsorption in these patients.
An Exploratory Investigation into the Roles of Critical Care Response Teams in End-of-Life Care
Background. Critical Care Response Teams (CCRTs) represent an important interface between end-of-life care (EOLC) and critical care medicine (CCM). The aim of this study was to explore the roles and interactions of CCRTs in the provision of EOLC from the perspective of CCRT members. Methods. Twelve registered nurses (RNs) and four respiratory therapists (RTs) took part in focus groups, and one-on-one interviews were conducted with six critical care physicians. Thematic coding using a modified constructivist grounded theory approach was used to identify emerging themes through an iterative process involving a four-member coding team. Results. Three main perspectives were identified that spoke to CCRT interactions and perceptions of EOLC encounters. CCRT members felt that they provide a unique skill set of multidisciplinary expertise in treating critically ill patients and evaluating the utility of intensive care treatments. However, despite feeling that they possessed the skills and resources to deliver quality EOLC, CCRT members were ambivalent with respect to whether EOLC was a part of their mandate. Challenges were also identified that impacted the ability of CCRTs to deliver quality EOLC. Conclusions. This research aids in understanding for the first time CCRT roles in EOLC from the perspectives of individual CCRT members themselves. While CCRTs provide unique multidisciplinary expertise to evaluate the utility of intensive care treatments, opportunities exist to support CCRTs in EOLC, such as dedicated EOLC training, protocols for advance care planning, documentation, and transitions to palliative care.