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Journal: Intensive care medicine


Functional status and chronic health status are important baseline characteristics of critically ill patients. The assessment of frailty on admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) may provide objective, prognostic information on baseline health. To determine the impact of frailty on the outcome of critically ill patients, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis comparing clinical outcomes in frail and non-frail patients admitted to ICU.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Epidemiology, Medical terms, Intensive care medicine, Illness, Meta-analysis, Outcome


To provide evidence-based guidelines for early enteral nutrition (EEN) during critical illness.

Concepts: Health care, Health, Medical terms, Patient, Illness


PURPOSE: We aimed to evaluate post-resuscitation care, implementation of therapeutic hypothermia (TH) and outcomes of intensive care unit (ICU)-treated out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients in Finland. METHODS: We included all adult OHCA patients admitted to 21 ICUs in Finland from March 1, 2010 to February 28, 2011 in this prospective observational study. Patients were followed (mortality and neurological outcome evaluated by Cerebral Performance Categories, CPC) within 1 year after cardiac arrest. RESULTS: This study included 548 patients treated after OHCA. Of those, 311 patients (56.8 %) had a shockable initial rhythm (incidence of 7.4/100,000/year) and 237 patients (43.2 %) had a non-shockable rhythm (incidence of 5.6/100,000/year). At ICU admission, 504 (92 %) patients were unconscious. TH was given to 241/281 (85.8 %) unconscious patients resuscitated from shockable rhythms, with unfavourable 1-year neurological outcome (CPC 3-4-5) in 42.0 % with TH versus 77.5 % without TH (p < 0.001). TH was given to 70/223 (31.4 %) unconscious patients resuscitated from non-shockable rhythms, with 1-year CPC of 3-4-5 in 80.6 % (54/70) with TH versus 84.0 % (126/153) without TH (p = 0.56). This lack of difference remained after adjustment for propensity to receive TH in patients with non-shockable rhythms. CONCLUSIONS: One-year unfavourable neurological outcome of patients with shockable rhythms after TH was lower than in previous randomized controlled trials. However, our results do not support use of TH in patients with non-shockable rhythms.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Randomized controlled trial, Observational study, Intensive care medicine, Cardiac arrest, Asystole, Therapeutic hypothermia, Rhythm


To assess the behaviour of a pressure-preset volume-guaranteed (V(TG)) mode of ventilation in the presence of non-intentional leaks in single-limb circuit (SLC) home ventilators.

Concepts: Mechanical ventilation, Circuit, The Circuit, Medical ventilator


PURPOSE: To study the incidence and clinical characteristics of delayed cerebral thrombosis in bacterial meningitis patients. METHODS: We assessed the incidence and clinical characteristics of delayed cerebral thrombosis in adults with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture-proven community-acquired bacterial meningitis included in a prospective nationwide study in The Netherlands performed from 2006 to 2012. RESULTS: Delayed cerebral thrombosis occurred in 11 of 1,032 episodes (1.1 %). CSF culture yielded Streptococcus pneumoniae in ten patients and Listeria monocytogenes in one. Adjunctive dexamethasone therapy was administered before or with the first dose of antibiotics in 9 of 11 patients; two patients were initially not treated with dexamethasone. All patients made good initial recovery, followed by sudden deterioration after 7-42 days. Cranial imaging studies showed multiple cerebral infarctions in all patients. The outcome was unfavorable in all but one patient. In an explorative analysis, patients with delayed cerebral thrombosis had eightfold higher complement C5a CSF concentrations on the diagnostic lumbar puncture as compared in those without delayed cerebral thrombosis (p = 0.04). CONCLUSION: Delayed cerebral thrombosis is a rare but devastating complication of bacterial meningitis. Adjunctive dexamethasone therapy seems to predispose patients with bacterial meningitis to this complication. We found some evidence that this thrombotic complication is associated with activation of the complement system.

Concepts: Bacteria, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Cerebrospinal fluid, Meningitis, Listeria monocytogenes, Listeriosis, Tuberculous meningitis, Lumbar puncture


To examine the repeatability of Stewart’s parameters and anion gap in a cohort of critically ill patients and to determine the smallest detectable changes in individual patients.

Concepts: Illness, Anion gap


Dexmedetomidine is thought to activate an endogenous pathway that naturally promotes non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Dexmedetomidine may induce restorative sleep, that is, NREM stage 3 and 4 (slow wave sleep; SWS) or sleep continuity in mechanically ventilated patients. Few data have been published, however, on the sleep characteristics of mechanically ventilated patients during dexmedetomidine infusion.

Concepts: Sleep, Non-rapid eye movement sleep, Dreaming, Slow-wave sleep, Sleep physiology


PURPOSE: To determine incidence, risk factors and outcome of tracheal ischemic lesions related to intubation. METHODS: Planned post hoc analysis using patients from a previous randomized controlled study. Fiberoptic tracheoscopy was performed during the 24 h following extubation. In patients with >2 ischemic lesions, ulcer or tracheal rupture, fiberoptic tracheoscopy was repeated 2 weeks after the last extubation. Tracheal ischemic lesions were predefined based on a quantitative score. RESULTS: Ninety-six adult patients were included in this study. Eighty (83 %) patients had at least one tracheal ischemic lesion. Thirty-seven (38 %) patients had a tracheal ischemia score > median score (5; IQ 1, 7). The most common tracheal ischemic lesion was ischemia (68 %), followed by hyperemia (54 %), ulcer (10 %), and tracheal rupture (1 %). Univariate analysis identified duration of neuromuscular-blocking agent use, overinflation of tracheal cuff (>30 cmH(2)O), percentage of P (cuff) determination >30 cmH(2)O, duration of assist-control ventilation, and plateau pressure as risk factors for having a tracheal ischemia score >5. Duration of assist-control mechanical ventilation was the only factor independently associated with tracheal ischemia score >5 [OR (95 % CI) 1.10 per hour (1.02-1.20)]. A fiberoptic tracheoscopy was performed 2 weeks after extubation in 22 patients. This examination was normal in all patients, except the one with tracheal rupture who had marked improvement. CONCLUSION: Tracheal ischemic lesions are common in intubated, critically ill patients. Duration of assist-control mechanical ventilation through a tracheal tube is the only independent risk factor. These lesions healed in the majority of patients 2 weeks after extubation.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Medical statistics, Risk, The Canon of Medicine, Mechanical ventilation, Endotracheal tube, Intubation


BACKGROUND: High flow nasal cannula (HFNC) systems utilize higher gas flow rates than standard nasal cannulae. The use of HFNC as a respiratory support modality is increasing in the infant, pediatric, and adult populations as an alternative to non-invasive positive pressure ventilation. OBJECTIVES: This critical review aims to: (1) appraise available evidence with regard to the utility of HFNC in neonatal, pediatric, and adult patients; (2) review the physiology of HFNC; (3) describe available HFNC systems (online supplement); and (4) review ongoing and planned trials studying the utility of HFNC in various clinical settings. RESULTS: Clinical neonatal studies are limited to premature infants. Only a few pediatric studies have examined the use of HFNC, with most focusing on this modality for viral bronchiolitis. In critically ill adults, most studies have focused on acute respiratory parameters and short-term physiologic outcomes with limited investigations focusing on clinical outcomes such as duration of therapy and need for escalation of ventilatory support. Current evidence demonstrates that HFNC generates positive airway pressure in most circumstances; however, the predominant mechanism of action in relieving respiratory distress is not well established. CONCLUSION: Current evidence suggests that HFNC is well tolerated and may be feasible in a subset of patients who require ventilatory support with non-invasive ventilation. However, HFNC has not been demonstrated to be equivalent or superior to non-invasive positive pressure ventilation, and further studies are needed to identify clinical indications for HFNC in patients with moderate to severe respiratory distress.

Concepts: Medicine, Infant, Critical thinking, Pulmonology, Intensive care medicine, Acute respiratory distress syndrome, Pediatrics, Nasal cannula


The implementation of interdisciplinary teams in the intensive care unit (ICU) has focused attention on leadership behavior. Daily interdisciplinary rounds (IDRs) in ICUs integrate leadership behavior and interdisciplinary teamwork. The purpose of this intervention study was to measure the effect of leadership training on the quality of IDRs in the ICU.

Concepts: Psychometrics