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Signa Vitae

Journal of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine

Page 4 of 94

Why should we switch chest compression providers every 2 minutes during cardiopulmonary resuscitation?


Objective. This study was conducted to determine whether trained male rescuers could maintain adequate chest compression depth (CCD) for longer than the current recommended guidelines of 2 minutes.

Methods. Forty male medical doctors administered a 5-minute single rescuer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to a manikin on the floor with conventional CPR or randomly administered continuous chest compressions (CCC). The ratio of compression to ventilation was set to 30:2 with mouth-to-mouth technique during conventional CPR. Chest compression data were recorded with an accelerometer device and divided into 1-minute segments for analysis.

Results. Although average CCD maintained the recommended depths throughout 5 minutes in conventional CPR, it decreased significantly with CCC (1 minute: 55.4 ± 4.5 mm; 2 minutes: 54.2 ± 5.4 mm; 3 minutes: 52.6 ± 5.6 mm; 4 minutes: 51.6 ± 5.5 mm; 5 minutes: 49.9 ± 5.8 mm, p < 0.001). The average chest compression numbers (ACCN) per minute were maintained over 80/min and have not been changed significantly within 5 minutes in the CCC. However, it didn’t reach to the 80/min and decreased significantly after 3minutes compared to the baseline ACCN during first 1-minute segment in the conventional CPR.

Conclusions. Despite the chest compression providers being limited to trained male medical doctors, the average CCD decreased significantly within 5minutes with CCC. Although maintaining adequate CCD, ACCN in each minute decreased significantly after 3minutes in the conventional CPR. Therefore, we should rotate chest compression providers every 2minutes regardless of the rescuer’s qualifications and CPR methods.

Key words: cardiopulmonary resuscitation, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, cardiac arrest, healthcare provider

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Total plasma sulfide in mild to moderate diastolic heart dysfunction


Background. The early pathophysiological mechanisms of diastolic dysfunction are not understood well. Hydrogen sulfide is an important endogenous gaseous transmitter that can influence heart remodeling. The aim was to determine total plasma sulfide (TPS) levels, as a surrogate marker of hydrogen sulfide, in patients with mild diastolic dysfunction.

Methods. Total plasma sulfide and N-terminal pro brain-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels were determined in ambulatory patients with arterial hypertension or diabetes mellitus and echocardiographically mild to moderate diastolic dysfunction.

Results. Twenty-four patients were included: nine with normal diastolic function (Grade 0), eight with an impaired relaxation pattern (Grade 1), and seven with a pseudo-normalized pattern (Grade 2). TPS levels were highest in patients with normal diastolic function (Grade 0), and lowest in patients with Grade 2 diastolic dysfunction, with this difference between Grade 0 and Grade 2 showing statistical significance (p = 0.017). NT-proBNP levels showed the reverse behavior, with this difference again showing statistical significance (p = 0.042).

Conclusions. Total plasma sulfide levels decrease with worsening of diastolic function from normal to moderate diastolic dysfunction.

Key words: total plasma sulfide, hydrogen sulfide, arterial hypertension, diastolic dysfunction, echocardiography

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Football referees as first responders in cardiac arrest. Assessment of a Basic Life Support training program.


Aim. To assess football referees´ cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills and automated external defibrillator (AED) use in a simulated sport incident scenario, after a brief training program.

Material and Methods. Quasi-experimental study with 35 amateur league football referees. A test – retest of related samples was carried out after the training program. Theoretical and hands-on session lasted 30 minutes, with 1/10 instructor/participant ratio. CPR skills were measured using Wireless Skill Report software and AED use by means of a specific check list.

Results. A third of sample knew what an AED is but only 8% knew how to use it. After training, all participants achieved 70% or higher CPR quality scores and were able to use AED properly (54.2% without any incidence). Mean time to discharge was shorter for participants who accomplished the quality goal (p=0.022).

Conclusions. After a very brief and simple training program, football referees were able to perform a potentially effective CPR and use an AED correctly in a simulated scenario. Basic life support training should be implemented in football referees´ formative curriculum.

Key words: automated external defibrillator, referees, cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, basic life support, training, sport, football

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Outcomes of very low birth weight infants born by vaginal delivery versus cesarean section


The optimal mode of delivery for very low birth weight (VLBW) infants remains controversial. Despite lacking evidence of benefits regarding neonatal outcomes, cesarean section delivery is becoming more prevalent, particularly in early gestational ages. In our retrospective, multicentr study data were collected for very low birth weight infants born in two Croatian perinatal regions in a 3 – year period (2014. – 2016.). The final cohort consisted of 255 very low birth weight infants. The rate of delivery via cesarean section was 74.1% (189/255) and is one of the highest reported in the literature so far. Infants born vaginally were born at an lower gestational age, had lower 1- and 5-minute Apgar scores, lower birth weights, and prognosis as expressed by higher Clinical risk index for babies (CRIB) scores and were more often born following chorioamnionitis and had higher mortality rate until 7 days of hospitalization. Univariate logistic regression analysis showed that cesarean section reduced the risk of death before 7 days of life (OR 0.34 95% CI 0.182-0.667). This significance was lost after multivariate analysis. In infants surviving after 7 days of hospitalization, rates of short-term neonatal morbidity (severe intracranial hemorrhage, cystic periventricular leukomalacia (cPVL), late-onset sepsis, necrotizing enterocolitis, kidney injury and retinopathy of prematurity requiring interventions) were not significant when comparing infants born vaginally and those born following cesarean section.

Key words: cesarean section, very low birth weight infants, vaginal delivery

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Prenatal echocardiography – the impact on neonatal management


Congenital heart disease (CHD) results in neonatal morbidity and mortality. Prenatal diagnosis allows preparing an appropriate perinatal and postnatal care. Babies born in low-risk level sites with unexpected CHD may have poorer outcomes. The purpose of this study was to compare results of foetal echocardiography to postnatal findings and assess the impact of antenatal suspicions of CHD on postnatal management. Medical records of mother-infant pairs with CHD admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the Medical University of Gdansk from 01.01. to 31.12.2013 were reviewed. We analysed if the defect was detected pre- or postnatally, and if the diagnosis was made by the obstetrician from low-risk level sites (level I) or from a tertiary care centre (level II sonography). The overall incidence of CHD was 68 (3,4%). Critical congenital heart defects (CCHD) were found in 24 neonates (1,2%), 21 were diagnosed prenatally, 3 were transferred from 1st level units.

Correlation between prenatal diagnosis made at our centre and postnatal findings was achieved in 47,7%. Accuracy in all prenatal and postnatal findings for both I and II sonography levels was 35,2%. There were major differences in the disproportion of the great vessels and postnatal confirmation of coarctation of the aorta (CoAo) (7,1%). We obtained a high accuracy of prenatal and postnatal findings in detection of lesions such as Tetralogy of Fallot (ToF), transposition of the great arteries (TGA), DORV (double outlet right ventricle) and Critical Pulmonary Stenosis, which require an outflow tract view (92,9% of cases). Conclusions: We confirmed increasing diagnostic rates when the diagnostics is performed at a tertiary care centre. These results are in agreement with literature stating that prenatal detection of CoAo is still challenging.

Despite the high rates of misdiagnosis, majority of infants benefited from prenatally diagnosed CCHD.

Key words: critical congenital heart disease, foetal, neonatal echocardiography, prenatal diagnosis.

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