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1.  Adverse events during rotary-wing transport of mechanically ventilated patients: a retrospective cohort study 
Critical Care  2008;12(3):R71.
Introduction
Patients triaged to tertiary care centers frequently undergo rotary-wing transport and may be exposed to additional risk for adverse events. The incidence of physiologic adverse events and their predisposing factors in mechanically ventilated patients undergoing aeromedical transport are unknown.
Methods
We performed a retrospective review of flight records of all interfacility, rotary-wing transports to a tertiary care, university hospital during 2001 to 2003. All patients receiving mechanical ventilation via endotracheal tube or tracheostomy were included; trauma, scene flights, and fixed transports were excluded. Data were abstracted from patient flight and hospital records. Adverse events were classified as either major (death, arrest, pneumothorax, or seizure) or minor (physiologic decompensation, new arrhythmia, or requirement for new sedation/paralysis). Bivariate associations between hospital and flight characteristics and the presence of adverse events were examined.
Results
Six hundred eighty-two interfacility flights occurred during the period of review, with 191 patients receiving mechanical ventilation. Fifty-eight different hospitals transferred patients, with diagnoses that were primarily cardiopulmonary (45%) and neurologic (37%). Median flight distance and time were 42 (31 to 83) km and 13 (8 to 22) minutes, respectively. No major adverse events occurred during flight. Forty patients (22%) experienced a minor physiologic adverse event. Vasopressor requirement prior to flight and flight distance were associated with the presence of adverse events in-flight (P < 0.05). Patient demographics, time of day, season, transferring hospital characteristics, and ventilator settings before and during flight were not associated with adverse events.
Conclusion
Major adverse events are rare during interfacility, rotary-wing transfer of critically ill, mechanically ventilated patients. Patients transferred over a longer distance or transferred on vasopressors may be at greater risk for minor adverse events during flight.
doi:10.1186/cc6909
PMCID: PMC2481462  PMID: 18498659
2.  Interfacility Helicopter Ambulance Transport of Neurosurgical Patients: Observations, Utilization, and Outcomes from a Quaternary Level Care Hospital 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e26216.
Background
The clinical benefit of helicopter transport over ground transportation for interfacility transport is unproven. We sought to determine actual practice patterns, utilization, and outcomes of patients undergoing interfacility transport for neurosurgical conditions.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We retrospectively examined all interfacility helicopter transfers to a single trauma center during 2008. We restricted our analysis to those transfers leading either to admission to the neurosurgical service or to formal consultation upon arrival. Major exclusion criteria included transport from the scene, death during transport, and transport to any area of the hospital other than the emergency department. The primary outcome was time interval to invasive intervention. Secondary outcomes were estimated ground transportation times from the referring hospital, admitting disposition, and discharge disposition. Of 526 candidate interfacility helicopter transfers to our emergency department in 2008, we identified 167 meeting study criteria. Seventy-five (45%) of these patients underwent neurosurgical intervention. The median time to neurosurgical intervention ranged from 1.0 to 117.8 hours, varying depending on the diagnosis. For 101 (60%) of the patients, estimated driving time from the referring institution was less than one hour. Four patients (2%) expired in the emergency department, and 34 patients (20%) were admitted to a non-ICU setting. Six patients were discharged home within 24 hours. For those admitted, in-hospital mortality was 28%.
Conclusions/Significance
Many patients undergoing interfacility transfer for neurosurgical evaluation are inappropriately triaged to helicopter transport, as evidenced by actual times to intervention at the accepting institution and estimated ground transportation times from the referring institution. In a time when there is growing interest in health care cost containment, practitioners must exercise discretion in the selection of patients for air ambulance transport—particularly when it may not bear influence on clinical outcome. Neurosurgical evaluation via telemedicine may be one strategy for improving air transport triage.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0026216
PMCID: PMC3192167  PMID: 22022572
3.  Interfacility transfers in a non-trauma system setting: an assessment of the Greek reality 
Background
Quality assessment of any trauma system involves the evaluation of the transferring patterns. This study aims to assess interfacility transfers in the absence of a formal trauma system setting and to estimate the benefits from implementing a more organized structure.
Methods
The 'Report of the Epidemiology and Management of Trauma in Greece' is a one year project of trauma patient reporting throughout the country. It provided data concerning the patterns of interfacility transfers. We compared the transferred patient group to the non transferred patient group. Information reviewed included patient and injury characteristics, need for an operation, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admittance and mortality. Analysis employed descriptive statistics and Chi-square test. Interfacility transfers were then assessed according to each health care facility's availability of five requirements; Computed Tomography scanner, ICU, neurosurgeon, orthopedic and vascular surgeon.
Results
Data on 8,524 patients were analyzed; 86.3% were treated at the same facility, whereas 13.7% were transferred. Transferred patients tended to be younger, male, and more severely injured than non transferred patients. Moreover, they were admitted to ICU more often, had a higher mortality rate but were less operated on compared to non transferred patients. The 34.3% of transfers was from facilities with none of the five requirements, whereas the 12.4% was from those with one requirement. Low level facilities, with up to three requirements transferred 43.2% of their transfer volume to units of equal resources.
Conclusion
Trauma management in Greece results in a high number of transfers. Patients are frequently transferred between low level facilities. Better coordination could lead to improved outcomes and less cost.
doi:10.1186/1757-7241-18-14
PMCID: PMC2855516  PMID: 20233409
4.  Multicenter Evaluation of a Novel Surveillance Paradigm for Complications of Mechanical Ventilation 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(3):e18062.
Background
Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) surveillance is time consuming, subjective, inaccurate, and inconsistently predicts outcomes. Shifting surveillance from pneumonia in particular to complications in general might circumvent the VAP definition's subjectivity and inaccuracy, facilitate electronic assessment, make interfacility comparisons more meaningful, and encourage broader prevention strategies. We therefore evaluated a novel surveillance paradigm for ventilator-associated complications (VAC) defined by sustained increases in patients' ventilator settings after a period of stable or decreasing support.
Methods
We assessed 600 mechanically ventilated medical and surgical patients from three hospitals. Each hospital contributed 100 randomly selected patients ventilated 2–7 days and 100 patients ventilated >7 days. All patients were independently assessed for VAP and for VAC. We compared incidence-density, duration of mechanical ventilation, intensive care and hospital lengths of stay, hospital mortality, and time required for surveillance for VAP and for VAC. A subset of patients with VAP and VAC were independently reviewed by a physician to determine possible etiology.
Results
Of 597 evaluable patients, 9.3% had VAP (8.8 per 1,000 ventilator days) and 23% had VAC (21.2 per 1,000 ventilator days). Compared to matched controls, both VAP and VAC prolonged days to extubation (5.8, 95% CI 4.2–8.0 and 6.0, 95% CI 5.1–7.1 respectively), days to intensive care discharge (5.7, 95% CI 4.2–7.7 and 5.0, 95% CI 4.1–5.9), and days to hospital discharge (4.7, 95% CI 2.6–7.5 and 3.0, 95% CI 2.1–4.0). VAC was associated with increased mortality (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.3–3.2) but VAP was not (OR 1.1, 95% CI 0.5–2.4). VAC assessment was faster (mean 1.8 versus 39 minutes per patient). Both VAP and VAC events were predominantly attributable to pneumonia, pulmonary edema, ARDS, and atelectasis.
Conclusions
Screening ventilator settings for VAC captures a similar set of complications to traditional VAP surveillance but is faster, more objective, and a superior predictor of outcomes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018062
PMCID: PMC3062570  PMID: 21445364
5.  A Randomized Controlled Trial of Capnography in the Correction of Simulated Endotracheal Tube Dislodgement 
Objectives
Unrecognized dislodgement of an endotracheal tube (ETT) during the transport of an intubated patient can have life-threatening consequences. Standard methods to monitor these patients, such as pulse oximetry and physical examination, are both subject to inaccuracies with patient movement and ambient noise. Capnography provides a continuous and objective measure of ventilation that can alert a provider immediately to an airway problem. The objective of this study was to determine through simulation if capnography decreases time to correction of dislodged ETTs during the transport of intubated patients, in comparison to standard monitoring.
Methods
Paramedics and paramedic students were randomized as to whether or not they had capnography available to them in addition to standard monitoring during a simulated scenario. In the scenario, subjects monitored an intubated baby who subsequently experiences a dislodgement of the ETT during interfacility transport. Time to correction of the ETT dislodgement was the primary outcome. The secondary outcome was correction of dislodgement prior to decline in pulse oximetry.
Results
Fifty-three subjects were enrolled in the study, with complete data on 50 subjects. Median time to correction of ETT dislodgement was 2.02 minutes (95% CI = 1.22 to 4.12 minutes) for the capnography group versus 4.00 minutes (95% CI = 3.35 to 5.50 minutes) in the standard monitoring group (p = 0.05). Forty-eight percent of subjects using capnography corrected the ETT dislodgement prior to decline in pulse oximetry compared with 12% of controls (p = 0.01). There were no differences in time to correction of dislodgement based on years of experience, perceived comfort, reported adequacy of teaching, or past use of capnography.
Conclusions
The addition of capnography to standard monitoring significantly improves recognition of ETT dislodgement and reduces the time to correction of dislodged ETTs by prehospital providers in a simulated pediatric transport setting.
doi:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2011.01090.x
PMCID: PMC3117244  PMID: 21676056
6.  Where do I go? A trauma victim's plea in an informal trauma system 
Background:
The three pillars of a good trauma system are the prehospital care, definitive care, and rehabilitative services. The prehospital care is a critical component of the efforts to lower trauma mortality.
Objective:
To study the prehospital profile of patients who died due to trauma, compute the time taken to reach our facility, find the cause of delay, and make feasible recommendations.
Materials and Methods:
A hospital-based study was performed at a trauma center in Puducherry from June 2009 to August 2010. Puducherry is a union territory of India in the geographical terrain of the state of Tamil Nadu. A total of 241deaths due to trauma were included. Apart from the demographic and injury characteristics, a detailed prehospital log was constructed regarding the time of incident, the referral patterns, care given in the prehospital phase, the distance travelled, and the total time taken to reach our center.
Results:
The majority (59%) of patients were referred, with stopovers at two consecutive referral centers (30%), needing at least two vehicles to transport to definitive care (70%), clocking unnecessary distances (67%), and delayed due to non therapeutic intervention (87%). The majority of deaths (66%) were due to head injury. Only 2.96% of referred cases reached us within the first hour. Few of the patients coming directly to us had vehicle change due to local availability and lack of knowledge of predestined definitive care facility. Overall, 94.6% of direct cases arrived within 4 h whereas 93.3% of referred cases required up to 7 h to arrive at definitive care.
Conclusions:
Seriously injured patients lose valuable prehospital time because there is no direction regarding destination and interfacility transfer, a lack of seamless transport, and no concept of initial trauma care. The lack of direction is compounded in geographical areas that are situated at the border of political jurisdictions.
doi:10.4103/0974-2700.115324
PMCID: PMC3746436  PMID: 23960371
Prehospital care; prehospital time; referrals; trauma death
7.  Decreasing door-to-balloon times via a streamlined referral protocol for patients requiring transport☆ 
Purposes
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a streamlined interfacility referral protocol in reducing door-to-balloon (D2B) times for patients experiencing acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).
Basic Procedures
In a retrospective database review, we compared D2B times for patients requiring interfacility transfer after the implementation of a streamlined referral protocol. All patients undergoing interfacility transport with a referring diagnosis of STEMI were eligible for inclusion. Quality management databases were reviewed by trained abstractors using standardized data entry forms for D2B times from July 2009 through June 2010. Median D2B times with interquartile ranges are reported.
Main Findings
A total of 133 patients exhibited complete data and were included in the analysis, 54 of which were transferred via the streamlined referral protocol. Streamlined referral patients exhibited a median D2B time of 101 minutes (interquartile range, 88–128) vs a median D2B time of 122 minutes (interquartile range, 99–157) for the traditional referral group (P = .001). Door-to-balloon times of 90 minutes or less were achieved in 13% of the traditional referral patients and in 30% of the streamlined protocol group (odds ratio, 2.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.2–7).
Principal Conclusion
The implementation of a streamlined referral protocol has significantly reduced D2B times for patients diagnosed with STEMI that required interfacility transport for intervention.
doi:10.1016/j.ajem.2012.09.031
PMCID: PMC4106287  PMID: 23347719
8.  Maternal and neonatal separation and mortality associated with concurrent admissions to intensive care units 
Background:
Concurrent admission of a mother and her newborn to separate intensive care units (herein referred to as co-ICU admission), possibly in different centres, can magnify family discord and stress. We examined the prevalence and predictors of mother–infant separation and mortality associated with co-ICU admissions.
Methods:
We completed a population-based study of all 1 023 978 singleton live births in Ontario between Apr. 1, 2002, and Mar. 31, 2010. We included data for maternal–infant pairs that had co-ICU admission (n = 1216), maternal ICU admission only (n = 897), neonatal ICU (NICU) admission only (n = 123 236) or no ICU admission (n = 898 629). The primary outcome measure was mother–infant separation because of interfacility transfer.
Results:
The prevalence of co-ICU admissions was 1.2 per 1000 live births and was higher than maternal ICU admissions (0.9 per 1000). Maternal–newborn separation due to interfacility transfer was 30.8 (95% confidence interval [CI] 26.9–35.3) times more common in the co-ICU group than in the no-ICU group and exceeded the prevalence in the maternal ICU group and NICU group. Short-term infant mortality (< 28 days after birth) was higher in the co-ICU group (18.1 per 1000 live births; maternal age–adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 27.8, 95% CI 18.2–42.6) than in the NICU group (7.6 per 1000; age-adjusted HR 11.5, 95% CI 10.4–12.7), relative to 0.7 per 1000 in the no-ICU group. Short-term maternal mortality (< 42 days after delivery) was also higher in the co-ICU group (15.6 per 1000; age-adjusted HR 328.7, 95% CI 191.2–565.2) than in the maternal ICU group (6.7 per 1000; age-adjusted HR 140.0, 95% CI 59.5–329.2) or the NICU group (0.2 per 1000; age-adjusted HR 4.6, 95% CI 2.8–7.4).
Interpretation:
Mother–infant pairs in the co-ICU group had the highest prevalence of separation due to interfacility transfer and the highest mortality compared with those in the maternal ICU and NICU groups.
doi:10.1503/cmaj.121283
PMCID: PMC3519169  PMID: 23091180
9.  Extracorporeal Lung Support Technologies – Bridge to Recovery and Bridge to Lung Transplantation in Adult Patients 
Executive Summary
For cases of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and progressive chronic respiratory failure, the first choice or treatment is mechanical ventilation. For decades, this method has been used to support critically ill patients in respiratory failure. Despite its life-saving potential, however, several experimental and clinical studies have suggested that ventilator-induced lung injury can adversely affect the lungs and patient outcomes. Current opinion is that by reducing the pressure and volume of gas delivered to the lungs during mechanical ventilation, the stress applied to the lungs is eased, enabling them to rest and recover. In addition, mechanical ventilation may fail to provide adequate gas exchange, thus patients may suffer from severe hypoxia and hypercapnea. For these reasons, extracorporeal lung support technologies may play an important role in the clinical management of patients with lung failure, allowing not only the transfer of oxygen and carbon dioxide (CO2) but also buying the lungs the time needed to rest and heal.
Objective
The objective of this analysis was to assess the effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of extracorporeal lung support technologies in the improvement of pulmonary gas exchange and the survival of adult patients with acute pulmonary failure and those with end-stage chronic progressive lung disease as a bridge to lung transplantation (LTx). The application of these technologies in primary graft dysfunction (PGD) after LTx is beyond the scope of this review and is not discussed.
Clinical Applications of Extracorporeal Lung Support
Extracorporeal lung support technologies [i.e., Interventional Lung Assist (ILA) and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)] have been advocated for use in the treatment of patients with respiratory failure. These techniques do not treat the underlying lung condition; rather, they improve gas exchange while enabling the implantation of a protective ventilation strategy to prevent further damage to the lung tissues imposed by the ventilator. As such, extracorporeal lung support technologies have been used in three major lung failure case types:
As a bridge to recovery in acute lung failure – for patients with injured or diseased lungs to give their lungs time to heal and regain normal physiologic function.
As a bridge to LTx – for patients with irreversible end stage lung disease requiring LTx.
As a bridge to recovery after LTx – used as lung support for patients with PGD or severe hypoxemia.
Ex-Vivo Lung Perfusion and Assessment
Recently, the evaluation and reconditioning of donor lungs ex-vivo has been introduced into clinical practice as a method of improving the rate of donor lung utilization. Generally, about 15% to 20% of donor lungs are suitable for LTx, but these figures may increase with the use of ex-vivo lung perfusion. The ex-vivo evaluation and reconditioning of donor lungs is currently performed at the Toronto General Hospital (TGH) and preliminary results have been encouraging (Personal communication, clinical expert, December 17, 2009). If its effectiveness is confirmed, the use of the technique could lead to further expansion of donor organ pools and improvements in post-LTx outcomes.
Extracorporeal Lung support Technologies
ECMO
The ECMO system consists of a centrifugal pump, a membrane oxygenator, inlet and outlet cannulas, and tubing. The exchange of oxygen and CO2 then takes place in the oxygenator, which delivers the reoxygenated blood back into one of the patient’s veins or arteries. Additional ports may be added for haemodialysis or ultrafiltration.
Two different techniques may be used to introduce ECMO: venoarterial and venovenous. In the venoarterial technique, cannulation is through either the femoral artery and the femoral vein, or through the carotid artery and the internal jugular vein. In the venovenous technique cannulation is through both femoral veins or a femoral vein and internal jugular vein; one cannula acts as inflow or arterial line, and the other as an outflow or venous line. Venovenous ECMO will not provide adequate support if a patient has pulmonary hypertension or right heart failure. Problems associated with cannulation during the procedure include bleeding around the cannulation site and limb ischemia distal to the cannulation site.
ILA
Interventional Lung Assist (ILA) is used to remove excess CO2 from the blood of patients in respiratory failure. The system is characterized by a novel, low-resistance gas exchange device with a diffusion membrane composed of polymethylpentene (PMP) fibres. These fibres are woven into a complex configuration that maximizes the exchange of oxygen and CO2 by simple diffusion. The system is also designed to operate without the help of an external pump, though one can be added if higher blood flow is required. The device is then applied across an arteriovenous shunt between the femoral artery and femoral vein. Depending on the size of the arterial cannula used and the mean systemic arterial pressure, a blood flow of up to 2.5 L/min can be achieved (up to 5.5 L/min with an external pump). The cannulation is performed after intravenous administration of heparin.
Recently, the first commercially available extracorporeal membrane ventilator (NovaLung GmbH, Hechingen, Germany) was approved for clinical use by Health Canada for patients in respiratory failure. The system has been used in more than 2,000 patients with various indications in Europe, and was used for the first time in North America at the Toronto General Hospital in 2006.
Evidence-Based Analysis
The research questions addressed in this report are:
Does ILA/ECMO facilitate gas exchange in the lungs of patients with severe respiratory failure?
Does ILA/ECMO improve the survival rate of patients with respiratory failure caused by a range of underlying conditions including patients awaiting LTx?
What are the possible serious adverse events associated with ILA/ECMO therapy?
To address these questions, a systematic literature search was performed on September 28, 2009 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1, 2005 to September 28, 2008. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. Articles with an unknown eligibility were reviewed with a second clinical epidemiologist and then a group of epidemiologists until consensus was established.
Inclusion Criteria
Studies in which ILA/ECMO was used as a bridge to recovery or bridge to LTx
Studies containing information relevant to the effectiveness and safety of the procedure
Studies including at least five patients
Exclusion Criteria
Studies reporting the use of ILA/ECMO for inter-hospital transfers of critically ill patients
Studies reporting the use of ILA/ECMO in patients during or after LTx
Animal or laboratory studies
Case reports
Outcomes of Interest
Reduction in partial pressure of CO2
Correction of respiratory acidosis
Improvement in partial pressure of oxygen
Improvement in patient survival
Frequency and severity of adverse events
The search yielded 107 citations in Medline and 107 citations in EMBASE. After reviewing the information provided in the titles and abstracts, eight citations were found to meet the study inclusion criteria. One study was then excluded because of an overlap in the study population with a previous study. Reference checking did not produce any additional studies for inclusion. Seven case series studies, all conducted in Germany, were thus included in this review (see Table 1).
Also included is the recently published CESAR trial, a multicentre RCT in the UK in which ECMO was compared with conventional intensive care management. The results of the CESAR trial were published when this review was initiated. In the absence of any other recent RCT on ECMO, the results of this trial were considered for this assessment and no further searches were conducted. A literature search was then conducted for application of ECMO as bridge to LTx patients (January, 1, 2005 to current). A total of 127 citations on this topic were identified and reviewed but none were found to have examined the use of ECMO as bridge to LTx.
Quality of Evidence
To grade the quality of evidence, the grading system formulated by the GRADE working group and adopted by MAS was applied. The GRADE system classifies the quality of a body of evidence as high, moderate, low, or very low according to four key elements: study design, study quality, consistency across studies, and directness.
Results
Trials on ILA
Of the seven studies identified, six involved patients with ARDS caused by a range of underlying conditions; the seventh included only patients awaiting LTx. All studies reported the rate of gas exchange and respiratory mechanics before ILA and for up to 7 days of ILA therapy. Four studies reported the means and standard deviations of blood gas transfer and arterial blood pH, which were used for meta-analysis.
Fischer et al. reported their first experience on the use of ILA as a bridge to LTx. In their study, 12 patients at high urgency status for LTx, who also had severe ventilation refractory hypercapnea and respiratory acidosis, were connected to ILA prior to LTx. Seven patients had a systemic infection or sepsis prior to ILA insertion. Six hours after initiation of ILA, the partial pressure of CO2 in arterial blood significantly decreased (P < .05) and arterial blood pH significantly improved (P < .05) and remained stable for one week (last time point reported). The partial pressure of oxygen in arterial blood improved from 71 mmHg to 83 mmHg 6 hours after insertion of ILA. The ratio of PaO2/FiO2 improved from 135 at baseline to 168 at 24 hours after insertion of ILA but returned to baseline values in the following week.
Trials on ECMO
The UK-based CESAR trial was conducted to assess the effectiveness and cost of ECMO therapy for severe, acute respiratory failure. The trial protocol were published in 2006 and details of the methods used for the economic evaluation were published in 2008. The study itself was a pragmatic trial (similar to a UK trial of neonatal ECMO), in which best standard practice was compared with an ECMO protocol. The trial involved 180 patients with acute but potentially reversible respiratory failure, with each also having a Murray score of ≥ 3.0 or uncompensated hypercapnea at a pH of < 7.2. Enrolled patients were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive either conventional ventilation treatment or ECMO while on ventilator. Conventional management included intermittent positive pressure ventilation, high frequency oscillatory ventilation, or both. As a pragmatic trial, a specific management protocol was not followed; rather the treatment centres were advised to follow a low volume low pressure ventilation strategy. A tidal volume of 4 to 8 mL/kg body weight and a plateau pressure of < 30 cm H2O were recommended.
Conclusions
ILA
Bridge to recovery
No RCTs or observational studies compared ILA to other treatment modalities.
Case series have shown that ILA therapy results in significant CO2 removal from arterial blood and correction of respiratory acidosis, as well as an improvement in oxygen transfer.
ILA therapy enabled a lowering of respiratory settings to protect the lungs without causing a negative impact on arterial blood CO2 and arterial blood pH.
The impact of ILA on patient long-term survival cannot be determined through the studies reviewed.
In-hospital mortality across studies ranged from 20% to 65%.
Ischemic complications were the most frequent adverse events following ILA therapy.
Leg amputation is a rare but possible outcome of ILA therapy, having occurred in about 0.9% of patients in these case series. New techniques involving the insertion of additional cannula into the femoral artery to perfuse the leg may lower this rate.
Bridge to LTx
The results of one case series (n=12) showed that ILA effectively removes CO2 from arterial blood and corrects respiratory acidosis in patients with ventilation refractory hypercapnea awaiting a LTx
Eight of the 12 patients (67%) awaiting a LTx were successfully transplanted and one-year survival for those transplanted was 80%
Since all studies are case series, the grade of the evidence for these observations is classified as “LOW”.
ECMO
Bridge to recovery
Based on the results of a pragmatic trial and an intention to treat analysis, referral of patient to an ECMO based centre significantly improves patient survival without disability compared to conventional ventilation. The results of CESAR trial showed that:
For patients with information about disability, survival without severe disability was significantly higher in ECMO arm
Assuming that the three patients in the conventional ventilation arm who did not have information about severe disability were all disabled, the results were also significant.
Assuming that none of these patients were disabled, the results were at borderline significance
A greater, though not statistically significant, proportion of patients in ECMO arm survived.
The rate of serious adverse events was higher among patients in ECMO group
The grade of evidence for the above observations is classified as “HIGH”.
Bridge to LTx
No studies fitting the inclusion criteria were identified.
There is no accurate data on the use of ECMO in patients awaiting LTx.
Economic Analysis
The objective of the economic analysis was to determine the costs associated with extracorporeal lung support technologies for bridge to LTx in adults. A literature search was conducted for which the target population was adults eligible for extracorporeal lung support. The primary analytic perspective was that of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC). Articles published in English and fitting the following inclusion criteria were reviewed:
Full economic evaluations including cost-effectiveness analyses (CEA), cost-utility analyses (CUA), cost-benefit analyses (CBA);
Economic evaluations reporting incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER) i.e. cost per quality adjusted life year (QALY), life years gained (LYG), or cost per event avoided; and
Studies in patients eligible for lung support technologies for to lung transplantation.
The search yielded no articles reporting comparative economic analyses.
Resource Use and Costs
Costs associated with both ILA and ECMO (outlined in Table ES-1) were obtained from the University Health Network (UHN) case costing initiative (personal communication, UHN, January 2010). Consultation with a clinical expert in the field was also conducted to verify resource utilization. The consultant was situated at the UHN in Toronto. The UHN has one ECMO machine, which cost approximately $100,000. The system is 18 years old and is used an average of 3 to 4 times a year with 35 procedures being performed over the last 9 years. The disposable cost per patient associated with ECMO is, on average, $2,200. There is a maintenance cost associated with the machine (not reported by the UHN), which is currently absorbed by the hospital’s biomedical engineering department.
The average capital cost of an ILA device is $7,100 per device, per patient, while the average cost of the reusable pump $65,000. The UHN has performed 16 of these procedures over the last 2.5 years. Similarly, there is a maintenance cost not that was reported by UHN but is absorbed by the hospital’s biomedical engineering department.
Resources Associated with Extracorporeal Lung Support Technologies
Hospital costs associated with ILA were based on the average cost incurred by the hospital for 11 cases performed in the FY 07/08 (personal communication, UHN, January 2010). The resources incurred with this hospital procedure included:
Device and disposables
OR transplant
Surgical ICU
Laboratory work
Medical imaging
Pharmacy
Clinical nutrition
Physiotherapy
Occupational therapy
Speech and language pathology
Social work
The average length of stay in hospital was 61 days for ILA (range: 5 to 164 days) and the average direct cost was $186,000 per case (range: $19,000 to $552,000). This procedure has a high staffing requirement to monitor patients in hospital, driving up the average cost per case.
PMCID: PMC3415698  PMID: 23074408
10.  Respiratory effects of dexmedetomidine in the surgical patient requiring intensive care 
Critical Care  2000;4(5):302-308.
The respiratory effects of dexmedetomidine were retrospectively examined in 33 postsurgical patients involved in a randomised, placebo-controlled trial after extubation in the intensive care unit (ICU). Morphine requirements were reduced by over 50% in patients receiving dexmedetomidine. There were no differences in respiratory rates, oxygen saturations, arterial pH and arterial partial carbon dioxide tension (PaCO2) between the groups. Interestingly the arterial partial oxygen tension (PaO2) : fractional inspired oxygen (FIO2) ratios were statistically significantly higher in the dexmedetomidine group. Dexmedetomidine provides important postsurgical analgesia and appears to have no clinically important adverse effects on respiration in the surgical patient who requires intensive care.
Introduction:
The α2-agonist dexmedetomidine is a new class of sedative drug that is being investigated for use in ICU settings. It is an effective agent for the management of sedation and analgesia after cardiac, general, orthopaedic, head and neck, oncological and vascular surgery in the ICU [1]. Cardiovascular stability was demonstrated, with significant reductions in rate-pressure product during sedation and over the extubation period.
Dexmedetomidine possesses several properties that may additionally benefit those critically ill patients who require sedation. In spontaneously breathing volunteers, intravenous dexmedetomidine caused marked sedation with only mild reductions in resting ventilation at higher doses [2]. Dexmedetomidine reduces the haemodynamic response to intubation and extubation [3,4,5] and attenuates the stress response to surgery [6], as a result of the α2-mediated reduction in sympathetic tone. Therefore, it should be possible to continue sedation with dexmedetomidine over the stressful extubation period without concerns over respiratory depression, while ensuring that haemodynamic stability is preserved.
The present study is a retrospective analysis of the respiratory response to dexmedetomidine in 33 postsurgical patients (who were involved in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial [1]) after extubation in the ICU.
Methods:
Patients who participated in the present study were admitted after surgery to our general or cardiothoracic ICUs, and were expected to receive at least 6 h of postsurgical sedation and artificial ventilation.
On arrival in the ICU after surgery, patients were randomized to receive either dexmedetomidine or placebo (normal saline) with rescue sedation and analgesia being provided, only if clinically needed, with midazolam and morphine boluses, respectively. Sedation was titrated to maintain a Ramsay Sedation Score [7] of 3 or greater while the patients were intubated, and infusions of study drug were continued for a maximum of 6 h after extubation to achieve a Ramsay Sedation Score of 2 or greater.
The patients were intubated and ventilated with oxygen-enriched air to attain acceptable arterial blood gases, and extubation occurred when clinically indicated. All patients received supplemental oxygen after extubation, which was delivered by a fixed performance device. Assessment of pain was by direct communication with the patient.
Results are expressed as mean ± standard deviation unless otherwise stated. Patient characteristics, operative details and morphine usage were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U-test. Statistical differences for respiratory measurements between the two groups were determined using analysis of variance for repeated measures, with the Bonferroni test for post hoc comparisons.
Results:
Of the 40 patients who participated in the study, seven patients could not be included in the analysis of respiratory function because they did not receive a study drug infusion after extubation. Consequently, data from 33 patients are used in the analysis of respiratory function; 16 received dexmedetomidine and 17 placebo. Inadequate arterial blood gas analysis was available in five patients (two from the dexmedetomidine group, and three from the placebo group). There were no significant differences in patient characteristics and operative details between the groups.
Requirements for morphine were reduced by more than 50% in patients receiving dexmedetomidine when compared with placebo after extubation (0.003 ± 0.004 vs 0.008 ± 0.006 mg/kg per h; P= 0.040).
There were no statistically significant differences between placebo and dexmedetomidine for oxygen saturations measured by pulse oximetry (P= 0.26), respiratory rate (P= 0.16; Fig. 1), arterial pH (P= 0.77) and PaCO2 (P= 0.75; Fig. 2) for the 6 h after extubation.
The dexmedetomidine group showed significantly higher PaO2: FIO2 ratios throughout the 6-h intubation (P= 0.036) and extubation (P= 0.037) periods (Fig. 3). There were no adverse respiratory events seen in either the dexmedetomidine or placebo group.
Respiratory rate for the 6-h periods before and after extubation. (Filled circle) Dexmedetomidine; (Empty circle) placebo. Values are expressed as mean ± standard deviation.
PaCO2 (PCO2) for the 6-h periods before and after extubation, and baseline values (B) on admission to ICU immediately after surgery. (Filled circle) Dexmedetomidine; (Empty circle) placebo. Values are expressed as mean ± standard deviation.
PaO2 : FIO2 ratio for the 6-h periods before and after extubation, and baseline values (B) on admission to ICU immediately after surgery. (Filled circle) Dexmedetomidine; (Empty circle) placebo. Values are expressed as mean ± standard deviation.
Discussion:
Lack of respiratory depression in patients sedated with α2-adrenoceptor agonists was first reported by Maxwell [8] in a study investigating the respiratory effects of clonidine. However, more recent data suggests that clonidine may cause mild respiratory depression in humans [9], and α2-adrenoceptor agonists are well known to produce profound intraoperative hypoxaemia in sheep [10,11]. The effects of dexmedetomidine on other ventilation parameters also appear to be species specific [12].
Belleville et al [2] investigated the ventilatory effects of a 2-min intravenous infusion of dexmedetomidine on human volunteers. According to those investigators, minute ventilation and arterial PaCO2 were mildly decreased and increased, respectively. There was a rightward shift and depression of the hypercapnic response with infusions of 1.0 and 2.0 μg/kg.
Previous studies that investigated the respiratory effects of dexmedetomidine have only been performed in healthy human volunteers, who have received either single intramuscular injections or short (= 10 min) intravenous infusions of dexmedetomidine. It is therefore reassuring that no deleterious clinical effects on respiration and gas exchange were seen in the patients we studied, who were receiving long-term infusions. However, there are important limitations to the present results. No dose/response curve for dexmedetomidine can be formulated from the data, and further investigation is probably ethically difficult to achieve in the spontaneously ventilating intensive care patient. We also have no data on the ventilatory responses to hypercapnia and hypoxia, which would also be difficult to examine practically and ethically. The placebo group received more than twice as much morphine as patients receiving dexmedetomidine infusions after extubation, but there were no differences in respiratory rate or PaCO2 between the groups. We can not therefore determine from this study whether dexmedetomidine has any benefits over morphine from a respiratory perspective.
There were no differences in oxygen saturations between the groups because the administered oxygen concentration was adjusted to maintain satisfactory gas exchange. Interestingly, however, there were statistically significant higher PaO2 : FIO2 ratios in the dexmedetomidine group. This ratio allows for the variation in administered oxygen to patients during the study period, and gives some clinical indication of alveolar gas exchange. However, this variable was not a primary outcome variable for the present study, and may represent a type 1 error, although post hoc analysis reveals that the data have 80% power to detect a significant difference (α value 0.05). Further studies are obviously required.
Sedation continued over the extubation period, has been shown to reduce haemodynamic disturbances and myocardial ischaemia [13]. We have previously shown [1] that dexmedetomidine provides cardiovascular stability, with a reduction in rate-pressure product over the extubation period. A sedative agent that has analgesic properties, minimal effects on respiration and offers ischaemia protection would have enormous potential in the ICU. Dexmedetomidine may fulfill all of these roles, but at present we can only conclude that dexmedetomidine has no deleterious clinical effects on respiration when used in doses that are sufficient to provide adequate sedation and effective analgesia in the surgical population requiring intensive care.
PMCID: PMC29047  PMID: 11056756
α2-Adrenoceptor agonist; analgesia; dexmedetomidine; intensive care; postoperative; respiratory; sedation
11.  Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Acute Respiratory Failure Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 
Executive Summary
In July 2010, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) evidentiary framework, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding treatment strategies for patients with COPD. This project emerged from a request by the Health System Strategy Division of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that MAS provide them with an evidentiary platform on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of COPD interventions.
After an initial review of health technology assessments and systematic reviews of COPD literature, and consultation with experts, MAS identified the following topics for analysis: vaccinations (influenza and pneumococcal), smoking cessation, multidisciplinary care, pulmonary rehabilitation, long-term oxygen therapy, noninvasive positive pressure ventilation for acute and chronic respiratory failure, hospital-at-home for acute exacerbations of COPD, and telehealth (including telemonitoring and telephone support). Evidence-based analyses were prepared for each of these topics. For each technology, an economic analysis was also completed where appropriate. In addition, a review of the qualitative literature on patient, caregiver, and provider perspectives on living and dying with COPD was conducted, as were reviews of the qualitative literature on each of the technologies included in these analyses.
The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Mega-Analysis series is made up of the following reports, which can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: http://www.hqontario.ca/en/mas/mas_ohtas_mn.html.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Evidentiary Framework
Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Smoking Cessation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Community-Based Multidisciplinary Care for Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Long-term Oxygen Therapy for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Acute Respiratory Failure Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Chronic Respiratory Failure Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Hospital-at-Home Programs for Patients With Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Home Telehealth for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Using an Ontario Policy Model
Experiences of Living and Dying With COPD: A Systematic Review and Synthesis of the Qualitative Empirical Literature
For more information on the qualitative review, please contact Mita Giacomini at: http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/ceb/faculty_member_giacomini.htm.
For more information on the economic analysis, please visit the PATH website: http://www.path-hta.ca/About-Us/Contact-Us.aspx.
The Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) collaborative has produced an associated report on patient preference for mechanical ventilation. For more information, please visit the THETA website: http://theta.utoronto.ca/static/contact.
Objective
The objective of this evidence-based analysis was to examine the effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV) in the following patient populations: patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF) due to acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); weaning of COPD patients from invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV); and prevention of or treatment of recurrent respiratory failure in COPD patients after extubation from IMV.
Clinical Need and Target Population
Acute Hypercapnic Respiratory Failure
Respiratory failure occurs when the respiratory system cannot oxygenate the blood and/or remove carbon dioxide from the blood. It can be either acute or chronic and is classified as either hypoxemic (type I) or hypercapnic (type II) respiratory failure. Acute hypercapnic respiratory failure frequently occurs in COPD patients experiencing acute exacerbations of COPD, so this is the focus of this evidence-based analysis. Hypercapnic respiratory failure occurs due to a decrease in the drive to breathe, typically due to increased work to breathe in COPD patients.
Technology
There are several treatment options for ARF. Usual medical care (UMC) attempts to facilitate adequate oxygenation and treat the cause of the exacerbation, and typically consists of supplemental oxygen, and a variety of medications such as bronchodilators, corticosteroids, and antibiotics. The failure rate of UMC is high and has been estimated to occur in 10% to 50% of cases.
The alternative is mechanical ventilation, either invasive or noninvasive. Invasive mechanical ventilation involves sedating the patient, creating an artificial airway through endotracheal intubation, and attaching the patient to a ventilator. While this provides airway protection and direct access to drain sputum, it can lead to substantial morbidity, including tracheal injuries and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).
While both positive and negative pressure noninvasive ventilation exists, noninvasive negative pressure ventilation such as the iron lung is no longer in use in Ontario. Noninvasive positive pressure ventilation provides ventilatory support through a facial or nasal mask and reduces inspiratory work. Noninvasive positive pressure ventilation can often be used intermittently for short periods of time to treat respiratory failure, which allows patients to continue to eat, drink, talk, and participate in their own treatment decisions. In addition, patients do not require sedation, airway defence mechanisms and swallowing functions are maintained, trauma to the trachea and larynx are avoided, and the risk for VAP is reduced. Common complications are damage to facial and nasal skin, higher incidence of gastric distension with aspiration risk, sleeping disorders, and conjunctivitis. In addition, NPPV does not allow direct access to the airway to drain secretions and requires patients to cooperate, and due to potential discomfort, compliance and tolerance may be low.
In addition to treating ARF, NPPV can be used to wean patients from IMV through the gradual removal of ventilation support until the patient can breathe spontaneously. Five to 30% of patients have difficultly weaning. Tapering levels of ventilatory support to wean patients from IMV can be achieved using IMV or NPPV. The use of NPPV helps to reduce the risk of VAP by shortening the time the patient is intubated.
Following extubation from IMV, ARF may recur, leading to extubation failure and the need for reintubation, which has been associated with increased risk of nosocomial pneumonia and mortality. To avoid these complications, NPPV has been proposed to help prevent ARF recurrence and/or to treat respiratory failure when it recurs, thereby preventing the need for reintubation.
Research Questions
What is the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and safety of NPPV for the treatment of acute hypercapnic respiratory failure due to acute exacerbations of COPD compared with
usual medical care, and
invasive mechanical ventilation?
What is the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and safety of NPPV compared with IMV in COPD patients after IMV for the following purposes:
weaning COPD patients from IMV,
preventing ARF in COPD patients after extubation from IMV, and
treating ARF in COPD patients after extubation from IMV?
Research Methods
Literature Search
A literature search was performed on December 3, 2010 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, OVID EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Wiley Cochrane, and the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination/International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1, 2004 until December 3, 2010. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search.
Since there were numerous studies that examined the effectiveness of NPPV for the treatment of ARF due to exacerbations of COPD published before 2004, pre-2004 trials which met the inclusion/exclusion criteria for this evidence-based review were identified by hand-searching reference lists of included studies and systematic reviews.
Inclusion Criteria
English language full-reports;
health technology assessments, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and randomized controlled trials (RCTs);
studies performed exclusively in patients with a diagnosis of COPD or studies performed with patients with a mix of conditions if results are reported for COPD patients separately;
patient population: (Question 1) patients with acute hypercapnic respiratory failure due to an exacerbation of COPD; (Question 2a) COPD patients being weaned from IMV; (Questions 2b and 2c) COPD patients who have been extubated from IMV.
Exclusion Criteria
< 18 years of age
animal studies
duplicate publications
grey literature
studies examining noninvasive negative pressure ventilation
studies comparing modes of ventilation
studies comparing patient-ventilation interfaces
studies examining outcomes not listed below, such as physiologic effects including heart rate, arterial blood gases, and blood pressure
Outcomes of Interest
mortality
intubation rates
length of stay (intensive care unit [ICU] and hospital)
health-related quality of life
breathlessness
duration of mechanical ventilation
weaning failure
complications
NPPV tolerance and compliance
Statistical Methods
When possible, results were pooled using Review Manager 5 Version 5.1, otherwise, the results were summarized descriptively. Dichotomous data were pooled into relative risks using random effects models and continuous data were pooled using weighted mean differences with a random effects model. Analyses using data from RCTs were done using intention-to-treat protocols; P values < 0.05 were considered significant. A priori subgroup analyses were planned for severity of respiratory failure, location of treatment (ICU or hospital ward), and mode of ventilation with additional subgroups as needed based on the literature. Post hoc sample size calculations were performed using STATA 10.1.
Quality of Evidence
The quality of each included study was assessed taking into consideration allocation concealment, randomization, blinding, power/sample size, withdrawals/dropouts, and intention-to-treat analyses.
The quality of the body of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE Working Group criteria. The following definitions of quality were used in grading the quality of the evidence:
Summary of Findings
NPPV for the Treatment of ARF due to Acute Exacerbations of COPD
NPPV Plus Usual Medical Care Versus Usual Medical Care Alone for First Line Treatment
A total of 1,000 participants were included in 11 RCTs1; the sample size ranged from 23 to 342. The mean age of the participants ranged from approximately 60 to 72 years of age. Based on either the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) COPD stage criteria or the mean percent predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), 4 of the studies included people with severe COPD, and there was inadequate information to classify the remaining 7 studies by COPD severity. The severity of the respiratory failure was classified into 4 categories using the study population mean pH level as follows: mild (pH ≥ 7.35), moderate (7.30 ≤ pH < 7.35), severe (7.25 ≤ pH < 7.30), and very severe (pH < 7.25). Based on these categories, 3 studies included patients with a mild respiratory failure, 3 with moderate respiratory failure, 4 with severe respiratory failure, and 1 with very severe respiratory failure.
The studies were conducted either in the ICU (3 of 11 studies) or general or respiratory wards (8 of 11 studies) in hospitals, with patients in the NPPV group receiving bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) ventilatory support, except in 2 studies, which used pressure support ventilation and volume cycled ventilation, respectively. Patients received ventilation through nasal, facial, or oronasal masks. All studies specified a protocol or schedule for NPPV delivery, but this varied substantially across the studies. For example, some studies restricted the amount of ventilation per day (e.g., 6 hours per day) and the number of days it was offered (e.g., maximum of 3 days); whereas, other studies provided patients with ventilation for as long as they could tolerate it and recommended it for much longer periods of time (e.g., 7 to 10 days). These differences are an important source of clinical heterogeneity between the studies. In addition to NPPV, all patients in the NPPV group also received UMC. Usual medical care varied between the studies, but common medications included supplemental oxygen, bronchodilators, corticosteroids, antibiotics, diuretics, and respiratory stimulators.
The individual quality of the studies ranged. Common methodological issues included lack of blinding and allocation concealment, and small sample sizes.
Need for Endotracheal Intubation
Eleven studies reported the need for endotracheal intubation as an outcome. The pooled results showed a significant reduction in the need for endotracheal intubation in the NPPV plus UMC group compared with the UMC alone group (relative risk [RR], 0.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.28−0.50). When subgrouped by severity of respiratory failure, the results remained significant for the mild, severe, and very severe respiratory failure groups.
GRADE: moderate
Inhospital Mortality
Nine studies reported inhospital mortality as an outcome. The pooled results showed a significant reduction in inhospital mortality in the NPPV plus UMC group compared with the UMC group (RR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.35−0.81). When subgrouped by severity of respiratory failure, the results remained significant for the moderate and severe respiratory failure groups.
GRADE: moderate
Hospital Length of Stay
Eleven studies reported hospital length of stay (LOS) as an outcome. The pooled results showed a significant decrease in the mean length of stay for the NPPV plus UMC group compared with the UMC alone group (weighted mean difference [WMD], −2.68 days; 95% CI, −4.41 to −0.94 days). When subgrouped by severity of respiratory failure, the results remained significant for the mild, severe, and very severe respiratory failure groups.
GRADE: moderate
Complications
Five studies reported complications. Common complications in the NPPV plus UMC group included pneumonia, gastrointestinal disorders or bleeds, skin abrasions, eye irritation, gastric insufflation, and sepsis. Similar complications were observed in the UMC group including pneumonia, sepsis, gastrointestinal disorders or bleeds, pneumothorax, and complicated endotracheal intubations. Many of the more serious complications in both groups occurred in those patients who required endotracheal intubation. Three of the studies compared complications in the NPPV plus UMC and UMC groups. While the data could not be pooled, overall, the NPPV plus UMC group experienced fewer complications than the UMC group.
GRADE: low
Tolerance/Compliance
Eight studies reported patient tolerance or compliance with NPPV as an outcome. NPPV intolerance ranged from 5% to 29%. NPPV tolerance was generally higher for patients with more severe respiratory failure. Compliance with the NPPV protocol was reported by 2 studies, which showed compliance decreases over time, even over short periods such as 3 days.
NPPV Versus IMV for the Treatment of Patients Who Failed Usual Medical Care
A total of 205 participants were included in 2 studies; the sample sizes of these studies were 49 and 156. The mean age of the patients was 71 to 73 years of age in 1 study, and the median age was 54 to 58 years of age in the second study. Based on either the GOLD COPD stage criteria or the mean percent predicted FEV1, patients in 1 study had very severe COPD. The COPD severity could not be classified in the second study. Both studies had study populations with a mean pH less than 7.23, which was classified as very severe respiratory failure in this analysis. One study enrolled patients with ARF due to acute exacerbations of COPD who had failed medical therapy. The patient population was not clearly defined in the second study, and it was not clear whether they had to have failed medical therapy before entry into the study.
Both studies were conducted in the ICU. Patients in the NPPV group received BiPAP ventilatory support through nasal or full facial masks. Patients in the IMV group received pressure support ventilation.
Common methodological issues included small sample size, lack of blinding, and unclear methods of randomization and allocation concealment. Due to the uncertainty about whether both studies included the same patient population and substantial differences in the direction and significance of the results, the results of the studies were not pooled.
Mortality
Both studies reported ICU mortality. Neither study showed a significant difference in ICU mortality between the NPPV and IMV groups, but 1 study showed a higher mortality rate in the NPPV group (21.7% vs. 11.5%) while the other study showed a lower mortality rate in the NPPV group (5.1% vs. 6.4%). One study reported 1-year mortality and showed a nonsignificant reduction in mortality in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group (26.1% vs. 46.1%).
GRADE: low to very low
Intensive Care Unit Length of Stay
Both studies reported LOS in the ICU. The results were inconsistent. One study showed a statistically significant shorter LOS in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group (5 ± 1.35 days vs. 9.29 ± 3 days; P < 0.001); whereas, the other study showed a nonsignificantly longer LOS in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group (22 ± 19 days vs. 21 ± 20 days; P = 0.86).
GRADE: very low
Duration of Mechanical Ventilation
Both studies reported the duration of mechanical ventilation (including both invasive and noninvasive ventilation). The results were inconsistent. One study showed a statistically significant shorter duration of mechanical ventilation in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group (3.92 ± 1.08 days vs. 7.17 ± 2.22 days; P < 0.001); whereas, the other study showed a nonsignificantly longer duration of mechanical ventilation in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group (16 ± 19 days vs. 15 ± 21 days; P = 0.86). GRADE: very low
Complications
Both studies reported ventilator-associated pneumonia and tracheotomies. Both showed a reduction in ventilator-associated pneumonia in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group, but the results were only significant in 1 study (13% vs. 34.6%, P = 0.07; and 6.4% vs. 37.2%, P < 0.001, respectively). Similarly, both studies showed a reduction in tracheotomies in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group, but the results were only significant in 1 study (13% vs. 23.1%, P = 0.29; and 6.4% vs. 34.6%; P < 0.001).
GRADE: very low
Other Outcomes
One of the studies followed patients for 12 months. At the end of follow-up, patients in the NPPV group had a significantly lower rate of needing de novo oxygen supplementation at home. In addition, the IMV group experienced significant increases in functional limitations due to COPD, while no increase was seen in the NPPV group. Finally, no significant differences were observed for hospital readmissions, ICU readmissions, and patients with an open tracheotomy, between the NPPV and IMV groups.
NPPV for Weaning COPD Patients From IMV
A total of 80 participants were included in the 2 RCTs; the sample sizes of the studies were 30 and 50 patients. The mean age of the participants ranged from 58 to 69 years of age. Based on either the GOLD COPD stage criteria or the mean percent predicted FEV1, both studies included patients with very severe COPD. Both studies also included patients with very severe respiratory failure (mean pH of the study populations was less than 7.23). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients receiving IMV were enrolled in the study if they failed a T-piece weaning trial (spontaneous breathing test), so they could not be directly extubated from IMV.
Both studies were conducted in the ICU. Patients in the NPPV group received weaning using either BiPAP or pressure support ventilation NPPV through a face mask, and patients in the IMV weaning group received pressure support ventilation. In both cases, weaning was achieved by tapering the ventilation level.
The individual quality of the studies ranged. Common methodological problems included unclear randomization methods and allocation concealment, lack of blinding, and small sample size.
Mortality
Both studies reported mortality as an outcome. The pooled results showed a significant reduction in ICU mortality in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group (RR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.23−0.97; P = 0.04).
GRADE: moderate
Intensive Care Unit Length of Stay
Both studies reported ICU LOS as an outcome. The pooled results showed a nonsignificant reduction in ICU LOS in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group (WMD, −5.21 days; 95% CI, −11.60 to 1.18 days).
GRADE: low
Duration of Mechanical Ventilation
Both studies reported duration of mechanical ventilation (including both invasive and noninvasive ventilation) as an outcome. The pooled results showed a nonsignificant reduction in duration of mechanical ventilation (WMD, −3.55 days; 95% CI, −8.55 to 1.44 days).
GRADE: low
Nosocomial Pneumonia
Both studies reported nosocominal pneumonia as an outcome. The pooled results showed a significant reduction in nosocomial pneumonia in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group (RR, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.03−0.71; P = 0.02).
GRADE: moderate
Weaning Failure
One study reported a significant reduction in weaning failure in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group, but the results were not reported in the publication. In this study, 1 of 25 patients in the NPPV group and 2 of 25 patients in the IMV group could not be weaned after 60 days in the ICU.
NPPV After Extubation of COPD Patients From IMV
The literature was reviewed to identify studies examining the effectiveness of NPPV compared with UMC in preventing recurrence of ARF after extubation from IMV or treating acute ARF which has recurred after extubation from IMV. No studies that included only COPD patients or reported results for COPD patients separately were identified for the prevention of ARF postextubation.
One study was identified for the treatment of ARF in COPD patients that recurred within 48 hours of extubation from IMV. This study included 221 patients, of whom 23 had COPD. A post hoc subgroup analysis was conducted examining the rate of reintubation in the COPD patients only. A nonsignificant reduction in the rate of reintubation was observed in the NPPV group compared with the UMC group (7 of 14 patients vs. 6 of 9 patients, P = 0.67). GRADE: low
Conclusions
NPPV Plus UMC Versus UMC Alone for First Line Treatment of ARF due to Acute Exacerbations of COPD
Moderate quality of evidence showed that compared with UMC, NPPV plus UMC significantly reduced the need for endotracheal intubation, inhospital mortality, and the mean length of hospital stay.
Low quality of evidence showed a lower rate of complications in the NPPV plus UMC group compared with the UMC group.
NPPV Versus IMV for the Treatment of ARF in Patients Who Have Failed UMC
Due to inconsistent and low to very low quality of evidence, there was insufficient evidence to draw conclusions on the comparison of NPPV versus IMV for patients who failed UMC.
NPPV for Weaning COPD Patients From IMV
Moderate quality of evidence showed that weaning COPD patients from IMV using NPPV results in significant reductions in mortality, nosocomial pneumonia, and weaning failure compared with weaning with IMV.
Low quality of evidence showed a nonsignificant reduction in the mean LOS and mean duration of mechanical ventilation in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group.
NPPV for the Treatment of ARF in COPD Patients After Extubation From IMV
Low quality of evidence showed a nonsignificant reduction in the rate of reintubation in the NPPV group compared with the UMC group; however, there was inadequate evidence to draw conclusions on the effectiveness of NPPV for the treatment of ARF in COPD patients after extubation from IMV
PMCID: PMC3384377  PMID: 23074436
12.  Quality of interhospital transport of critically ill patients: a prospective audit 
Critical Care  2005;9(4):R446-R451.
Introduction
The aim of transferring a critically ill patient to the intensive care unit (ICU) of a tertiary referral centre is to improve prognosis. The transport itself must be as safe as possible and should not pose additional risks. We performed a prospective audit of the quality of interhospital transports to our university hospital-based medical ICU.
Methods
Transfers were undertaken using standard ambulances. On departure and immediately after arrival, the following data were collected: blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, oxygen saturation, arterial blood gas analysis, serum lactic acid, plasma haemoglobin concentration, blood glucose, mechanical ventilation settings, use of vasopressor/inotropic drugs, and presence of venous and arterial catheters. Ambulance personnel completed forms describing haemodynamic and ventilatory data during transport. Data were collected by our research nurse and analyzed.
Results
A total of 100 consecutive transfers of ICU patients over a 14-month period were evaluated. Sixty-five per cent of patients were mechanically ventilated; 38% were on vasoactive drugs. Thirty-seven per cent exhibited an increased number of vital variables beyond predefined thresholds after transport compared with before transport; 34% had an equal number; and 29% had a lower number of vital variables beyond thresholds after transport. The distance of transport did not correlate with the condition on arrival. Six patients died within 24 hours after arrival; vital variables in these patients were not significantly different from those in patients who survived the first 24 hours. ICU mortality was 27%. Adverse events occurred in 34% of transfers; in 50% of these transports, pretransport recommendations given by the intensivist of our ICU were ignored. Approximately 30% of events may be attributed to technical problems.
Conclusion
On aggregate, the quality of transport in our catchment area carried out using standard ambulances appeared to be satisfactory. However, examination of the data in greater detail revealed a number of preventable events. Further improvement must be achieved by better communication between referring and receiving hospitals, and by strict adherence to checklists and to published protocols. Patients transported between ICUs are still critically ill and should be treated as such.
doi:10.1186/cc3749
PMCID: PMC1269465  PMID: 16137359
13.  Safety threats and opportunities to improve interfacility care transitions: insights from patients and family members 
Aim
To explore patients’ and family members’ perspectives on how safety threats are detected and managed across care transitions and strategies that improve care transitions from acute care hospitals to complex continuing care and rehabilitation health care organizations.
Background
Poorly executed care transitions can result in additional health care spending due to adverse outcomes and delays as patients wait to transfer from acute care to facilities providing different levels of care. Patients and their families play an integral role in ensuring they receive safe care, as they are the one constant in care transitions processes. However, patients’ and family members’ perspectives on how safety threats are detected and managed across care transitions from health care facility to health care facility remain poorly understood.
Methods
This qualitative study used semistructured interviews with patients (15) and family members (seven) who were transferred from an acute care hospital to a complex continuing care/rehabilitation care facility. Data were analyzed using a directed content analytical approach.
Results
Our results revealed three key overarching themes in the perceptions: lacking information, getting “funneled through” too soon, and difficulty adjusting to the shift from total care to almost self-care. Several patients and families described their expectations and experiences associated with their interfacility care transitions as being uninformed about their transfer or that transfer happened too early. In addition, study participants identified the need for having a coordinated approach to care transitions that engages patients and family members.
Conclusion
Study findings provide patients’ and family members’ perspectives on key safety threats and how to improve care transitions. Of particular importance is the need for patients and family members to play a more active role in their care transition planning and self-care management.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S36797
PMCID: PMC3468168  PMID: 23055704
safety threats; patient and family perspectives; care transitions
14.  Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 
Executive Summary
In July 2010, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) evidentiary framework, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding treatment strategies for patients with COPD. This project emerged from a request by the Health System Strategy Division of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that MAS provide them with an evidentiary platform on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of COPD interventions.
After an initial review of health technology assessments and systematic reviews of COPD literature, and consultation with experts, MAS identified the following topics for analysis: vaccinations (influenza and pneumococcal), smoking cessation, multidisciplinary care, pulmonary rehabilitation, long-term oxygen therapy, noninvasive positive pressure ventilation for acute and chronic respiratory failure, hospital-at-home for acute exacerbations of COPD, and telehealth (including telemonitoring and telephone support). Evidence-based analyses were prepared for each of these topics. For each technology, an economic analysis was also completed where appropriate. In addition, a review of the qualitative literature on patient, caregiver, and provider perspectives on living and dying with COPD was conducted, as were reviews of the qualitative literature on each of the technologies included in these analyses.
The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Mega-Analysis series is made up of the following reports, which can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: http://www.hqontario.ca/en/mas/mas_ohtas_mn.html.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Evidentiary Framework
Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Smoking Cessation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Community-Based Multidisciplinary Care for Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Long-term Oxygen Therapy for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Acute Respiratory Failure Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Chronic Respiratory Failure Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Hospital-at-Home Programs for Patients with Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Home Telehealth for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Using an Ontario Policy Model
Experiences of Living and Dying With COPD: A Systematic Review and Synthesis of the Qualitative Empirical Literature
For more information on the qualitative review, please contact Mita Giacomini at: http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/ceb/faculty_member_giacomini.htm.
For more information on the economic analysis, please visit the PATH website: http://www.path-hta.ca/About-Us/Contact-Us.aspx.
The Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) collaborative has produced an associated report on patient preference for mechanical ventilation. For more information, please visit the THETA website: http://theta.utoronto.ca/static/contact.
Objective
The objective of this analysis was to determine the effectiveness of the influenza vaccination and the pneumococcal vaccination in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in reducing the incidence of influenza-related illness or pneumococcal pneumonia.
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Influenza Disease
Influenza is a global threat. It is believed that the risk of a pandemic of influenza still exists. Three pandemics occurred in the 20th century which resulted in millions of deaths worldwide. The fourth pandemic of H1N1 influenza occurred in 2009 and affected countries in all continents.
Rates of serious illness due to influenza viruses are high among older people and patients with chronic conditions such as COPD. The influenza viruses spread from person to person through sneezing and coughing. Infected persons can transfer the virus even a day before their symptoms start. The incubation period is 1 to 4 days with a mean of 2 days. Symptoms of influenza infection include fever, shivering, dry cough, headache, runny or stuffy nose, muscle ache, and sore throat. Other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can occur.
Complications of influenza infection include viral pneumonia, secondary bacterial pneumonia, and other secondary bacterial infections such as bronchitis, sinusitis, and otitis media. In viral pneumonia, patients develop acute fever and dyspnea, and may further show signs and symptoms of hypoxia. The organisms involved in bacterial pneumonia are commonly identified as Staphylococcus aureus and Hemophilus influenza. The incidence of secondary bacterial pneumonia is most common in the elderly and those with underlying conditions such as congestive heart disease and chronic bronchitis.
Healthy people usually recover within one week but in very young or very old people and those with underlying medical conditions such as COPD, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, influenza is associated with higher risks and may lead to hospitalization and in some cases death. The cause of hospitalization or death in many cases is viral pneumonia or secondary bacterial pneumonia. Influenza infection can lead to the exacerbation of COPD or an underlying heart disease.
Streptococcal Pneumonia
Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as pneumococcus, is an encapsulated Gram-positive bacterium that often colonizes in the nasopharynx of healthy children and adults. Pneumococcus can be transmitted from person to person during close contact. The bacteria can cause illnesses such as otitis media and sinusitis, and may become more aggressive and affect other areas of the body such as the lungs, brain, joints, and blood stream. More severe infections caused by pneumococcus are pneumonia, bacterial sepsis, meningitis, peritonitis, arthritis, osteomyelitis, and in rare cases, endocarditis and pericarditis.
People with impaired immune systems are susceptible to pneumococcal infection. Young children, elderly people, patients with underlying medical conditions including chronic lung or heart disease, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, sickle cell disease, and people who have undergone a splenectomy are at a higher risk for acquiring pneumococcal pneumonia.
Technology
Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccines
Trivalent Influenza Vaccines in Canada
In Canada, 5 trivalent influenza vaccines are currently authorized for use by injection. Four of these are formulated for intramuscular use and the fifth product (Intanza®) is formulated for intradermal use.
The 4 vaccines for intramuscular use are:
Fluviral (GlaxoSmithKline), split virus, inactivated vaccine, for use in adults and children ≥ 6 months;
Vaxigrip (Sanofi Pasteur), split virus inactivated vaccine, for use in adults and children ≥ 6 months;
Agriflu (Novartis), surface antigen inactivated vaccine, for use in adults and children ≥ 6 months; and
Influvac (Abbott), surface antigen inactivated vaccine, for use in persons ≥ 18 years of age.
FluMist is a live attenuated virus in the form of an intranasal spray for persons aged 2 to 59 years. Immunization with current available influenza vaccines is not recommended for infants less than 6 months of age.
Pneumococcal Vaccine
Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines were developed more than 50 years ago and have progressed from 2-valent vaccines to the current 23-valent vaccines to prevent diseases caused by 23 of the most common serotypes of S pneumoniae. Canada-wide estimates suggest that approximately 90% of cases of pneumococcal bacteremia and meningitis are caused by these 23 serotypes. Health Canada has issued licenses for 2 types of 23-valent vaccines to be injected intramuscularly or subcutaneously:
Pneumovax 23® (Merck & Co Inc. Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA), and
Pneumo 23® (Sanofi Pasteur SA, Lion, France) for persons 2 years of age and older.
Other types of pneumococcal vaccines licensed in Canada are for pediatric use. Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine is injected only once. A second dose is applied only in some conditions.
Research Questions
What is the effectiveness of the influenza vaccination and the pneumococcal vaccination compared with no vaccination in COPD patients?
What is the safety of these 2 vaccines in COPD patients?
What is the budget impact and cost-effectiveness of these 2 vaccines in COPD patients?
Research Methods
Literature search
Search Strategy
A literature search was performed on July 5, 2010 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1, 2000 to July 5, 2010. The search was updated monthly through the AutoAlert function of the search up to January 31, 2011. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Articles with an unknown eligibility were reviewed with a second clinical epidemiologist and then a group of epidemiologists until consensus was established. Data extraction was carried out by the author.
Inclusion Criteria
studies comparing clinical efficacy of the influenza vaccine or the pneumococcal vaccine with no vaccine or placebo;
randomized controlled trials published between January 1, 2000 and January 31, 2011;
studies including patients with COPD only;
studies investigating the efficacy of types of vaccines approved by Health Canada;
English language studies.
Exclusion Criteria
non-randomized controlled trials;
studies investigating vaccines for other diseases;
studies comparing different variations of vaccines;
studies in which patients received 2 or more types of vaccines;
studies comparing different routes of administering vaccines;
studies not reporting clinical efficacy of the vaccine or reporting immune response only;
studies investigating the efficacy of vaccines not approved by Health Canada.
Outcomes of Interest
Primary Outcomes
Influenza vaccination: Episodes of acute respiratory illness due to the influenza virus.
Pneumococcal vaccination: Time to the first episode of community-acquired pneumonia either due to pneumococcus or of unknown etiology.
Secondary Outcomes
rate of hospitalization and mechanical ventilation
mortality rate
adverse events
Quality of Evidence
The quality of each included study was assessed taking into consideration allocation concealment, randomization, blinding, power/sample size, withdrawals/dropouts, and intention-to-treat analyses. The quality of the body of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE Working Group criteria. The following definitions of quality were used in grading the quality of the evidence:
Summary of Efficacy of the Influenza Vaccination in Immunocompetent Patients With COPD
Clinical Effectiveness
The influenza vaccination was associated with significantly fewer episodes of influenza-related acute respiratory illness (ARI). The incidence density of influenza-related ARI was:
All patients: vaccine group: (total of 4 cases) = 6.8 episodes per 100 person-years; placebo group: (total of 17 cases) = 28.1 episodes per 100 person-years, (relative risk [RR], 0.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.06−0.70; P = 0.005).
Patients with severe airflow obstruction (forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1] < 50% predicted): vaccine group: (total of 1 case) = 4.6 episodes per 100 person-years; placebo group: (total of 7 cases) = 31.2 episodes per 100 person-years, (RR, 0.1; 95% CI, 0.003−1.1; P = 0.04).
Patients with moderate airflow obstruction (FEV1 50%−69% predicted): vaccine group: (total of 2 cases) = 13.2 episodes per 100 person-years; placebo group: (total of 4 cases) = 23.8 episodes per 100 person-years, (RR, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.05−3.8; P = 0.5).
Patients with mild airflow obstruction (FEV1 ≥ 70% predicted): vaccine group: (total of 1 case) = 4.5 episodes per 100 person-years; placebo group: (total of 6 cases) = 28.2 episodes per 100 person-years, (RR, 0.2; 95% CI, 0.003−1.3; P = 0.06).
The Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed a significant difference between the vaccinated group and the placebo group regarding the probability of not acquiring influenza-related ARI (log-rank test P value = 0.003). Overall, the vaccine effectiveness was 76%. For categories of mild, moderate, or severe COPD the vaccine effectiveness was 84%, 45%, and 85% respectively.
With respect to hospitalization, fewer patients in the vaccine group compared with the placebo group were hospitalized due to influenza-related ARIs, although these differences were not statistically significant. The incidence density of influenza-related ARIs that required hospitalization was 3.4 episodes per 100 person-years in the vaccine group and 8.3 episodes per 100 person-years in the placebo group (RR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.04−2.5; P = 0.3; log-rank test P value = 0.2). Also, no statistically significant differences between the 2 groups were observed for the 3 categories of severity of COPD.
Fewer patients in the vaccine group compared with the placebo group required mechanical ventilation due to influenza-related ARIs. However, these differences were not statistically significant. The incidence density of influenza-related ARIs that required mechanical ventilation was 0 episodes per 100 person-years in the vaccine group and 5 episodes per 100 person-years in the placebo group (RR, 0.0; 95% CI, 0−2.5; P = 0.1; log-rank test P value = 0.4). In addition, no statistically significant differences between the 2 groups were observed for the 3 categories of severity of COPD. The effectiveness of the influenza vaccine in preventing influenza-related ARIs and influenza-related hospitalization was not related to age, sex, severity of COPD, smoking status, or comorbid diseases.
safety
Overall, significantly more patients in the vaccine group than the placebo group experienced local adverse reactions (vaccine: 17 [27%], placebo: 4 [6%]; P = 0.002). Significantly more patients in the vaccine group than the placebo group experienced swelling (vaccine 4, placebo 0; P = 0.04) and itching (vaccine 4, placebo 0; P = 0.04). Systemic reactions included headache, myalgia, fever, and skin rash and there were no significant differences between the 2 groups for these reactions (vaccine: 47 [76%], placebo: 51 [81%], P = 0.5).
With respect to lung function, dyspneic symptoms, and exercise capacity, there were no significant differences between the 2 groups at 1 week and at 4 weeks in: FEV1, maximum inspiratory pressure at residual volume, oxygen saturation level of arterial blood, visual analogue scale for dyspneic symptoms, and the 6 Minute Walking Test for exercise capacity.
There was no significant difference between the 2 groups with regard to the probability of not acquiring total ARIs (influenza-related and/or non-influenza-related); (log-rank test P value = 0.6).
Summary of Efficacy of the Pneumococcal Vaccination in Immunocompetent Patients With COPD
Clinical Effectiveness
The Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed no significant differences between the group receiving the penumoccocal vaccination and the control group for time to the first episode of community-acquired pneumonia due to pneumococcus or of unknown etiology (log-rank test 1.15; P = 0.28). Overall, vaccine efficacy was 24% (95% CI, −24 to 54; P = 0.33).
With respect to the incidence of pneumococcal pneumonia, the Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed a significant difference between the 2 groups (vaccine: 0/298; control: 5/298; log-rank test 5.03; P = 0.03).
Hospital admission rates and median length of hospital stays were lower in the vaccine group, but the difference was not statistically significant. The mortality rate was not different between the 2 groups.
Subgroup Analysis
The Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed significant differences between the vaccine and control groups for pneumonia due to pneumococcus and pneumonia of unknown etiology, and when data were analyzed according to subgroups of patients (age < 65 years, and severe airflow obstruction FEV1 < 40% predicted). The accumulated percentage of patients without pneumonia (due to pneumococcus and of unknown etiology) across time was significantly lower in the vaccine group than in the control group in patients younger than 65 years of age (log-rank test 6.68; P = 0.0097) and patients with a FEV1 less than 40% predicted (log-rank test 3.85; P = 0.0498).
Vaccine effectiveness was 76% (95% CI, 20−93; P = 0.01) for patients who were less than 65 years of age and −14% (95% CI, −107 to 38; P = 0.8) for those who were 65 years of age or older. Vaccine effectiveness for patients with a FEV1 less than 40% predicted and FEV1 greater than or equal to 40% predicted was 48% (95% CI, −7 to 80; P = 0.08) and −11% (95% CI, −132 to 47; P = 0.95), respectively. For patients who were less than 65 years of age (FEV1 < 40% predicted), vaccine effectiveness was 91% (95% CI, 35−99; P = 0.002).
Cox modelling showed that the effectiveness of the vaccine was dependent on the age of the patient. The vaccine was not effective in patients 65 years of age or older (hazard ratio, 1.53; 95% CI, 0.61−a2.17; P = 0.66) but it reduced the risk of acquiring pneumonia by 80% in patients less than 65 years of age (hazard ratio, 0.19; 95% CI, 0.06−0.66; P = 0.01).
safety
No patients reported any local or systemic adverse reactions to the vaccine.
PMCID: PMC3384373  PMID: 23074431
15.  An exploratory analysis of transfer times in a rural trauma system 
Background:
Delays to definitive care are of particular concern in rural trauma systems, where prehospital times are significantly longer than average.
Aims:
We evaluated for differences between transferring hospitals in the total time required to transport patients to definitive care, and analyzed for associations between transport times and outcomes.
Settings and Design:
We employed a cross-sectional design to analyze Level One Trauma Center registry data on interfacility transfer of 3,303 acute trauma patients.
Materials and Methods:
We calculated time in minutes from injury to definitive care (total elapsed time (TET)), and analyzed for associations between TET and both mortality and length of hospital stay at our center. We mapped hospitals and catchment areas to illustrate statistics by transferring hospital.
Statistical Analysis:
We employed analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) to analyze for the effect of TET and injury severity category upon hospital length of stay, and for the effects of TET and air transport as compared to ground transport. We evaluated for likelihood of in-hospital mortality using logistic regression.
Results:
TET had little or no effect upon length of hospital stay or in-hospital mortality. The effect of injury severity upon both length of stay and mortality was progressively greater with each categorical increase in severity. Air transport as compared to ground transport was associated with mild increases in length of stay and likelihood of mortality. Mapping revealed spatial patterns that were not evident by statistical analysis alone.
Conclusions:
Mapping of geographic variations holds promise as a supplement to quantitative needs assessments of trauma systems in rural regions and developing countries.
doi:10.4103/0974-2700.120368
PMCID: PMC3841532  PMID: 24339658
Health planning; injuries; regional; rural health services; trauma; trauma center
16.  Clinical Research of Mortality in Emergency Air Medical Transport 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:767402.
Introduction. EAMT in Taiwan has experienced increasing demand in the past few years. The objective is to analyze the trend of EAMT in the past six years and mortality rate within three days of patients undergoing interfacility transport in Taiwan. Material and Method. We conducted a retrospective review of patients who were airlifted from remote islands to main island between 2006 and 2011. Main outcome measures are EAMT number (EAMT-N), EAMT per thousand population (EAMT frequency, EAMT-F), number of mortality (Mor-N), and mortality rate within three days after EAMT (Mor-R). Results and Discussion. Overall mortality rate is 7.54% in 1684 airlifted patients. Acute myocardial infarction (AMI, 26.3%) and traumatic brain injury (TBI, 25.8%) comprise the majority in diagnosis (52.1%). However, Mor-R in these two categories is significantly low in AMI (3.5%) and TBI (5.1%). Conclusion. The present study demonstrates that physician density is not related to EAMT-N but to physician number. As general population ages (10%), the average age of patient who underwent EAMT doubled (21%). This study also leaves room for discussion regarding futile medical care. The results can be used as a reference for increasing utilization of EAMT in current National Health Care Scheme.
doi:10.1155/2014/767402
PMCID: PMC4137728  PMID: 25162026
17.  Equipment review: Intrahospital transport of critically ill patients 
Critical Care  1999;3(5):R83-R89.
Background
This review on the current literature of the intrahospital transport of critically ill patients addresses type and incidence of adverse effects, risk factors and risk assessment, and the available information on efficiency and cost-effectiveness of transferring such patients for diagnostic or therapeutic interventions within hospital. Methods and guidelines to prevent or reduce potential hazards and complications are provided.
Methods
A Medline search was performed using the terms 'critical illness', 'transport of patients', 'patient transfer', 'critical care', 'monitoring' and 'intrahospital transport', and all information concerning the intrahospital transport of patients was considered.
Results
Adverse effects may occur in up to 70% of transports. They include a change in heart rate, arterial hypotension and hypertension, increased intracranial pressure, arrhythmias, cardiac arrest and a change in respiratory rate, hypocapnia and hypercapnia, and significant hypoxaemia. No transport-related deaths have been reported. In up to one-third of cases mishaps during transport were equipment related. A long-term deterioration of respiratory function was observed in 12% of cases. Patient-related risk indicators were found to be a high Therapeutic Intervention Severity Score, mechanical ventilation, ventilation with positive end-expiratory pressure and high injury severity score. Patients' age, duration of transport, destination of transport, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score, personnel accompanying the patient and other factors were not found to correlate with an increased rate of complications. Transports for diagnostic procedures resulted in a change in patient management in 40-50% of cases, indicating a good risk:benefit ratio.
Conclusions
To prevent adverse effects of intrahospital transports, guidelines concerning the organization of transports, the personnel, equipment and monitoring should be followed. In particular, the presence of a critical care physician during transport, proper equipment to monitor vital functions and to treat such disturbances immediately, and close control of the patient's ventilation appear to be of major importance. It appears useful to use specifically constructed carts including standard intensive care unit ventilators in a selected group of patients. To further reduce the rate of inadvertent mishaps resulting from transports, alternative diagnostic modalities or techniques and performing surgical procedures in the intensive care unit should be considered.
doi:10.1186/cc362
PMCID: PMC137237  PMID: 11094486
critical care; critical illness; intrahospital transport; monitoring; patient transfer; transport of patients
18.  Incidence and predictors of critical events during urgent air–medical transport 
Background
Little is known about the risks of urgent air–medical transport used in regionalized health care systems. We sought to determine the incidence of intransit critical events and identify factors associated with these events.
Methods
We conducted a population-based, retrospective cohort study using clinical and administrative data. We included all adults undergoing urgent air–medical transport in the Canadian province of Ontario between Jan. 1, 2004, and May 31, 2006. The primary outcome was in-transit critical events, which we defined as death, major resuscitative procedure, hemodynamic deterioration, or inadvertent extubation or respiratory arrest.
Results
We identified 19 228 patients who underwent air–medical transport during the study period. In-transit critical events were observed in 5.1% of all transports, for a rate of 1 event per 12.6 hours of transit time. Events consisted primarily of new hypotension or airway management procedures. Independent predictors of critical events included female sex (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1–1.5), assisted ventilation before transport (adjusted OR 3.0, 95% CI 2.3–3.7), hemodynamic instability before transport (adjusted OR 3.2, 95% CI 2.5–4.1), transport in a fixed-wing aircraft (adjusted OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.2–1.8), increased duration of transport (adjusted OR 1.02 per 10-minute increment, 95% CI 1.01–1.03), on-scene calls (adjusted OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.4–2.1) and type of crew (adjusted OR 0.6 for advanced care paramedics v. critical care paramedics, 95% CI 0.5–0.7).
Interpretation
Critical events occurred in about 1 in every 20 air–medical transports and were associated with multiple risk factors at the patient, transport and system levels. These findings have implications for the refinement of training of paramedic transport crews and processes for triage and transport.
doi:10.1503/cmaj.080886
PMCID: PMC2764752  PMID: 19752105
19.  Desflurane Versus Opioid Anesthesia for Cardiac Shunt Procedures in Infants With Cyantoic Congential Heart Disease 
Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine  2013;3(1):191-197.
Background
Placement of a Blalock-Taussig (BT) shunt is frequently performed for palliation of cyanotic congenital heart disease (CCHD).
Objectives
Inhalational anesthetics, when used in adult heart surgery, offer advantages of myocardial protection and decrease in use of inotropes, duration of ventilation, ICU and hospital length of stay (LOS).There is little literature, however, in the comparative use of inhalational and narcotic anesthesia in CCHD.
Patients and Methods
Following Institutional Ethical Review Board approval and parental consent, 35 patients presenting for BT shunt were prospectively randomized to receive either a desflurane anesthetic or a narcotic anesthetic. Institutional practice for all patients undergoing BT shunt is to undergo cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) following median sternotomy. Induction was accomplished with 5-7% sevoflurane in 100% oxygen, 2ug/kg fentanyl, 0.05mg/kg midazolam and 0.1mg/kg vecuronium. After intubation, patients in the narcotic group (n=16) received an additional 5-10ug/kg fentanyl, 0.1mg/kg midazolam, 100% oxygen and vecuronium. Patients in the inhalational group (n=19) received desflurane, 0.6-1 MAC, 100% oxygen, 0.05mg/kg midazolam, IV paracetamol 15mg/kg and vecuronium. At the end of surgery, patients were transferred to the ICU and received IV paracetamol and midazolam. Ventilation was weaned when the patient was hemodynamically stable. Demographics, baseline, intra and post-op heart rates, duration of inotrope use, ICU and hospital LOS, pre and post-op creatinine and serious adverse events (SAE) were recorded. Data were analyzed using Student, paired t, Mann-Whitney U and Chi square/Fisher exact tests, P < 0.05 significant.
Results
Demographic data were similar, except for a modestly higher pre-op heart rate in the group receiving opioid anesthesia. Patients receiving desflurane had a significantly shorter duration of mechanical ventilation and length of ICU and hospital stay. Inotrope use was similar in both groups. The group receiving opioid anesthesia had an increase in creatinine post operatively which was not observed in the desflurane group. There was no difference in incidence of significant adverse events in either group.
Conclusions
Use of inhalational anesthesia has increased in adult cardiac surgery and has proved to reduce duration of elective ventilation, decrease ICU and hospital LOS, and mortality. Inhalational anesthetics are less well-studied in CCHD. In the current study, desflurane was chosen because of its low solubility, decreased recovery time and lack of metabolism or organ system toxicities. Although it is a popular belief that desflurane is associated with tachycardia and airway irritation, findings of the current study are consistent with those of the previous works demonstrating a lack of these side effects below 1 MAC3. No hemodynamic instability was encountered and there was no evidence that desflurane exerted a negative inotropic effect. Markers of cardio protection were not examined, although desflurane may have had a renal protective effect compared to narcotic technique. In the current study, a desflurane anesthetic for BT shunt decreased the duration of mechanical ventilation and ICU and hospital LOS by nearly three days, with no difference in perioperative morbidity or mortality. Larger studies are required to determine whether these changes result in overall decreased complication rate and morbidity/mortality and whether desflurane has a cardio or renal protective effect in the patient population.
doi:10.5812/aapm.9511
PMCID: PMC3821147  PMID: 24223361
Research; Humans; Anesthesia; Heart Diseases; Desflurane; Analgesics, Opioid
20.  Stress Echocardiography with Contrast for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease 
Executive Summary
In July 2009, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging Technologies for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding different cardiac imaging modalities to ensure that appropriate technologies are accessed by patients suspected of having CAD. This project came about when the Health Services Branch at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care asked MAS to provide an evidentiary platform on effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of non-invasive cardiac imaging modalities.
After an initial review of the strategy and consultation with experts, MAS identified five key non-invasive cardiac imaging technologies for the diagnosis of CAD. Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these five imaging modalities: cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, single photon emission computed tomography, 64-slice computed tomographic angiography, stress echocardiography, and stress echocardiography with contrast. For each technology, an economic analysis was also completed (where appropriate). A summary decision analytic model was then developed to encapsulate the data from each of these reports (available on the OHTAC and MAS website).
The Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging Technologies for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease series is made up of the following reports, which can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: www.health.gov.on.ca/mas or at www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/mas_about.html
Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Stress Echocardiography for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Stress Echocardiography with Contrast for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
64-Slice Computed Tomographic Angiography for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Pease note that two related evidence-based analyses of non-invasive cardiac imaging technologies for the assessment of myocardial viability are also available on the MAS website:
Positron Emission Tomography for the Assessment of Myocardial Viability: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Magnetic Resonance Imaging for the Assessment of Myocardial Viability: an Evidence-Based Analysis
The Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment Collaborative has also produced an associated economic report entitled:
The Relative Cost-effectiveness of Five Non-invasive Cardiac Imaging Technologies for Diagnosing Coronary Artery Disease in Ontario [Internet]. Available from: http://theta.utoronto.ca/reports/?id=7
Objective
The objective of this report is to compare echocardiography (ECHO) performed with microsphere contrast agents (contrast echocardiography) to ECHO performed without contrast and to single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).
Contrast ECHO
Contrast agents for ECHO have been available since the technology was first introduced in the 1990s. Composed of tiny ‘microbubbles’ of an inert gas encapsulated within a lipid, protein, or polymer coat, these agents act to scatter incident ultrasound waves at the gas/liquid interface to increase the strength of a returning ECHO signal. When injected into a patient’s arm, they are transported throughout even the smallest capillaries to greatly enhance the blood pool signal, which would otherwise appear black on conventional two dimensional ECHO. The enhanced signal then helps cardiologists to determine what parts of the patient’s heart muscle are poorly perfused.
The first commercially available microsphere contrast agent was Albunex, which received approval by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States in 1994. This original microsphere agent was limited by its rapid gas volume loss which caused a decline in the ultrasound signal. It worked well in the right chambers of the heart, but dissolved when passing through the pulmonary capillaries and so was unable to provide contrast in the left side. Second generation agents employed different gases that prolonged the life of the microbubbles within the circulation and increased the reproducibility of results.
Today, the most common use for contrast ECHO is to enhance the definition of the left ventricular (LV) endocardial border for cases of LV opacification. The aim of contrast ECHO is to provide better quantification of LV volume and assessment of LV wall motion than ECHO alone. The newest area of development in the research of contrast ECHO is myocardial perfusion assessment, also known as myocardial contrast ECHO. Theoretically, since myocardial ischemia and infarction affect both perfusion and contractility (wall motion), contrast ECHO could be an ideal non-invasive imaging test as it could assess both perfusion and contractility, simultaneously and in real time.
Notably, critically ill patients on ventilators and those with lung problems are more likely to generate poor or ‘suboptimal’ echocardiograms than other patients, as are obese patients and those who’ve undergone recent chest operations. Contrast agents can potentially be used in 10% to 15% of all studies and in approximately 33% of stress tests due to from such suboptimal echocardiograms. Stress can be induced either pharmaceutically (e.g., through dobutamine, dipyrimidamole, adenosine) or with exercise. Generally, contrast agents are used more in pharmaceutical stress echocardiograms than in exercise stress echocardiograms.
Evidence-Based Analysis
This MAS analysis sought to address the following research questions:
Is contrast ECHO more effective than 99-technetium SPECT in terms its ability to detect CAD?
What is the effectiveness of contrast ECHO in assessing patients with suboptimal echocardiograms?
Is contrast ECHO safe compared to other cardiac imaging modalities?
Is contrast ECHO cost-effective compared to other cardiac imaging modalities?
Literature Search
Literature searches were performed on June 22, 2009 and July 27, 2009 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1, 2004 until June 30, 2009. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria; full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any relevant studies not identified through the search.
Inclusion Criteria
Systematic reviews, meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials, prospective observational studies, retrospective analyses
Minimum sample size of 20 enrolled patients (human only)
The contrast agent used in the study must be licensed by Health Canada
Comparison to reference standard (coronary angiography for the diagnosis of coronary artery disease)
Reporting accuracy data on individual patients (rather than accuracy data stratified by segments of the heart)
English language
Exclusion Criteria
Non-systematic reviews, case reports
Grey literature (e.g. conference abstracts)
Outcomes of Interest
Accuracy outcomes (sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value)
Adverse events
Costs
Summary of Findings
Twenty-three observational studies were identified that assessed the diagnostic accuracy of contrast ECHO for the diagnosis of CAD. All of these studies used stress ECHO with contrast. In addition, nine retrospective chart reviews were identified, which assessed the safety of contrast ECHO at rest or stress. Based on the results of these studies the following conclusions were made:
Stress ECHO with contrast has a higher diagnostic accuracy in the diagnosis of CAD than stress ECHO (without contrast).
Stress ECHO with contrast seems to have a similar diagnostic accuracy to 99 technetium SPECT.
The addition of contrast to ECHO in patients with suboptimal ECHO results significantly improves interpretability of the results.
There is not a statistically significantly higher mortality rate in patients who receive contrast compared to those who do not.
PMCID: PMC3377574  PMID: 23074387
21.  Utility and safety of draining pleural effusions in mechanically ventilated patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Critical Care  2011;15(1):R46.
Introduction
Pleural effusions are frequently drained in mechanically ventilated patients but the benefits and risks of this procedure are not well established.
Methods
We performed a literature search of multiple databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, HEALTHSTAR, CINAHL) up to April 2010 to identify studies reporting clinical or physiological outcomes of mechanically ventilated critically ill patients who underwent drainage of pleural effusions. Studies were adjudicated for inclusion independently and in duplicate. Data on duration of ventilation and other clinical outcomes, oxygenation and lung mechanics, and adverse events were abstracted in duplicate independently.
Results
Nineteen observational studies (N = 1,124) met selection criteria. The mean PaO2:FiO2 ratio improved by 18% (95% confidence interval (CI) 5% to 33%, I2 = 53.7%, five studies including 118 patients) after effusion drainage. Reported complication rates were low for pneumothorax (20 events in 14 studies including 965 patients; pooled mean 3.4%, 95% CI 1.7 to 6.5%, I2 = 52.5%) and hemothorax (4 events in 10 studies including 721 patients; pooled mean 1.6%, 95% CI 0.8 to 3.3%, I2 = 0%). The use of ultrasound guidance (either real-time or for site marking) was not associated with a statistically significant reduction in the risk of pneumothorax (OR = 0.32; 95% CI 0.08 to 1.19). Studies did not report duration of ventilation, length of stay in the intensive care unit or hospital, or mortality.
Conclusions
Drainage of pleural effusions in mechanically ventilated patients appears to improve oxygenation and is safe. We found no data to either support or refute claims of beneficial effects on clinically important outcomes such as duration of ventilation or length of stay.
doi:10.1186/cc10009
PMCID: PMC3221976  PMID: 21288334
22.  Helicopter EMS: Research Endpoints and Potential Benefits 
Patients, EMS systems, and healthcare regions benefit from Helicopter EMS (HEMS) utilization. This article discusses these benefits in terms of specific endpoints utilized in research projects. The endpoint of interest, be it primary, secondary, or surrogate, is important to understand in the deployment of HEMS resources or in planning further HEMS outcomes research. The most important outcomes are those which show potential benefits to the patients, such as functional survival, pain relief, and earlier ALS care. Case reports are also important “outcomes” publications. The benefits of HEMS in the rural setting is the ability to provide timely access to Level I or Level II trauma centers and in nontrauma, interfacility transport of cardiac, stroke, and even sepsis patients. Many HEMS crews have pharmacologic and procedural capabilities that bring a different level of care to a trauma scene or small referring hospital, especially in the rural setting. Regional healthcare and EMS system's benefit from HEMS by their capability to extend the advanced level of care throughout a region, provide a “backup” for areas with limited ALS coverage, minimize transport times, make available direct transport to specialized centers, and offer flexibility of transport in overloaded hospital systems.
doi:10.1155/2012/698562
PMCID: PMC3235781  PMID: 22203905
23.  Prospective observational study on tracheal tube cuff pressures in emergency patients– is neglecting the problem the problem? 
Background
Inappropriately cuffed tracheal tubes can lead to inadequate ventilation or silent aspiration, or to serious tracheal damage. Cuff pressures are of particular importance during aeromedical transport as they increase due to decreased atmospheric pressure at flight level. We hypothesised, that cuff pressures are frequently too high in emergency and critically ill patients but are dependent on providers’ professional background.
Methods
Tracheal cuff pressures in patients intubated before arrival of a helicopter-based rescue team were prospectively recorded during a 12-month period. Information about the method used for initial cuff pressure assessment, profession of provider and time since intubation was collected by interview during patient handover. Indications for helicopter missions were either Intensive Care Unit (ICU) transports or emergency transfers. ICU transports were between ICUs of two hospitals. Emergency transfers were either evacuation from the scene or transfer from an emergency department to a higher facility.
Results
This study included 101 patients scheduled for aeromedical transport. Median cuff pressure measured at handover was 45 (25.0/80.0) cmH2O; range, 8-120 cmH2O. There was no difference between patient characteristics and tracheal tube-size or whether anaesthesia personnel or non-anaesthesia personnel inflated the cuff (30 (24.8/70.0) cmH2O vs. 50 (28.0/90.0) cmH2O); p = 0.113.
With regard to mission type (63 patients underwent an emergency transfer, 38 patients an ICU transport), median cuff pressure was different: 58 (30.0/100.0) cmH2O in emergency transfers vs. 30 (20.0/45.8) cmH2O in inter-ICU transports; p < 0.001. For cuff pressure assessment by the intubating team, a manometer had been applied in 2 of 59 emergency transfers and in 20 of 34 inter-ICU transports (method was unknown for 4 cases each). If a manometer was used, median cuff pressure was 27 (20.0/30.0) cmH2O, if not 70 (47.3/102.8) cmH2O; p < 0.001.
Conclusions
Cuff pressures in the pre-hospital setting and in intensive care units are often too high. Interestingly, there is no significant difference between non-anaesthesia and anaesthesia personnel. Acceptable cuff pressures are best achieved when a cuff pressure manometer has been used. This method seems to be the only feasible one and is recommended for general use.
doi:10.1186/1757-7241-21-83
PMCID: PMC4235018  PMID: 24304522
Tube cuff pressure; Airway management; Tracheal intubation; Emergency medicine; Aeromedical transport; Prehospital monitoring; Patient safety
24.  Risk factors for endotracheal re-intubation following coronary artery bypass grafting 
Background
Endotracheal re-intubation following coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is often associated with significant morbidity and mortality. However, few reports have focused on the independent risk factors for re-intubation following CABG. This study aimed to evaluate the independent risk factors for re-intubation following CABG.
Methods
The pre-, intra-, and post-operative materials in patients who had selective and isolated CABG performed on them from January 2004 to July 2012 in our hospital were analyzed retrospectively. Unvariate analysis and logistic regression were used to analyze the risk factor of postoperative re-intubation following CABG.
Results
Among the 1,244 patients investigated, 97 cases suffered from postoperative re-intubation, and the incidence rate of postoperative re-intubation was 7.8%. The in-hospital mortality in the re-intubation group was significantly higher than that in the non-re-intubation group (9.3% versus 1.4%, P = 0.004). Re-intubation also correlated with many negative outcomes such as pneumonia, tracheotomy, acute renal failure, infection of incision, prolonged mechanical ventilation time, prolonged intensive care unit (ICU) stay and prolonged hospital stay. The most commonly cause of re-intubation after CABG was hypoxemia due to cardiogenic and noncardiogenic disease, which accounted for 72.2%. The relative factors of postoperative re-intubation were tested through unvariate analysis and logistic regression, and the associated factors were obtained. The associated factors for re-intubation following CABG included preoperative chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (OR = 2.134, 95% CI = 1.472-2.967), preoperative congestive heart failure (CHF) (OR = 2.325, 95% CI = 1.512-3.121), postoperative relative hypoxemia (OR = 2.743, 95% CI = 1.657-3.326), postoperative acute kidney injury (AKI) (OR = 2.976, 95% CI = 2.127-4.023), postoperative total mechanical ventilation time (OR = 1.976, 95% CI = 1.347-2.645).
Conclusion
Preoperative COPD, preoperative CHF, postoperative relative hypoxemia, postoperative AKI and postoperative total mechanical ventilation time were five independent risk factors for re-intubation following CABG.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-8-208
PMCID: PMC3842842  PMID: 24209453
Coronary artery bypass grafting; Risk factors; Complication
25.  Intensive care management of organophosphate insecticide poisoning 
Critical Care  2001;5(4):211-215.
Introduction
Organophosphate (OP) insecticides inhibit both cholinesterase and pseudo-cholinesterase activities. The inhibition of acetylcholinesterase causes accumulation of acetylcholine at synapses, and overstimulation of neurotransmission occurs as a result of this accumulation. The mortality rate of OP poisoning is high. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment is often life saving. Treatment of OP poisoning consists of intravenous atropine and oximes. The clinical course of OP poisoning may be quite severe and may need intensive care management. We report our experience with the intensive care management of serious OP insecticide poisonings.
Methods
A retrospective study was performed on the patients with OP poisoning followed at our medical intensive care unit. Forty-seven patients were included. Diagnosis was performed from the history taken either from the patient or from the patient's relatives about the agent involved in the exposure. Diagnosis could not be confirmed with serum and red blood cell anticholinesterase levels because these are not performed at our institution. Intravenous atropine and pralidoxime was administered as soon as possible. Pralidoxime could not be given to 16 patients: 2 patients did not receive pralidoxime because they were late admissions and 14 did not receive pralidoxime because the Ministry of Health office was out of stock. Other measures for the treatment were gastric lavage and administration of activated charcoal via nasogastric tube, and cleansing the patient's body with soap and water. The patients were intubated and mechanically ventilated if the patients had respiratory failure, a depressed level of consciousness, which causes an inability to protect the airway, and hemodynamic instability. Mechanical ventilation was performed as synchronized intermittent mandatory ventilation + pressure support mode, either as volume or pressure control. Positive end expiratory pressure was titrated to keep SaO2 above 94% with 40% FIO2. Weaning was performed using either T-tube trials or pressure support weaning. The chi-square test was used for statistical analysis. Data are presented as mean ± standard deviation.
Results
There were 25 female and 22 male patients. Thirty-two (68%) were suicide attempts and 15 (32%) were accidental exposure. The gastrointestinal route was the main route in 44 (93.6%) patients. The mortality rates for the patients who did and did not receive pralidoxime were 32 and 18.7%, respectively, and were not statistically different. The most frequent signs were meiosis, change in mental status, hypersalivation and fasciculations. Ten patients (21.2%) required mechanical ventilation. The mortality rate for the patients who required mechanical ventilation was 50%, but the rate was 21.6% for the patients who were not mechanically ventilated. Intermediate syndrome was observed in 9 (19.1%) patients. Complications were observed in 35 (74.4%) patients. These complications were respiratory failure (14 patients), aspiration pneumonia (10 patients), urinary system infection (6 patients), convulsion (4 patients) and septic shock (1 patient). The duration of the intensive care stay was 5.2 ± 3.0 days.
Discussion
Ingestion of OP compounds for suicidal purposes is a major problem, especially in developing countries. Thirty-two (68%) of our patients used the OP insecticide for suicide. Two patients did not receive pralidoxime because of delayed admission and they were successfully treated with atropine alone. Three of the patients who did not receive pralidoxime because of unavailability died. The mortality rate was no different between the patients treated with pralidoxime or those without pralidoxime. De Silva and coworkers have also reported that the mortality rate was not different between each group. Three patients with intermediate syndrome died due to delay for endotracheal intubation. The average respiratory rate of these patients increased from 22 to 38 breaths/min, which is an important sign of respiratory distress. The nurse to patient ratio was increased after these events. Early recognition of respiratory failure resulting in intubation and mechanical ventilation is a life-saving intervention for patients with OP poisoning. Respiratory failure is the most troublesome complication, which was observed in 35 (74.4%) patients. Patients with OP poisoning may have respiratory failure for many reasons, including aspiration of the gastric content, excessive secretions, pneumonia and septicemia complicating acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Conclusions
OP insecticide poisoning is a serious condition that needs rapid diagnosis and treatment. Since respiratory failure is the major reason for mortality, careful monitoring, appropriate management and early recognition of this complication may decrease the mortality rate among these patients.
PMCID: PMC37406  PMID: 11511334
anticholinesterase; atropine; organophosphate pesticides; poisoning; pralidoxime

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