Intensive Care Treatment (intensive + care_treatment)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Medical Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Serial factitious disorder and Munchausen by proxy in pregnancy

Summary Factitious disorder, including Munchausen syndrome, is seldom documented among pregnant patients but can have powerful consequences. We report on a 44-year-old woman who, over a period of two decades, self-induced labour and delivery in five consecutive pregnancies. She precipitated labour by rupturing her own amniotic sac with a fingernail or cervical manipulation, or misappropriating and self-administering prostaglandin suppositories from the hospital unit on which she worked as a nurse. Preterm deliveries resulted in fetal demise in one case and in neonatal intensive care treatment for two of the offspring. One of the surviving children has cerebral palsy attributable to the mother's factitious illness behaviour, which raises the spectre of Munchausen by proxy maltreatment. The patient sought attention and care through the ruses, which have never been uncovered by her obstetric and gynaecologic caregivers. Indeed, she underwent an unnecessary hysterectomy because of the illusion of heavy menstrual bleeding. Most recently, the patient has been engaging in surreptitious autophlebotomy to force blood transfusions. [source]

Effects of restricted thoracic movement on the regional distribution of ventilation

Background: Restricted thoracic movement is often encountered in patients, necessitating mechanical ventilation during surgery or intensive care treatment. High intraabdominal pressure, obesity or thorax rigidity and deformity reduce the chest distensibility and deteriorate the lung function. They render the selection of proper ventilator settings difficult and complicate the weaning process. Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) is currently being proposed as a bedside imaging method for monitoring regional lung ventilation. The objective of our study was to establish whether the effects of decreased chest compliance on regional lung ventilation can be determined by EIT. Methods: Ten healthy male volunteers were studied in our pilot study under three conditions: (1) unrestricted breathing and (2) restricted breathing by abdominal and (3) lower rib cage strapping. The subjects were followed during spontaneous tidal breathing in five postures (sitting, supine, prone, left and right side). EIT and spirometry data were acquired in each condition. Results: The distribution of ventilation in subjects with unrestricted breathing corresponded with the physiologically expected values. In the left and right lateral postures, abdominal and thoracic cage restrictions reduced the ventilation in the dependent lung areas; the non-dependent areas were unaffected. In the prone position, the ventilation of the dependent and non-dependent areas was reduced. The effects of strapping were least pronounced in the supine posture. Conclusions: We conclude that EIT is able to measure changes in the regional distribution of ventilation induced by restricted chest movement and has the potential for optimising artificial ventilation in patients with limited chest compliance of different origins. [source]

Measurements of functional residual capacity during intensive care treatment: the technical aspects and its possible clinical applications

Direct measurement of lung volume, i.e. functional residual capacity (FRC) has been recommended for monitoring during mechanical ventilation. Mostly due to technical reasons, FRC measurements have not become a routine monitoring tool, but promising techniques have been presented. We performed a literature search of studies with the key words ,functional residual capacity' or ,end expiratory lung volume' and summarize the physiology and patho-physiology of FRC measurements in ventilated patients, describe the existing techniques for bedside measurement, and provide an overview of the clinical questions that can be addressed using an FRC assessment. The wash-in or wash-out of a tracer gas in a multiple breath maneuver seems to be best applicable at bedside, and promising techniques for nitrogen or oxygen wash-in/wash-out with reasonable accuracy and repeatability have been presented. Studies in ventilated patients demonstrate that FRC can easily be measured at bedside during various clinical settings, including positive end-expiratory pressure optimization, endotracheal suctioning, prone position, and the weaning from mechanical ventilation. Alveolar derecruitment can easily be monitored and improvements of FRC without changes of the ventilatory setting could indicate alveolar recruitment. FRC seems to be insensitive to over-inflation of already inflated alveoli. Growing evidence suggests that FRC measurements, in combination with other parameters such as arterial oxygenation and respiratory compliance, could provide important information on the pulmonary situation in critically ill patients. Further studies are needed to define the exact role of FRC in monitoring and perhaps guiding mechanical ventilation. [source]

The inflammatory reflex , Introduction

Abstract. Sepsis is the third leading cause of death in the developed world. Despite recent advances in intensive care treatment and the discovery of antibiotics, sepsis remains associated with a high mortality rate. The pathogenesis of sepsis is characterized by an overwhelming systemic inflammatory response that is central to the development of lethal multiple organ failure. This volume of the Journal of Internal Medicine contains three reviews addressing novel aspects of a system we are only beginning to understand , the interactions between the immune and the nervous systems, the ,neuro-immune axis'. Tracey (Nature 2002; 420: 853) recently discovered that the nervous system, through the vagus nerve, can modulate circulating TNF- , levels induced by microbial invasion or tissue injury. This cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway is mediated primarily by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on tissue macrophages , the pathway leads to decreased production of proinflammatory cytokines. The author reports that treatment with the acetylcholine receptor agonist, nicotine, modulates this system and reduces mortality in ,established' sepsis. Watkins and Maier (J Intern Med 2005; 257: 139) illustrate that pathological pain (induced by inflammation) is not simply a strict neuronal phenomenon, but is a component of the immune response, and is modulated by peripheral immune cells and spinal cord glia cells. This may be of importance for future development of novel drugs for neuropathic pain as well as our understanding of increased risks for infections in anaesthetic skin areas. Blalock (J Immunol 1984; 132: 1067) elucidates the possibility that the immune system actually functions as the sixth sense, sensing microbes and microbial toxins that we cannot see, hear, taste, touch or smell. Activation of the sympathetic nervous system also has predominantly anti-inflammatory effects that are mediated through direct nerve to immune cell interaction or through the adrenal neuro-endocrine axis. [source]

Value choices and considerations when limiting intensive care treatment: a qualitative study

Background: To shed light on the values and considerations that affect the decision-making processes and the decisions to limit intensive care treatment. Method: Qualitative methodology with participant observation and in-depth interviews, with an emphasis on eliciting the underlying rationale of the clinicians' actions and choices when limiting treatment. Results: Informants perceived over-treatment in intensive care medicine as a dilemma. One explanation was that the decision-making base was somewhat uncertain, complex and difficult. The informants claimed that those responsible for taking decisions from the admitting ward prolonged futile treatment because they may bear guilt or responsibility for something that had gone wrong during the course of treatment. The assessments of the patient's situation made by physicians from the admitting ward were often more organ-oriented and the expectations were less realistic than those of clinicians in the intensive care unit who frequently had a more balanced and overall perspective. Aspects such as the personality and the speciality of those involved, the culture of the unit and the degree of interdisciplinary cooperation were important issues in the decision-making processes. Conclusion: Under-communicated considerations jeopardise the principle of equal treatment. If intensive care patients are to be ensured equal treatment, strategies for interdisciplinary, transparent and appropriate decision-making processes must be developed in which open and hidden values are rendered visible, power structures disclosed, employees respected and the various perspectives of the treatment given their legitimate place. [source]

Development of renal failure during the initial 24 h of intensive care unit stay correlates with hospital mortality in trauma patients

T. Ala-Kokko
Background:, Although multiple organ failure is the leading late cause of death, there is controversy about the impact of acute organ dysfunction and failure on trauma survival. Methods:, Consecutive adult trauma admissions between January 2000 and June 2003, excluding isolated head traumas and burns, were analysed for parameters of organ function during the first 24 h following intensive care unit (ICU) admission using the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) scoring system. A national prospectively collected ICU data registry was used for analysis, including data from 22 ICUs in university and central hospitals in Finland. Results:, The study population consisted of 1044 eligible trauma admissions; 32% of the cases were treated at university hospital level, the rest being secondary referral central hospital admissions. The mean Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score was 15 (SD8), ICU mortality was 5.6% and a further 1.6% of patients died during their post-ICU hospital stay. Forty-five per cent of the patients were categorized as having multiple traumas. In univariate analysis, APACHE II , 25 [odds ratio (OR), 35; 95% confidence interval (CI), 18,66] and renal failure (OR, 29.5; 95% CI, 14,63) produced the highest ORs for ICU mortality. In the APACHE II-, sex- and age-adjusted logistic regression model, renal failure was a significant risk factor for both ICU and hospital mortality (OR, 11.8; 95% CI, 3.9,35.4; OR, 8.2; 95% CI, 2.9,23.2, respectively). Conclusion:, The development of renal failure during the initial 24 h of ICU stay remained an independent risk factor for mortality in trauma patients requiring intensive care treatment even after adjusting for the APACHE II score, age and sex. [source]

Litigation related to drug errors in anaesthesia: an analysis of claims against the NHS in England 1995,2007

ANAESTHESIA, Issue 12 2009
J. Cranshaw
Summary Ninety-three claims (total cost 4 915 450) filed under ,anaesthesia' in the NHS Litigation Authority database between 1995 and 2007, alleging patient harm directly by drug administration error or by an allergic reaction, were analysed. Alleged errors were categorised using systems employed by the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, the American Society of Anesthesiologists Closed Claims Project and the UK Health and Safety Executive. The severity of outcome in each claim was categorised using adapted National Patient Safety Agency definitions. Sixty-two claims involved alleged drug administration errors (total cost 4 283 677) and 15 resulted in severe harm or death. Half alleged the administration of the wrong drug, in most (16) a neuromuscular blocker. Of the claims alleging the wrong dose had been given (25), nine alleged opioid overdose including by neuraxial routes. The most frequently recorded adverse outcomes were awake paralysis (19 claims; total cost 182 347) and respiratory depression requiring intensive care treatment (13 claims; total cost 2 752 853). Thirty-one claims involved allergic reactions (total cost 631 773). In 20 claims, the patient allegedly received a drug to which they were known to be allergic (total cost 130 794). All claims in which it was possible to categorise the nature of the error involved human error. Fewer than half the claims appeared likely to have been preventable by an ,ideal double checking process'. [source]

An observational cohort study of triage for critical care provision during pandemic influenza: ,clipboard physicians' or ,evidenced based medicine'?

ANAESTHESIA, Issue 11 2009
T. Guest
Summary We assessed the impact of a United Kingdom government-recommended triage process, designed to guide the decision to admit patients to intensive care during an influenza pandemic, on patients in a teaching hospital intensive care unit. We found that applying the triage criteria to a current case-mix would result in 116 of the 255 patients (46%) admitted during the study period being denied intensive care treatment they would have otherwise received, of which 45 (39%) survived to hospital discharge. In turn, 69% of those categorised as too ill to warrant admission according to the criteria survived. The sensitivity and specificity of the triage category at ICU admission predicting mortality was 0.29 and 0.84, respectively. If the need for intensive care beds is estimated to be 275 patients per week, the triage criteria would not exclude enough patients to prevent the need for further rationing. We conclude that the proposed triage tool failed adequately to prioritise patients who would benefit from intensive care. [source]

Glasgow Aneurysm Score as a predictor of immediate outcome after surgery for ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm

S. J. Korhonen
Background: The aim of the study was to assess the value of the Glasgow Aneurysm Score in predicting postoperative death after repair of a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Methods: Between 1991 and 1999, 836 patients underwent surgery for ruptured AAA. Their operative risk at presentation was evaluated retrospectively using the Glasgow Aneurysm Score, based on data from the nationwide Finnvasc registry. Results: The operative mortality rate was 472 per cent (395 of 836); 164 patients (196 per cent) had cardiac complications and 164 (196 per cent) required intensive care treatment for more than 5 days. Predictors of postoperative death in univariate analysis were: coronary artery disease (P = 0005), preoperative shock (P < 0001), age (P < 0001), and the Glasgow Aneurysm Score (P < 0001). In multivariate analysis the predictors were: preoperative shock (odds ratio (OR) 213 (95 per cent confidence interval (c.i.) 145 to 311); P < 0001) and the Glasgow Aneurysm Score (for an increase of ten units: OR 181 (95 per cent c.i. 154 to 212); P < 0001). Receiver,operator characteristic (ROC) curves showed that the best cut-off value of the Glasgow Aneurysm Score in predicting postoperative death was 84 (area under the curve 075 (95 per cent c.i. 072 to 078), standard error 017; P < 0001). The operative mortality rate was 282 per cent (114 of 404) in patients with a Glasgow Aneurysm Score of 84 or less, compared with 650 per cent (281 of 432) in those with a score greater than 84 (P < 0001). Conclusion: The Glasgow Aneurysm Score predicted postoperative death after repair of ruptured AAA in this series. Copyright 2004 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]