Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Der Anaesthesist


In 2015 the German Society for Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine (GTÜM) and the Swiss Underwater and Hyperbaric Medical Society (SUHMS) published the updated guidelines on diving accidents 2014-2017. These multidisciplinary guidelines were developed within a structured consensus process by members of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), the Sports Divers Association (VDST), the Naval Medical Institute (SchiffMedInst), the Social Accident Insurance Institution for the Building Trade (BG BAU), the Association of Hyperbaric Treatment Centers (VDD) and the Society of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (DGAUM). This consensus-based guidelines project (development grade S2k) with a representative group of developers was conducted by the Association of Scientific Medical Societies in Germany. It provides information and instructions according to up to date evidence to all divers and other lay persons for first aid recommendations to physician first responders and emergency physicians as well as paramedics and all physicians at therapeutic hyperbaric chambers for the diagnostics and treatment of diving accidents. To assist in implementing the guideline recommendations, this article summarizes the rationale, purpose and the following key action statements: on-site 100 % oxygen first aid treatment, still patient positioning and fluid administration are recommended. Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) recompression remains unchanged the established treatment in severe cases with no therapeutic alternatives. The basic treatment scheme recommended for diving accidents is hyperbaric oxygenation at 280 kPa. For quality management purposes there is a need in the future for a nationwide register of hyperbaric therapy.

Concepts: Oxygen toxicity, Decompression sickness, Diving medicine, First aid, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Medicine, Oxygen, Hyperbaric medicine


The mortality of patients with sepsis and septic shock is still unacceptably high. An effective antibiotic treatment within 1 h of recognition of sepsis is an important target of sepsis treatment. Delays lead to an increase in mortality; therefore, structured treatment concepts form a rational foundation, taking relevant diagnostic and treatment steps into consideration. In addition to the assumed focus and individual risks of each patient, local resistance patterns and specific problem pathogens must be taken into account for selection of anti-infection treatment. Many pathophysiological alterations influence the pharmacokinetics of antibiotics during sepsis. The principle of standard dosing should be abandoned and replaced by an individual treatment approach with stronger weighting of the pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) index of the substance groups. Although this is not yet the clinical standard, prolonged (or continuous) infusion of beta-lactam antibiotics and therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) can help to achieve defined PK targets. Prolonged infusion is sufficient without TDM but for continuous infusion TDM is basically necessary. A further argument for individual PK/PD-oriented antibiotic approaches is the increasing number of infections due to multidrug resistant pathogens (MDR) in the intensive care unit. For effective treatment antibiotic stewardship teams (ABS team) are becoming more established. Interdisciplinary cooperation of the ABS team with infectiologists, microbiologists and clinical pharmacists leads not only to a rational administration of antibiotics but also has a positive influence on the outcome. The gold standards for pathogen detection are still culture-based detection and microbiological resistance testing for the various antibiotic groups. Despite the rapid investigation time, novel polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based procedures for pathogen identification and resistance determination, are currently only an adjunct to routine sepsis diagnostics due to the limited number of studies, high costs and limited availability. In complicated septic courses with multiple anti-infective treatment or recurrent sepsis, PCR-based procedures can be used in addition to therapy monitoring and diagnostics. Novel antibiotics represent potent alternatives in the treatment of MDR infections. Due to the often defined spectrum of pathogens and the practically absent resistance, they are suitable for targeted treatment of severe MDR infections (therapy escalation).

Concepts: Antibiotic resistance, Beta-lactam antibiotic, Intensive care medicine, Microbiology, Penicillin, Antibiotic, Sepsis, Bacteria


The application of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) is gaining more and more importance in daily clinical practice. The use of IONM allows the localization of neural structures and to control functioning of the peripheral and central nervous systems in anesthetized patients. This enables surgeons to identify and to protect neural structures and cerebral areas. The use of IONM also enables anesthesiologists to adjust anesthesia and cardiopulmonary therapy to the individual needs of the patient. Thereby, it may be possible to reduce the incidence of postoperative delirium and the incidence of postoperative cognitive deficits. To exploit the full potential anesthesiologists and surgeons must be able to use the methods of IONM safely and understand the results; therefore, basic knowledge of the technology, options and limitations of IONM is necessary. It is also important to be aware of the influence of anesthetics on the methods of IONM. Total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) is the anesthetic method of choice, because it has only minimal influence on IONM methods. It is important to avoid bolus injections of hypnotics to achieve stable blood concentrations. Long- acting neuromuscular blocking agents should be avoided, because they disturb the signals of electromyography and motor-evoked potentials. By using IONM anesthesiologists and surgeons can identify changes in the function of the peripheral and central nervous system prior to irreversible damage.

Concepts: Anesthetic, Psychology, Neuroscience, Brain, Surgery, Anesthesia, Central nervous system, Nervous system


At the end of life patients often show distressful symptoms which significantly reduce their quality of life. The goal of all healthcare professionals should be to recognize the beginning of this end of life period in order to provide good symptom management. For this purpose, existing symptoms have to be recorded, suitable therapeutic goals have to be defined for the current situation and potential therapeutic strategies have to be individually formulated. Besides the identification of underlying causes with the possibility of causal treatment, a symptom-based therapy is often necessary. Therapeutic approaches of different professions should be equally considered and should additionally be used for the benefit of the patient.

Concepts: Debut albums, Cosmological argument, Physician, Goal, Life, Metaphysics, Health care provider, Patient


The number of patients treated with cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIED) is continously increasing. Knowledge of the medical indications and technical mode of functioning of these devices is a basic prerequisite for the safe perioperative care of this patient cohort. The CIEDs are subjected to a multitude of disturbing influences in the perioperative setting. This can result in potentially dangerous complications, such as exit block and oversensing. The safe performance of interventions is possible as long as some basic rules are followed. An interdisciplinary approach involving all participating disciplines is necessary in order to adequately deal with the high demands placed on the logistics.

Concepts: Interdisciplinarity, Patient, Electronics, Doctor-patient relationship, Debut albums, Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator


Patients undergoing peripheral venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation have a high risk of lower limb ischemia. In general, regular controls are carried out based on clinical and laboratory parameters in order to quickly detect and treat complications. These controls are challenging due to states of shock, nonpulsatile flow and vasopressor therapy. As additional monitoring the use of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is described in the literature as being very successful in detecting ischemia. The present article describes the use and possible limitations of NIRS for the diagnostics of peripheral ischemia.

Concepts: Near infrared spectroscopy


Due to their strong analgesic potency opioids are highly effective in the therapy of acute and particularly cancer-induced chronic pain; however, the individual opioids differ considerably with respect to their pharmacokinetic and physicochemical properties and may therefore not be equally applicable for every patient. Caution should be taken especially in patients with impaired organ function. Furthermore, the metabolism of opioids leads to active or inactive metabolites. This process can be substantially influenced by genetic polymorphisms or drug interactions. Knowledge of all these factors for individual opioids, which influence the efficacy and side effects, is therefore crucial. In this review the pharmacology, clinical applications, metabolism and genetic factors of the most important opioids used for pain management are discussed.

Concepts: Fentanyl, Pain management, Ketamine, Effectiveness, Opioid, Morphine, Pain, Pharmacology


Simulation-based training with a focus on non-technical skills can have a positive influence on safety relevant attitudes of participants. If an organization succeeds in training sufficient staff, it may experience a positive change in the safety climate. As the effects of a single training are of a transient nature, annual training sessions may lead to an incremental improvement of safety relevant attitudes of employees over time. In spring 2012 the Department of Anesthesia at the University Hospital of Erlangen established an annual simulation-based training for staff members (e.g. consultants, trainee anesthetists and nurse anesthetists).

Concepts: Anesthesia, Hospital, Simulation, Nurse anesthetist, In Spring, Training, Skill


Identification and immediate treatment of life-threatening conditions is fundamental in patients with multiple trauma. In this context, the S3 guidelines on polytrauma and the S1 guidelines on emergency anesthesia provide the scientific background on how to handle these situations.

Concepts: Medical emergency, Hospital, Physical trauma, English-language films


Interscalene regional anesthesia is an established and highly effective procedure; however, it represents an increased level of risk due to the close proximity of anatomical structures, such as the cervical spinal cord and many vessels. Furthermore, due to inadvertent placement of a catheter close to the cervical spinal cord or into a vessel, as opposed to a single shot injection technique, it remains a latent danger until it is removed. This article describes seven  cases of misplaced catheters. The etiology and symptoms are discussed as well as recommendations regarding the prevention of catastrophic complications. As a result, internal practice guidelines are recommended for anesthesia departments in order to enhance the safety and quality of regional anesthesia.

Concepts: Greek loanwords