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Signa Vitae

A Journal In Intensive Care And Emergency Medicine

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Influence of the adequacy of data collection, during two years, in the management of community-acquired pneumonia in emergency departments


Objective. The aim of this study was to analyze whether structured data collection of patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in the Emergency Department (ED) improves compliance with clinical guidelines regarding inpatient and outpatient treatment and prescription of antibiotics at discharge.
Material and methods. We performed a quasi experimental, multicenter, pre/post-intervention study. The intervention consisted of basic training for the participating physicians and the incorporation of a data collection sheet in the clinical history chart, including the information necessary for adequate decision making regarding patient admission and treatment, in the case of discharge. We analyzed the adequacy of the final destination of patients classified as Fine I-II and antibiotic treatment in patients receiving outpatient treatment, with each participating physician including 8 consecutive patients (4 pre-intervention and 4 post-intervention).
Results. A total of 738 patients were included: 378 pre-intervention and 360 post-intervention. In the pre-intervention group, Fine V was more frequent and patients were older, had more ischemic heart disease, active neoplasms and fewer risk factors for atypical pneumonia. Of the patients with Fine I-II, 23.7% were inadequately admitted and 19.6% of those discharged received treatment not recommended by guidelines. No differences were observed in the target variables between the two groups.
Conclusion. The adequacy of the decision to admit patients with Fine I-II CAP and outpatient antibiotic treatment can be improved in the ED. Structured data collection does not improve patient outcome.

Key words: community-acquired pneumonia, emergency department, antibiotic treatment, adequacy of admission

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Development of a standardized in-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation set-up


Objective. This study evaluated whether chest compression in a standardized in-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) set-up can be performed as effectively as when the rescuer is kneeling beside the patient lying on the floor. Specifically, the in-hospital test was standardized according to the rescuers’ average knee height.

Methods. Experimental intervention (test 1) was a standardized, in-hospital CPR set-up: first, the bed height was fixed at 70 cm. Second, the height difference between the bed and a step stool was set to the average knee height of the CPR team members (45 cm). Control intervention (test 2) was kneeling on floor. Thirty-eight medical doctors on the CPR team each performed 2 minutes of chest compressions in test 1 and 2 in random order (cross-over trial). A Little Anne was used as a simulated patient who had experienced cardiac arrest. Chest compression parameters, such as average depth and rate, were measured using an accelerometer device.

Results. In all tests, the average depths were those recommended in the most recent CPR guidelines (50–60 mm); there were no significant differences between Tests 1 and 2 (53.1 ± 4.3 mm vs. 52.6 ± 4.8 mm, respectively; p = 0.398). The average rate in Test 2 (119.1 ± 12.4 numbers/min) was slightly faster than that in Test 1 (116.4 ± 10.2 numbers/min; p = 0.028). No differences were observed in any other parameters.

Conclusions. Chest compression quality in our standardized in-hospital CPR set-up was similar with that performed in a kneeling position on the floor.

Trial Registration: Clinical Research Information Service: KCT0001599

Key words: beds, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, posture

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Hypoxia during one lung ventilation in thoracic surgery


Background. The technique of one lung ventilation (OLV) is used with the purpose of achieving isolation of the diseased lung being operated upon, using a double-lumen endobronchial tube. Thoracic surgical procedures which are performed in the lateral decubitus position, nowadays could not be imagined without OLV. In spite of advantages regarding surgical exposure, OLV is associated with serious respiratory impairment. Hypoxemia is considered to be the most important challenge during OLV. The goal of this study was to establish the magnitude of intrapulmonary shunt, as well as the immensity of hypoxia during general anesthesia with OLV.

Materials and Methods. In this prospective interventional clinical study thirty patients were enrolled who underwent elective thoracic surgery with a prolonged period of OLV. The patients received balanced general anesthesia with fentanyl/propofol/rocuronium. A double-lumen endobronchial tube was inserted in all patients, and mechanical ventilation with 50% oxygen in air was used during the entire study. Arterial blood gases were recorded in a lateral decubitus position with two-lung ventilation, at the beginning of OLV (OLV 0) and at 10 and 30 min. (OLV 10, OLV 30, respectively) after initiating OLV in all patients. Standard monitoring procedures were used. Arterial oxygenation (PaO2), arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2) and venous admixture percentage – intrapulmonary shunt (Qs/Qt %) were measured, as well as mean arterial pressure and heart rate during the same time intervals. For the purpose of this study, the quantitative value of Qs/Qt% was mathematically calculated using the blood gas analyser AVL Compact 3. A p value <0.05 was taken to be statistically significant.

Results. When OLV was instituted, arterial oxygenation decreased, whereas Qs/Qt% increased, about 10 min. after commencement, with improvement of oxygenation approximately half an hour afterwards. A statistically relevant difference (p<0.05) occurred in PaO2, SaO2 and Qs/Qt at the different time points.

Conclusion. Hypoxia during OLV, with an increase in Qs/Qt, usually occurs after 10 min. of its initiation. After 30 min, the values of the Qs/Qt ratio regularly return to normal levels.

Key words: one-lung ventilation, thoracic surgery, venous admixture, intrapulmonary shunt

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Impact of gestational age at PPROM on the short-term outcome of children born after extreme and prolonged preterm prelabor rupture of membranes in an experienced care center


Introduction. Survival of infants born after extreme PPROM (preterm prelabor rupture of membranes) has increased dramatically in the past 20 years, up to 90% in some tertiary neonatal centres, due to the progress in neonatal cardiorespiratory management.

Known risk factors of poor outcomes are lower gestational age at PPROM and prolonged and severe oligohydramnios.

Methods. We performed a retrospective study over a 6-year-period (2009-2015), including 14 pregnant women who experienced PPROM, before 25 weeks of gestation, with prolonged (>14 days) and severe oligohydramnios (amniotic fluid index<5). Each live neonate was matched with a control patient who was born the same year, of the same gender, with the same gestational age (+/- 6 days) and who received treatment to induce fetal lung maturation at least 48 hours before birth.

Results. Live birth rate was 14/20 (70%) and neonatal survival was 13/14 (93%). Apgar scores at 5 and 10 minutes were lower in the PPROM group (p<0.01). Intubation was necessary for all babies with PPROM and for 5/13 (38%) of the controls (p < 0.01). In a subgroup analysis of the PPROM group, we found that all babies with PPROM < 20 weeks presented refractory hypoxemia and required iNO (inhaled nitric oxide) administration compared to one in the PPROM group > 20 weeks (p < 0.01).

In all infants requiring iNO, the oxygenation index improved dramatically and rapidly with treatment.

We found no difference in the rate of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, necrotizing enterocolitis, retinopathy of prematurity or intraventricular hemorrhage.

Conclusion. PPROM before 20 weeks of gestation exposes the neonate to a high risk of refractory hypoxemia compared to PPROM after 20 weeks. The initial care management requires more aggressive treatment with administration of iNO in all of them.

After the initial period, the evolution of all babies born after PPROM is comparable to that of their controls.

Key words: preterm prelabor rupture of membranes, oligohydramnios, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary hypoplasia.

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The burden of Candida species colonization in NICU patients: a colonization surveillance study


Fungal infections are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). The identification of specific risk factors supports prevention of candidemia in neonates. Effective prophylactic strategies have recently become available, but the identification and adequate management of high-risk infants is still a priority. Prior colonization is a key risk factor for candidemia. For this reason, surveillance studies to monitor incidence, species distribution, and antifungal susceptibility profiles, are mandatory. Among 520 infants admitted to our NICU between January 2013 and December 2014, 472 (90.77%) were included in the study. Forty-eight out of 472 (10.17%) patients tested positive for Candida spp. (C.), at least on one occasion. All the colonized patients tested positive for the rectal swab, whereas 7 patients also tested positive for the nasal swab. Fifteen out of 472 patients (3.18%) had more than one positive rectal or nasal swab during their NICU stay. Moreover, 9 out of 15 patients tested negative at the first sampling, suggesting they acquired Candida spp. during their stay. Twenty-five of forty-eight (52.1%) colonized patients carried C.albicans and 15/48 (31.25%) C.parapsilosis. We identified as risk factors for Candida spp. colonization: antibiotic therapy, parenteral nutrition, the use of a central venous catheter, and nasogastric tube. Our experience suggests that effective microbiological surveillance can allow for implementing proper, effective and timely control measures in a high-risk setting.

Key words: Candida, surveillance, NICU

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