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Signa Vitae

A Journal In Intensive Care And Emergency Medicine

Tag: mortality (Page 1 of 2)

CRIB II score versus gestational age and birth weight in preterm infant mortality prediction: who will win the bet?


Introduction. In neonatology, various illness severity scores have been developed to predict mortality and morbidity risk in neonates. The aim of our study was to validate the ability of the ‘Clinical Risk Index for Babies’ (CRIB) II score to predict mortality in neonates born before 32 weeks’ gestation in a level 3 neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), setting.

Materials and Methods. Prospective birth cohort study including all live-born neonates of 32 weeks’ gestation or less. . CRIB II score was calculated and the predicted mortality was compared with the observed mortality. Discrimination (the ability of the score to correctly predict survival or death) was assessed by calculating the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC curve) and its associated area under the curve (AUC).

Results. The ROC curve analysis in our study showed that the AUC was 0.9008 suggesting that mortality prediction was 90% accurate for all infants. Sensitivity and specificity were 77% and 88% respectively. In our study population, the CRIB II score appears to be more accurate than gestational age and birth weight in predicting mortality.

Conclusions. The CRIB II scoring system is a useful tool for predicting mortality and morbidity in NICUs, and also a useful tool for evaluating the variations in mortality and other outcomes seen between different NICUs.

Key words: CRIB, CRIB II, mortality, neonates, outcome, prematurity, scoring system

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Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Species in a cardiac surgical intensive care unit


Objective. Multi-drug resistant bacterial infections, in particular when Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is involved, have become a relevant problem in both general and specialized intensive care units. The aim of this study was to identify the epidemiology of MRSA infections in a Cardiac Surgical Intensive Care Unit, to assess their impact on mortality and to identify predictors of MRSA infection and mortality in this population.

Design and settings. A 7-year observational study in a cardiac surgery teaching center.

Participants. Eight thousand, one hundred and sixty-two microbiological samples were obtained from 7,313 patients who underwent cardiac surgery in the study period.

Interventions. None.

Variables of interest and main results. Twenty-eight patients (0.38%) had MRSA infection. The most frequent site of MRSA isolation was from bronchoalveolar samples. Hospital mortality was 50% in patients with MRSA infection and 2% in patients without MRSA infection (p<0.001).

Few preoperative independent predictors of MRSA infection and hospital mortality were found at multivariate analysis. Outcomes were found to be most influenced by perioperative variables. MRSA infection was the strongest predictor of mortality, with an odds ratio of 20.5 (95% CI 4.143-101.626).

Conclusions. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections following cardiac surgery still have a strong impact on the patients’ outcome. More efforts should be directed toward the development of new risk analysis models that might implement health care practices and might become precious instruments for infection prevention and control.

Key words: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, infections, cardiac surgery, mortality, intensive care, cardiac anaesthesia

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Decreasing mortality with drotrecogin alfa in high risk septic patients A meta-analysis of randomized trials in adult patients with multiple organ failure and mortality >40%


Objective. Sepsis is a complex inflammatory disease, rising in response to infection. Drotrecogin alfa, approved in 2001 for severe sepsis, has been withdrawn from the market. The aim of this study was to assess if drotrecogin alfa-activated can reduce mortality in the more severe septic patients.

Methods. We searched PubMed, Embase, Scopus, BioMedCentral, and in Clinicaltrials. gov databases to identify every randomized study performed on drotrecogin alfa-activated in any clinical setting in humans, without restrictions on dose or time of administration. Our primary end-point was mortality rate in high risk patients. Secondary endpoints were mortality in all patients, in patients with an Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) 2 score ≥ 25 and in those with an APACHE 2 score ≤25.

Results. Five trials were identified and included in the analysis. They randomized 3196 patients to drotrecogin alfa and 3111 to the control group. Drotrecogin alfa was associated with a reduction in mortality (99/263 [37.6%] vs 115/244 [47.1%], risk ratios (RR) = 0.80[0.65; 0.98], p = 0.03) in patients with multiple organ failure and a mortality risk in the control group of >40%, but not in the overall population or in lower risk populations.

Conclusions. In high risk populations of patients with multiple organ failure and a mortality of >40% in the control group, Drotrecogin alfa may still have a role as a lifesaving treatment. No beneficial effect in low risk patients was found. An individual patient meta-analysis including all randomized controlled trial on sepsis is warranted, along with new studies on similar drugs such as protein C zymogen.

Key words: sepsis, shock, intensive care, critically ill, mortality, drotrecogin alfa, recombinant human activated protein C

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Nesiritide and clinically relevant outcomes in cardiac surgery: a meta-analysis of randomized studies


B-type natriuretic peptide is a cardiac hormone that relaxes vascular smooth muscle and causes arterial dilatation. Nesiritide has been  associated with increased urine output; reduced diuretic requirements; and suppression of aldosterone, endothelin, and norepinephrine. We have independently conducted the first systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials to determine the impact of nesiritide on renal replacement therapy and death in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. We performed a meta-analysis of 6 randomized controlled studies including 560 patients (280 receiving nesiritide and 280 assigned to the control group). Two unblinded reviewers selected randomized trials studying  nesiritide  in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Nesiritide doses ranged from 0.005 mcg/kg/min to 0.01 mcg/kg/min. Nesiritide did not reduce postoperative creatinine peak values: -0.16 [-0.42, 0.10], p for effect=0.23, p for heterogeneity<0.01, I2=90.5%) or the need for  renal replacement therapy (1/177 in the nesiritide group vs 4/176 in the control group OR 0.39 [0.07, 2.06], p for effect=0.27, p for heterogeneity=0.70, I2=0%). We observed an interesting trend toward a reduction in mortality in the nesiritide group:13/280 (4.6%) vs 22/280 (7.8%) OR 0.57 [0.28, 1.15], p for effect=0.12, p for heterogeneity=0.43, I2=0%. Nesiritide did not reduce time of mechanical ventilation -8.77 hours [-21.42, 3.88], p=0.17, length of hospital stay -2.67 days [-6.50, 1.16], p=0.17 or intensive care unit (ICU) stay -0.94 days [-2.83, 0.95], p=0.33. In conclusion, further randomized controlled trials are needed to support the hypothesis that nesiritide improves clinically relevant outcomes in cardiac surgery.

Key words: Nesiritide, meta-analysis, cardiac surgery, renal replacement therapy, mortality.

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Sex Hormones and Gender Effects following Trauma-Hemorrhage


Trauma is the leading cause of death in the industrialized world between the ages of one and 40. A number of risk factors including age and gender have been implicated in this regard. It is therefore not surprising that the majority of trauma victims are young males. Their mortality rate following trauma is not only higher compared to females, but they are also more prone to subsequent sepsis. Age and gender are therefore important factors in the prevalence of traumatic injury as well as in susceptibility to subsequent septic complications.

Key words: trauma, mortality, age, gender, sex hormones, sepsis, cardiovascular/immunological alterations

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