Critical Care Research and Practice
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Acceptance rate35%
Submission to final decision87 days
Acceptance to publication33 days
CiteScore2.100
Journal Citation Indicator0.310
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Correlation of Serum Albumin Level to Lung Ultrasound Score and Its Role as Predictors of Outcome in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Patients: A Prospective Observational Study

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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.

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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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Research Article

Serum NT-Pro-BNP versus Noninvasive Bedside Inotropic Index in Paediatric Shock: A Contest of Myocardial Performance in Response to Fluid Loading

Background. Mild elevation of serum amino-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) is associated with myocardial dysfunction. A significantly lower Smith–Madigan inotropic index (SMII) has been shown to accurately represent cardiac contractility among heart failure subjects. We aim to monitor the effect of fluid resuscitation on cardiac function among paediatric patients by measuring serum NT-pro-BNP and SMII. Methods. This is an observational study on 70 paediatric shock patients. NT-pro-BNP and noninvasive bedside haemodynamic monitoring were done by using an ultrasonic cardiac output monitor (USCOM, USCOM, Sydney, Australia). The presence of cardiac diseases was excluded. SMII was obtained from the USCOM. An increase in the stroke volume index (SVI) of ≥15% indicates fluid responders. Measurements were taken before and after fluid loading. Results. Preloading NT-pro-BNP and SMII category were significantly different between the fluid responsiveness group, and , respectively. Higher median NT-pro-BNP (preloading NT-pro-BNP of 1175.00 (254.50–9965.00) ng/mL vs. 196.00 (65.00–509.00) ng/mL, ) was associated with fluid nonresponders (subjects >12 months old). Preloading NT-pro-BNP <242.5 ng/mL was associated with fluid responders (AUC: 0.768 (0.615–0.921), ), 82.1% sensitivity, and 68.7% specificity for subjects >12 years old. Delta NT-pro-BNP in fluid responders (15.00 (−16.00–950.00) ng/mL) did not differ from fluid nonresponders (505.00 (−797.00–1600.00) ng/mL), . Postloading SMII >1.25 W·m−2 was associated with fluid responders (AUC: 0.683 (0.553–0.813), p = 0.011), 61.9% sensitivity, and 66.7% specificity, but not preloading SMII. Fluid responders had a higher mean postloading SMII compared to nonresponders (1.36 ± 0.38 vs. 1.10 ± 0.34, ). Conclusion. Higher NT-pro-BNP and lower SMII in the absence of cardiac diseases were associated with poor response to fluid loading. The SMII is affected by low preload conditions.

Research Article

Knowledge, Attitude, and Associated Factors towards Nonpharmacological Pain Management among Nurses Working at Amhara Region Comprehensive Specialized Hospitals, Ethiopia

Background. Nonpharmacological pain management refers to providing pain management intervention that does not involve the use of drugs. Effective management of a patient’s pain is a vital nursing activity, and it needs a nurse’s adequate pain-related knowledge and a favorable attitude. Globally, many studies stated that the lack of knowledge and unfavorable attitude of nurses towards nonpharmacological pain management was the prevailing persistent challenge. Objective. To assess knowledge, attitude, and associated factors towards nonpharmacological pain management among nurses working in Amhara region Comprehensive Specialized Hospitals, Ethiopia, 2021. Method. An institutional-based cross-sectional study was conducted from April to May 30, 2021. A total of 845 nurses were selected using a simple random sampling technique. Data were collected by using a pretested self-administered structured questionnaire. Then, data were checked, coded, and entered into Epi Info version 7.0 and exported to SPSS version 25.0 software for analysis. Results. A total of 775 nurses participated in this study, with a response rate of 91.8%. Of the total participants, 54.2% (95% CI: 50.6–57.9) and 49.8% (95% CI: 46.1–53.2) of nurses had adequate knowledge and a favorable attitude, respectively. The study revealed that educational status (AOR = 3.51 (95% CI: 1.37, 8.99)), years of experience (AOR = 5.59 (95% CI: 2.86, 10.94)), working unit (AOR = 5.61 (95% CI: 2.25, 13.96)), nurse-to-patient ratio (AOR = 2.33 (95% CI: 1.44, 3.78)), and working hours (AOR = 2.15 (95% CI: 1.27, 3.62)) were significantly associated. This finding also revealed that monthly income (AOR = 4.38 (95% CI: 1.64, 11.69)), nurse-to-patient ratio (AOR = 1.89 (95% CI: 1.19, 3.01)), and nurses’ adequate knowledge (AOR = 4.26 (95% CI: 2.91, 6.24)) were significantly associated with the attitude of nurses. Conclusion and Recommendations. More than half and nearly half of the nurses had adequate knowledge and a favorable attitude towards nonpharmacological pain management, respectively. Educational qualification, years of experience, working unit, nurse-to-patient ratio, and prolonged working hours per day were significantly associated with nurse’s adequate knowledge. Monthly income, nurse-to-patient ratio, and nurse’s knowledge were significantly associated with the attitudes of nurses. It is better to give attention to reviewing the nursing curriculum, achieving a standardized nurse-to-patient ratio, recruiting additional nurses, training, and upgrading nurses with continuing education.

Research Article

Correlation between Handgrip Strength and Rapid Shallow Breathing Index for Assessment of Weaning from Mechanical Ventilation

Background. Assessment of weaning from mechanical ventilation (MV) is an important process. Rapid shallow breathing index (RSBI) is a standard tool to evaluate a patient’s readiness before the spontaneous breathing trial (SBT). Handgrip strength (HGS) is an alternative method for assessment of respiratory muscle strength. Relationship between HGS and RSBI has not been explored. This study aimed to determine the correlation between HGS and RSBI to predict successful extubation in mechanically ventilated patients. Methods. A prospective study was conducted in screened 120 patients requiring MV with tracheal intubation >48 h. HGS was performed at 48 h after intubation, 10 min before and 30 min after SBT, and 1 h after extubation. RSBI was performed at 10 min before SBT. Results. A total of 93 patients (58% men) were included in the final analysis. Mean age was 71.6 ± 15.2 years. Patients admitted in general medical wards were 84.9%. APACHE II score was 13.5 ± 4.7. Most patients were intubated from pneumonia (39.8%). Weaning failure was 6.5%. The main result shows that HGS was negatively correlated with RSBI (regression coefficient −0.571, ). The equation for predicting RSBI, derived from the linear regression model, was predicted RSBI (breaths/min/L) = 39.285 + (age 0.138)–(HGS 0.571). Conclusions. HGS had significantly negative correlation with RSBI for assessment of weaning from MV. A prospective study of the HGS cutoff value is needed to investigate the difference between patients who succeeded and those who failed extubation. This trial is registered with TCTR20180323004.

Research Article

Apnea-Hypopnea Index in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Exacerbation Requiring Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation with Average Volume-Assured Pressure Support

Introduction. This study intends to determine the Apnea-Hypopnea Index in patients hospitalized with acute hypercapnic respiratory failure from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation, who require noninvasive ventilation with average volume-assured pressure support (AVAPS), as well as describes the clinical characteristics of these patients. Materials and Methods. We designed a single-center prospective study. The coexistence of Apnea-Hypopnea Index and clinical, gasometric, spirometric, respiratory polygraphy, and ventilatory characteristics were determined. The clinical characteristics found were categorized and compared according to the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) < 5, AHI 5–15, and AHI >15. A value <0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results. During the study period, a total of 100 patients were admitted to the ICU with a diagnosis of acute hypercapnic respiratory failure due to COPD exacerbation. 72 patients presented with acute respiratory failure and fulfilled criteria for ventilatory support. Within them, 24 received invasive mechanical ventilation and 48 NIV. After applying the inclusion criteria for this study, 30 patients were eligible. An AHI >5 was present in 24 of the 30 patients recruited (80%). Neck circumference (cm), Epworth scale, and Mallampati score evidenced significant differences when compared to the patient’s AHI <5, AHI 5–15, and AHI >15 (). Furthermore, patients with an AHI >5 had longer hospital admissions, prolonged periods on mechanical ventilation, and a higher percentage of intubation rates. Conclusion. Apnea-Hypopnea Index and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation are a frequent association found in patients with acute hypercapnic respiratory failure and COPD exacerbations that require NIV. This association could be a determining factor in the response to NIV, especially when AVAPS is used as a ventilatory strategy.

Research Article

Lessons Learned from a Small Pediatric Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy Program

Continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) has become a pillar of care in pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) over the past few decades. Quality indicators (QIs) have been evaluated that reflect safe and accountable CRRT. However, there is a paucity of data on outcomes and QIs in smaller-volume CRRT programming. The purpose of this retrospective study was to evaluate the efficiencies, effectiveness, and outcomes of a small-volume CRRT program. Eighty-two patients received CRRT over a 13-year period, and 79% survived to discharge. Sepsis or nonseptic shock (n = 11 (22%) versus n = 6 (50%); value = 0.004) and time to CRRT initiation after PICU admission (1.1 versus 5.0 days; value = 0.005) were independent predictors for mortality. The program also had positive outcomes for QIs related to CRRT efficiency and time of initiation, dosing delivery, and rate of adverse events. This study is important as it illustrates the opportunity that smaller centers have to initiate CRRT programming and provide safe and effective care.

Research Article

Mortality Prediction Using SaO2/FiO2 Ratio Based on eICU Database Analysis

Purpose. PaO2 to FiO2 ratio (P/F) is used to assess the degree of hypoxemia adjusted for oxygen requirements. The Berlin definition of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) includes P/F as a diagnostic criterion. P/F is invasive and cost-prohibitive for resource-limited settings. SaO2/FiO2 (S/F) ratio has the advantages of being easy to calculate, noninvasive, continuous, cost-effective, and reliable, as well as lower infection exposure potential for staff, and avoids iatrogenic anemia. Previous work suggests that the SaO2/FiO2 ratio (S/F) correlates with P/F and can be used as a surrogate in ARDS. Quantitative correlation between S/F and P/F has been verified, but the data for the relative predictive ability for ICU mortality remains in question. We hypothesize that S/F is noninferior to P/F as a predictive feature for ICU mortality. Using a machine-learning approach, we hope to demonstrate the relative mortality predictive capacities of S/F and P/F. Methods. We extracted data from the eICU Collaborative Research Database. The features age, gender, SaO2, PaO2, FIO2, admission diagnosis, Apache IV, mechanical ventilation (MV), and ICU mortality were extracted. Mortality was the dependent variable for our prediction models. Exploratory data analysis was performed in Python. Missing data was imputed with Sklearn Iterative Imputer. Random assignment of all the encounters, 80% to the training (n = 26690) and 20% to testing (n = 6741), was stratified by positive and negative classes to ensure a balanced distribution. We scaled the data using the Sklearn Standard Scaler. Categorical values were encoded using Target Encoding. We used a gradient boosting decision tree algorithm variant called XGBoost as our model. Model hyperparameters were tuned using the Sklearn RandomizedSearchCV with tenfold cross-validation. We used AUC as our metric for model performance. Feature importance was assessed using SHAP, ELI5 (permutation importance), and a built-in XGBoost feature importance method. We constructed partial dependence plots to illustrate the relationship between mortality probability and S/F values. Results. The XGBoost hyperparameter optimized model had an AUC score of .85 on the test set. The hyperparameters selected to train the final models were as follows: colsample_bytree of 0.8, gamma of 1, max_depth of 3, subsample of 1, min_child_weight of 10, and scale_pos_weight of 3. The SHAP, ELI5, and XGBoost feature importance analysis demonstrates that the S/F ratio ranks as the strongest predictor for mortality amongst the physiologic variables. The partial dependence plots illustrate that mortality rises significantly above S/F values of 200. Conclusion. S/F was a stronger predictor of mortality than P/F based upon feature importance evaluation of our data. Our study is hypothesis-generating and a prospective evaluation is warranted. Take-Home Points. S/F ratio is a noninvasive continuous method of measuring hypoxemia as compared to P/F ratio. Our study shows that the S/F ratio is a better predictor of mortality than the more widely used P/F ratio to monitor and manage hypoxemia.

Critical Care Research and Practice
 Journal metrics
Acceptance rate35%
Submission to final decision87 days
Acceptance to publication33 days
CiteScore2.100
Journal Citation Indicator0.310
Impact Factor-
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