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Signa Vitae

A Journal In Intensive Care And Emergency Medicine

Tag: critical care

Bispectral analysis in medical-surgical ICU

Abstract

The effectiveness of sedation in the ICU is routinely assessed by subjective monitoring of the patient’s clinical condition or by using the monitors. The aim of our study was to review the monitoring of sedation using bispectral analysis (BIS) in medical-surgical ICU. A retrospective analysis of patients who were treated in the ICU from 2008 to 2014 was made. The data of 104 patients were analyzed. The average values of age are 54.38 (SD ±18,93; median 58). 39 (37,5%) of the patients died. The patients were referred to the ICU from medical (37), surgical departments (23) and traumatology (44). The patients were treated in the ICU for 13.84 days (SD ±17.29; median 8). The burst suppression pattern was noticed in 31 (29.8%) patients. Delirium occurred in 3 patients after the separation from the ventilator. In heterogeneous groups of patients, in which BIS was applied, it is not possible to make certain conclusions. The cost of the method unfortunately limits its wider usage. It is necessary to wait for the results of future studies which will set clear indications for the use of BIS in certain groups of patients.

Key words: bispectral index, critical care, monitoring, sedation

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Administration of protein C concentrates in patients without congenital deficit: a systematic review of the literature

Abstract

Endogenous protein C levels are frequently decreased in septic patients, probably due to increased conversion to activated protein C. Protein C levels inversely correlate with morbidity and mortality of septic patients regardless of age, infecting microorganisms, presence of shock, disseminated intravascular coagulation, degree of hypercoagulation, or severity of illness. Taken together, these considerations suggest a strong correlation between protein C pathways and survival from severe sepsis/septic shock, and reinforce the rationale for the attempts to normalize plasma activity of protein C to improve survival, hamper coagulopathy, and modulate inflammation. We therefore conducted a systematic review of all manuscripts describing protein C concentrates administration in adult and pediatric populations. We identified 28 studies, for a total of 340 patients, 70 of whom died (20.6%). Septic patients were the most represented in this review of case reports and case series. In the majority of these patients sepsis was associated with meningitis, purpura fulminans or disseminated intravascular coagulation. No bleeding complications related to the study drug were reported and most studies underlined normalization of inflammatory markers and of coagulation abnormalities. We conclude that protein C concentrate is an attractive option in septic patients (especially those with meningitis, purpura fulminans, or disseminated intravascular coagulation) and that its cost-benefit ratio must be studied with a large multicenter randomized control trial, possibly including also high risk patients with septic shock and multiple organ failure.

Key words: protein C zymogen, bleeding, amputations, intensive care, critical care.

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Observed versus predicted hospital mortality in general wards patients assisted by a medical emergency team

Abstract

Introduction. In many countries the demand for intensive care beds exceeds their availability. The Medical Emergency Team (MET) can manage critically ill patients outside the intensive care unit (ICU). Hospital mortality rate for patients admitted to general wards and assisted by the MET was never compared to the predicted mortality for the same group of patients in an ICU setting.

Methods. Single-centre, prospective, observational study on consecutive adult patients assisted by the MET in all general wards and in the Emergency Department of a 1100-bed teaching Hospital. Patients with a ‘do-not-attempt-resuscitation’ decision were excluded.

Results. Eighty-two consecutive patients were included. Observed hospital mortality was 34.1% (28 patients), while the Simplified Acute Physiology Score II (SAPS II) predicted a mortality for the first MET visit of 17% (p=0.02). Patients transferred to an ICU, but not during the first MET evaluation (delayed ICU admission), had worse than predicted outcomes, while patients immediately transferred to an ICU showed hospital mortality similar to the predicted one. The fifty patients treated for acute respiratory failure (especially those with pneumonia – 12 patients) had the worst observed/predicted hospital mortality ratio (3.0 for acute respiratory failure, p=0.02; 8.06, p=0.03 for pneumonia patients).

Conclusions. Critically ill patients who remained in general wards or who were admitted to the ICU with some delay had markedly higher hospital mortality than the SAPS II predicted hospital mortality, even if they were assisted by the MET.

Key words: medical emergency team, rapid response system, intensive care unit; critical care

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Inpatient management of alcohol withdrawal: a practical approach

Abstract

Alcohol intake contributes directly or indirectly to 15 to 20% of medical problems in primary care or an inpatient setting. It is estimated that approximately 500,000 episodes of withdrawal will be severe enough to require pharmacologic intervention. The total cost to the United States economy from alcohol abuse was estimated to be $185 billion for 1998. This review attempts to put forth a practical and evidence based approach towards the inpatient management of alcohol withdrawal. Various agents and their pharmacology are described. Strength of evidence regards to efficacy and shorter inpatient stays is examined.

Key words: substance abuse, pharmacology, addiction, pathophysiology, critical care

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