Fatal Multiorgan Failure Syndrome in a Strongyloides-HTLV-1 Coinfected Patient, after Treatment with IvermectinRead the full article
Case Reports in Critical Care publishes case reports and case series in all areas of critical care medicine, including anesthesiology, perioperative and critical care medicine, and postoperative critical care management and recovery.
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Acute Cytotoxic Cerebellar Edema Subsequent to Fentanyl Patch Intoxication in an Infant
The opioid epidemic continues to have devastating consequences for children and families across the United States with rising prevalence of opioid use and abuse. Given the ease of access to these medications, accidental ingestion and overdose by children are becoming increasingly more common. The recognition of opioid-induced neurotoxicity and the associated life-threatening complication of acute cerebellar cytotoxic edema are crucial, as are the high morbidity and mortality without timely intervention. We discuss an infant with acute cytotoxic cerebellar edema following mucosal exposure to a transdermal fentanyl patch.
Different Outcomes of “Silent Hypoxia” in Patients with COVID-19 Pneumonia: A Case Series and Literature Review
COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic since March 2020 and it has been responsible for millions of deaths worldwide. The SARS-CoV-2 causes a spectrum of diseases mainly affecting the respiratory system. It can also complicate other systems causing thromboembolic phenomena and myocardial ischaemia. An entity of hypoxia has been described in these patients which show no clinical signs and symptoms of respiratory distress despite being extremely hypoxic. This is called silent or happy hypoxia. The exact mechanism for this is not known. We report 4 cases which had similar presentations of silent hypoxia but had different course of illness and different outcomes. All 4 patients did not show any signs of respiratory distress, but had oxygen saturation less than 82%. 3 of them needed intensive care unit support for oxygen therapy and subsequently needed noninvasive ventilation. Only one required invasive ventilation. The fourth patient did not require intensive care support. The patient who required invasive ventilation succumbed due to severe COVID pneumonia whereas the other 3 patients were discharged from the hospital. Silent hypoxemia can go undetected in COVID-19 patients particularly in the time of a pandemic. This case series highlights the importance of meticulous clinical examination including oxygen saturation measurements in suspected or confirmed patients with COVID-19. The course of illness can be different in different populations, and this needs further clinical evidence.
The Role of Dexmedetomidine in Pediatric Patients Presenting with an Anticholinergic Toxidrome
Background. We report two pediatric cases of anticholinergic toxidrome, including the youngest reported to date, in which standard therapeutic strategies were either contraindicated or ineffective, while treatment with dexmedetomidine was rapidly efficacious with no adverse effects. Moreover, with the recent shortage of physostigmine, we highlight an alternative treatment in this clinical setting. Case Summaries. In case 1, a two-year-old had an overdose presenting with an anticholinergic toxidrome. However, his hypopnea precluded the use of benzodiazepines due to the high likelihood of intubation. In case 2, a 14-year-old had a polypharmacy overdose inducing agitated delirium that was refractory to high-dose benzodiazepines. Due to the unknown ingestion, physostigmine was avoided. In both cases, dexmedetomidine helped the patient remain calm and metabolize the ingestions. Conclusion. Our experience suggests that dexmedetomidine may be a useful adjunct in anticholinergic presentations in the setting of polypharmacy, when standard therapy is proven ineffective, contraindicated, or unavailable.
Complete Heart Block as a Clinical Feature in Critically Ill Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Patients: A Case Series of Three Cases
Background. Novel coronavirus-19 disease (COVID-19) is associated with significant cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However, there have been very few reports on complete heart block (CHB) associated with COVID-19. This case series describes clinical characteristics, potential mechanisms, and short-term outcomes of critically ill COVID-19 patients complicated by CHB. Case Summary. We present three cases of new-onset CHB in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Patient 1 is a 41-year-old male with well-documented history of Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) who required mechanical ventilator support for acute hypoxic respiratory failure from severe COVID-19 pneumonia. He developed new-onset CHB without a hemodynamic derangement but subsequently had acute coronary syndrome complicated by cardiogenic shock. Patient 2 is a 77-year-old male with no past medical history who required intubation for severe COVID-19 pneumonia acute hypoxic respiratory failure. He developed CHB with sinus pause requiring temporary pacing but subsequently developed multiorgan failure. Patient 3 is 36-year-old lady 38 + 2 weeks pregnant, gravida 2 para 1 with no other medical history, who had an emergency Lower Section Caesarean Section (LSCS) as she required intubation for acute hypoxic respiratory failure. She exhibited new-onset CHB without hemodynamic compromise. The CHB resolved spontaneously after 24 hours. Discussion. COVID-19-associated CHB is a very rare clinical manifestation. The potential mechanisms for CHB in patients with COVID-19 include myocardial inflammation or direct viral infiltration as well as other causes such as metabolic derangements or use of sedatives. Patients diagnosed with COVID-19 should be monitored closely for the development of bradyarrhythmia and hemodynamic instability.
HELLP! The Novel Use of Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy and Nitric Oxide in the Treatment of Acute Respiratory Failure in HELLP Syndrome
HELLP (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelets) syndrome is a rare but serious complication of pregnancy characterized by hemolytic anemia, elevated liver enzymes, and thrombocytopenia. It occurs in <1% of all pregnancies with 70% of cases developing before delivery, the majority occurring between the 27th and 37th weeks of gestation. Respiratory failure seen in HELLP syndrome clinically and radiographically appears similar to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), with presence of bilateral pulmonary opacities on imaging as well as persistent hypoxemia requiring elevated ventilator requirements. It is seen to complicate 3-10% of cases of HELLP syndrome. Pulmonary complications are theorized to occur as sequelae of the proinflammatory state induced by HELLP syndrome with endothelial dysfunction and subsequent microangiopathic hemolysis and thrombocytopenia. A robust cytokine inflammatory response similar to ARDS is seen, resulting in noncardiogenic pulmonary edema due to vasoplegia and capillary leak syndrome. We present a case of a 27-year-old uniparous female with a term pregnancy complicated by HELLP syndrome who developed respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation. Early CRRT and nitric oxide therapy were initiated, with the patient experiencing clinical and radiological improvement of respiratory function within 48 hours. We document the novel treatment of our patient’s acute respiratory failure with CRRT and nitric oxide and delve into the literature regarding its use in acute respiratory failure and ARDS in association with HELLP syndrome.
Diabetes Insipidus Complicating Management in a Child with COVID-19 and Multiorgan System Failure: A Novel Use for Furosemide
Judicious balance of fluids is needed for optimal management of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Achieving optimal fluid balance is difficult in patients with disorders of fluid homeostasis such as diabetes insipidus (DI). There is little data on the use of Furosemide to aid in balancing fluid and electrolytes in patients with DI. Here, we present a critically ill 11-year-old female with developmental delay, septo-optic dysplasia, central DI, and respiratory failure secondary to COVID-19 ARDS. She required careful titration of a Vasopressin infusion in addition to IV Furosemide for successful management of fluid and electrolyte derangements. On admission, she demonstrated high-volume urine output with mild hypernatremia (serum sodium 156 mmol/L). Despite her maximum Vasopressin infusion rate of 8 mU/kg/hr, by day two of admission, she voided a total of 4 L resulting in severe hypernatremia (serum sodium 171 mmol/L). With continually high Vasopressin infusion rates, her overall fluid balance became increasingly net positive, although her hypernatremia persisted. Her ARDS continued to worsen. After 48 hours of the addition of intermittent Furosemide, successful diuresis along with resolution of hypernatremia was achieved. The combination of IV Furosemide with Vasopressin infusion resulted in tailored diuresis and more controlled titration of serum sodium levels than adjustment in Vasopressin and fluids alone. These results are in contradistinction to the published literature, which focuses on the use of thiazide diuretics in managing DI. This experience highlights the potential for loop diuretics to aid in establishing a desired fluid and electrolyte status in managing patients with both DI and ARDS.