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Signa Vitae

A Journal In Intensive Care And Emergency Medicine

Category: Reviews (Page 1 of 17)

The application of ex utero intrapartum treatment (EXIT) procedure for cardiothoracic disorders

Abstract

The ex utero intrapartum treatment (EXIT) procedure was primarily developed to reverse temporary tracheal occlusion in patients with fetal surgery for congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Nowadays, it is widely used to resect fetal neck masses and to maintain an unobstructed airway. It is indicated for the management of several cardiothoracic diseases, including mediastinal or lung mass resection, drainage of pleural effusions, palliative treatment of critical congenital heart disease and establishment of EXIT-to-extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). EXIT has been attempted successfully in many centers, and it has been proven that mothers and babies tolerate the procedure well. Maternal and fetal surveillance during anesthesia is important to maintain maternal blood pressure and placental blood flow and fetal oxygenation. The aim of this article is to discuss the application of the EXIT procedure for the management of fetal cardiothoracic diseases.

Key words: anesthesia, fetus, mediastinal neoplasms, pleural effusion

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Can partial splenectomy preserve humoral immunity in pediatric patients?

Abstract

The spleen plays an important role in removing normal and abnormal cells from the blood and in providing an immunologic response to encapsulated bacteria. Surgical splenectomy provides effective treatment for several pediatric disorders, such as congenital and acquired hemolytic anemias, abdominal traumas and immunological and metabolic disorders, but it is associated with an immediate and lifelong risk of overwhelming infection. An alternative to conventional splenectomy is partial splenectomy, recommended especially in children younger than 5 years of age. Recommendations for the prevention of overwhelming post-total splenectomy infection include: Pneumococcal, Haemophilus influenzae type B and Meningococcal immunizations, antimicrobial prophylaxis and prompt antibiotic treatment of acute febrile illness; conversely, there is no clear evidence indicating which prevention measures are to be performed in patients undergoing partial splenectomy.

Key words: partial splenectomy, children, immunization

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Do we need an individual approach to atrial fibrillation and adrenergic overload in the critically ill?

Abstract

Despite catecholamines being lifesaving drugs, they can also be harmful. Adrenergic overload is one of the major causes of supra- and ventricular arrhythmias, which induce haemodynamic instability of critically ill patients. In this paper we will focus on the pathophysiology of atrial fibrillation (AF), the importance of adrenergic overload for triggering AF, the importance of the autonomic nervous system and we will challenge the importance of decreasing adrenergic load with selective and non-selective β-blockers, which have different effects on the metabolism of the severely ill. We will also emphasize the importance of an individual approach due to pharmacogenetic differences in β-adrenergic signalling.

Key words: catecholamines, atrial fibrillation, beta-blockers, metabolism, resting energy expenditure

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Pulmonary reperfusion injury

Abstract

Pulmonary reperfusion injury is a clinical syndrome with no single and recognized pathophysiologic mechanism. It is a major cause of morbidity and mortality following lung transplantation, cardiogenic shock, or cardiopulmonary bypass. The underlying mechanisms remain uncertain. Lung inflammatory injury induced by lipopolysaccharide, characterized by rapid sequestration of neutrophils in response to inflammatory chemokines and cytokines released in the lungs is an acceptable theory. Structural or functional impairment of surfactant has been noted in pulmonary reperfusion injury. The pathological changes may include bilateral pulmonary infiltrates, reduced lung compliance and worsening of gas exchange in the immediate posttransplant period. Recruitment maneuver and high positive end-expiratory pressure can relieve postoperative respiratory failure, especially in the patient with reperfusion pulmonary edema after pulmonary thromboendarterectomy. Pharmaceutical agents, including inhaled nitric oxide, soluble complement receptor type 1, prostaglandin E1 and exogenous surfactant, attenuate pulmonary reperfusion injury through distinct mechanisms. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and Novalung are temporary assistance in bridging to lung transplantation, stabilization of hemodynamics during transplantation and treatment of severe lung dysfunction and primary graft failure. Modulation of heme oxygenase-1 expression, ischemic conditioning and gene therapy are future directions for pulmonary reperfusion injury management.

Key words: cardiopulmonary bypass, pulmonary hypertension, respiratory insufficiency

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The new types of child maltreatment: a public and social emergency no longer negligible

Abstract

Child abuse and neglect is a common problem that is potentially damaging to long-term physical and psychological health of children. As society and culture have progressively changed different configurations of child abuse and neglect have emerged. Few attention has been focused on these types of child maltreatment that represent the new emergency in this field. Pediatricians should be trained to play a major role in caring for and supporting the social and developmental well-being of children raised in variously conditions and in new types of problems. Pediatric care has been based on the increased awareness of the importance of meeting the psychosocial and developmental needs of children and of the role of families in promoting the health.

Keywords: Child abuse, neglect, emergency

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