To explore nurses’ and physicians’ end-of-life (EOL) experiences in the newborn intensive care unit.
A hermeneutic phenomenology of health-care providers’ lived experiences with infant deaths in the newborn intensive care unit between January and August 2006 was conducted. Semistructured interviews were completed with individual providers. Demographic data were also collected. Analysis of themes and descriptive statistics were performed.
Twenty-one nurses and 11 physicians were interviewed. Providers described their experiences largely through an overall theme of ‘creating the best possible experience’ for parents. To support this theme, three subthemes (building relationships, preparing for the EOL and creating memories) were common between physicians and nurses. However, nurses and physicians articulated their roles and obligations differently within these subthemes. Additionally, three subthemes through which the providers described their personal experiences were found and these included moral distress, parental readiness and consent for autopsy.
A primary finding of this study was that a common overall obligation among nurses and physicians was to create the best possible experience for parents. Despite this commonality, the two disciplines approached the EOL and accomplished their common obligation from different vantage points.
health-care provider obligations; relationships; hermeneutic phenomenology; moral distress
The aims of the present study were to assess patients' memories of their stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) over time, using the Italian version of the ICU Memory (ICUM) tool, and to examine the relationship between memory and duration of ICU stay and infection.
Patients and method
Adult patients consecutively admitted to a four-bed ICU of a university hospital, whose stay in the ICU was at least 3 days, were prospectively studied. The ICUM tool was administered twice: face to face 1 week after ICU discharge to 93 patients (successfully in 87); and by phone after 3 months to 67 patients. Stability of memories over time was analyzed using Kappa statistics.
Delusional memories appeared to be the most persistent recollections over time (minimum κ value = 0.68), followed by feelings (κ value > 0.7 in three out of six memories) and factual memories (κ value > 0.7 in three out of 11 memories). The patients without a clear memory of their stay in the ICU reported a greater number of delusional memories than did those with a clear memory. Of patients without infection 35% had one or two delusional memories, and 60% of patients with infection had one to four delusional memories (P = 0.029).
The ICUM tool is of value in a setting and language different from those in which it was created and used. Delusional memories are the most stable recollections, and are frequently associated both with lack of clear memory of ICU experience and with presence of infection during ICU stay.
critical care; intensive care; memory; mental recall
The benefits of transporting severely injured patients by helicopter remain controversial. This study aimed to analyze the impact on mortality of helicopter compared to ground transport directly from the scene to a University hospital trauma center.
The French Intensive Care Research for Severe Trauma cohort study enrolled 2,703 patients with severe blunt trauma requiring admission to University hospital intensive care units within 72 hours. Pre-hospital and hospital clinical data, including the mode of transport, (helicopter (HMICU) versus ground (GMICU), both with medical teams), were recorded. The analysis was restricted to patients admitted directly from the scene to a University hospital trauma center. The main endpoint was mortality until ICU discharge.
Of the 1,958 patients analyzed, 74% were transported by GMICU, 26% by HMICU. Median injury severity score (ISS) was 26 (interquartile range (IQR) 19 to 34) for HMICU patients and 25 (IQR 18 to 34) for GMICU patients. Compared to GMICU, HMICU patients had a higher median time frame before hospital admission and were more intensively treated in the pre-hospital phase. Crude mortality until hospital discharge was the same regardless of pre-hospital mode of transport. After adjustment for initial status, the risk of death was significantly lower (odds ratio (OR): 0.68, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.47 to 0.98, P = 0.035) for HMICU compared with GMICU. This result did not change after further adjustment for ISS and overall surgical procedures.
This study suggests a beneficial impact of helicopter transport on mortality in severe blunt trauma. Whether this association could be due to better management in the pre-hospital phase needs to be more thoroughly assessed.
severe trauma patients; helicopter transport; pre-hospital care; mortality
Major trauma has been reported to be a major cause of hospitalization and intensive care utilization worldwide and consumes a significant amount of the health care budget. The aim of this study was to describe the characteristics and treatment outcome of major trauma patients admitted into our ICU and to identify predictors of outcome.
Between January 2008 and December 2010, a descriptive prospective study of all trauma admissions to a multidisciplinary intensive care unit (ICU) of Bugando Medical Centre in Northwestern Tanzania was conducted.
A total of 312 cases of major trauma were admitted in the ICU, representing 37.1% of the total ICU admissions. Males outnumbered females by a ratio of 5.5:1. Their median age was 27 years. Trauma admissions were almost exclusively emergencies (95.2%) and came mainly from the Accident and Emergency (60.6%) and Operating room (23.4%). Road traffic crash (RTC) was the most common cause of injuries affecting 70.8% of patients. Two hundred fourteen patients (68.6%) required surgical intervention. The overall ICU length of stay (LOS) for all trauma patients ranged from 1 to 59 days (median = 8 days). The median ICU length of hospital stay (LOS) for survivors and non-survivors were 8 and 5 days respectively. (P = 0.002). Mortality rate was 32.7%. Mortality rate of trauma patients was significantly higher than that of all ICU admissions (32.7% vs. 18.8%, P = 0.0012). According to multivariate logistic regression analysis, multiple injuries, severe head injuries and burns were responsible for a longer mean ICU stay (P < 0.001) whereas admission Glasgow Coma Score < 9, systolic blood pressure < 90 mmHg, injury severity core >16, prolonged duration of loss of consciousness, delayed ICU admission (0.028), the need for ventilatory support and finding of space occupying lesion on computed tomography scan significantly influenced mortality (P < 0.001).
Trauma resulting from road traffic crashes is a leading cause of intensive care utilization in our hospital. Urgent preventive measures targeting at reducing the occurrence of RTCs is necessary to reduce ICU trauma admissions in this region. Improved pre- and in-hospital care of trauma victims will improve the outcome of trauma patients admitted to our ICU.
Intensive care unit; trauma admissions; prevalence; injury characteristics; outcome; Tanzania
OBJECTIVE: To determine the warning time given to accident and emergency (A&E) departments by the ambulance service before arrival of a critically ill or injured patient. To determine if this could be increased by ambulance personnel alerting within five minutes of arrival at scene. METHODS: Use of computerised ambulance control room data to find key times in process of attending a critically ill or injured patient. Modelling was undertaken with a scenario of the first responder alerting the A&E department five minutes after arrival on scene. RESULTS: The average alert warning time was 7 min (range 1-15 min). Mean time on scene was 22 min (range 4-59 min). In trauma patients alone, the average alert time was 7 min, range 2-15 min, with an average on scene time of 23 min, range 4-53 min. There was a potential earlier alert time averaging 25 min (SD 18.6, range 2-59 min) if the alert call was made five minutes after arrival on scene. CONCLUSIONS: A&E departments could be alerted much earlier by the ambulance service. This would allow staff to be assembled and preparations to be made. Disadvantages may be an increased "alert rate" and wastage of staff time while waiting the ambulance arrival.
UK policy recommendations advocate the use of intensive care unit (ICU) follow-up services to help detect and treat patients' physical and emotional problems after hospital discharge and as a means of service evaluation. This study explores patients' perceptions and experiences of these services.
Thirty-four former ICU patients were recruited throughout the UK, using maximum variation sampling to achieve as broad a range of experiences of the ICU as possible. Participants were interviewed at home by a qualitative researcher unconnected to their hospital care. Interviews were recorded and transcribed for analysis. We report a qualitative thematic analysis of patients' experiences of ICU follow up.
Former patients said they valued ICU follow-up services, which had made an important contribution to their physical, emotional and psychological recovery in terms of continuity of care, receiving information, gaining expert reassurance and giving feedback to ICU staff. Continuity of care included having tests and being monitored, referrals to other specialists and ICU follow-up appointments soon after hospital discharge. Information about physical, emotional and psychological recovery was particularly important to patients, as was information that helped them make sense of their ICU experience. Those without access to ICU follow-up care often felt abandoned or disappointed because they had no opportunity to be monitored, referred or get more information.
Former patients value having ICU follow-up services but many found that their healthcare needs were unmet because hospitals were unable to provide the aftercare they required. Most participants were aware of the financial constraints on the health system. Although they valued ICU follow-up care, they did not want it to continue indefinitely, with many of them declining appointment invitations when they themselves felt they no longer needed them.
Studies suggest that in patients admitted to intensive care units (ICU), physical functional status (PFS) improves over time, but does not return to the same level as before ICU admission. The goal of this study was to assess physical functional status two years after discharge from an ICU and to determine factors influencing physical status in this population.
The study reviewed all patients admitted to two non-trauma ICUs during a one-year period and included patients with age ≥ 18 yrs, ICU stay ≥ 24 h, and who were alive 24 months after ICU discharge. To assess PFS, Karnofsky Performance Status Scale scores and Lawton-Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) scores at ICU admission (K-ICU and L-ICU) were compared to the scores at the end of 24 months (K-24mo and L-24mo). Data at 24 months were obtained through telephone interviews.
A total of 1,216 patients were eligible for the study. Twenty-four months after ICU discharge, 499 (41.6%) were alive, agreed to answer the interview, and had all hospital data available. PFS (K-ICU: 86.6 ± 13.8 vs. K-24mo: 77.1 ± 19.6, p < 0.001) and IADL (L-ICU: 27.0 ± 11.7 vs. L-24mo: 22.5 ± 11.5, p < 0.001) declined in patients with medical and unplanned surgical admissions. Most strikingly, the level of dependency increased in neurological patients (K-ICU: 86 ± 12 vs. K-24mo: 64 ± 21, relative risk [RR] 2.6, 95% CI, 1.8–3.6, p < 0.001) and trauma patients (K-ICU: 99 ± 2 vs. K-24mo: 83 ± 21, RR 2.7, 95% CI, 1.6–4.6, p < 0.001). The largest reduction in the ability to perform ADL occurred in neurological patients (L-ICU: 27 ± 7 vs. L-24mo: 15 ± 12, RR 3.3, 95% CI, 2.3–4.6 p < 0.001), trauma patients (L-ICU: 32 ± 0 vs. L-24mo: 25 ± 11, RR 2.8, 95% CI, 1.5–5.1, p < 0.001), patients aged ≥ 65 years (RR 1.4, 95% CI, 1.07–1.86, p = 0.01) and those who received mechanical ventilation for ≥ 8 days (RR 1.48, 95% CI, 1.02–2.15, p = 0.03).
Twenty-four months after ICU discharge, PFS was significantly poorer in patients with neurological injury, trauma, age ≥ 65 tears, and mechanical ventilation ≥ 8 days. Future studies should focus on the relationship between PFS and health-related quality of life in this population.
Activities of Daily Living; Physical Functional Status; Intensive Care Unit; Long-term Care; Mortality; Prognosis; Health-related Quality of Life
OBJECTIVE--To determine whether improvement in the care of victims of major trauma could be made by using the revised trauma score as a triage tool to help junior accident and emergency doctors rapidly identify seriously injured patients and thereby call a senior accident and emergency specialist to supervise their resuscitation. DESIGN--Comparison of results of audit of management of all seriously injured patients before and after these measures were introduced. SETTING--Accident and emergency department in an urban hospital. PATIENTS--All seriously injured patients (injury severity score greater than 15) admitted to the department six months before and one year after introduction of the measures. RESULTS--Management errors were reduced from 58% (21/36) to 30% (16/54) (p less than 0.01). Correct treatment rather than improvement in diagnosis or investigation accounted for almost all the improvement. CONCLUSIONS--The management of seriously injured patients in the accident and emergency department can be improved by introducing two simple measures: using the revised trauma score as a triage tool to help junior doctors in the accident and emergency department rapidly identify seriously injured patients, and calling a senior accident and emergency specialist to supervise the resuscitation of all seriously injured patients. IMPLICATIONS--Care of patients in accident and emergency departments can be improved considerably at no additional expense by introducing two simple measures.
To explore the meaning of Iranian oncology nurses' experiences of caring for people at the end of life.
Materials and Methods:
A phenomenological hermeneutic approach was applied. Fifteen nurses working in oncology units were interviewed in 2007 regarding their experiences of caring for people at the end of life.
Participants experienced caring for people at the end of life as sharing space and time to be lost within an organizational context. This main theme was divided into three subthemes including being attentive to the dying persons and their families, being cared for by the dying persons and their families, and being faced with barriers.
The study suggests that the nurses' success in caring for people at the end of life is reliant on their interpersonal caring relationship. Facilitating such relationship requires the establishment of palliative care unit, incorporation of palliative care into undergraduate nursing studies, and cultural preparation through public education.
Caring for dying people; Lived experience; Iran; Oncology nurses; Palliative care
To support the process of effective family decision-making, it is important to recognize and understand informal roles various family members may play in the end-of-life decision-making process.
The purpose of this study was to describe some informal roles consistently enacted by family members involved in the process of end-of-life decision-making in intensive care units (ICUs).
Ethnographic study. Data were collected via participant observation with field notes and semi-structured interviews on four ICUs in an academic health center in the mid-Atlantic United States from 2001 to 2004. The units studied were a medical ICU, a surgical ICU, a burn and trauma ICU, and a cardiovascular ICU.
Participants included health care clinicians, patients, and family members.
Informal roles for family members consistently observed were:, Primary Caregiver, Primary Decision Maker, Family Spokesperson, Out-of-Towner, Patient Wishes Expert, Protector, Vulnerable Member, and Health Care Expert. The identified informal roles were part of family decision making processes, and each role was part of a potentially complicated family dynamic for end-of-life decision-making within the family system, and between the family and health care domains.
These informal roles reflect the diverse responses to demands for family decision making in what is usually a novel and stressful situation. Identification and description of these family member informal roles can assist clinicians to recognize and understand the functions of these roles in family decision making at the end-of-life, and guide development of strategies to support and facilitate increased effectiveness of family discussions and decision-making processes.
informal family roles; family roles; end-of-life decision making; intensive care units; critical care; adults
Substantial evidence supports the benefits of an intensivist model of critical care delivery. However, currently, this mode of critical care delivery has not been widely adopted in Korea. We hypothesized that intensivist-led critical care is feasible and would improve ICU mortality after major trauma.
Materials and Methods
A trauma registry from May 2009 to April 2011 was reviewed retrospectively. We evaluated the relationship between modes of ICU care (open vs. intensivist) and in-hospital mortality following severe injury [Injury Severity Score (ISS) >15]. An intensivist-model was defined as ICU care delivered by a board-certified physician who had no other clinical responsibilities outside the ICU and who is primarily available to the critically ill or injured patients. ISS and Revised Trauma Score were used as measure of injury severity. The Trauma and Injury Severity Score methodology was used to calculate each individual patient's probability of survival.
Of the 251 patients, 57 patients were treated by an intensivist [intensivist group (IG)] while 194 patients were not [non-intensivist group (NIG)]. The ISS of IG was significantly higher than that for NIG (26.5 vs. 22.3, p=0.023). The hospital mortality rate for IG was significantly lower than that for NIG (15.8% and 27.8%, p<0.001).
The intensivist model of critical care is feasible, and there is room for improvement in the care of major trauma patients. Although trauma systems take time to mature, future studies are needed to evaluate the best model of critical care delivery for severely injured patients in Korea.
Intensive care; trauma system; outcome; injury; TRISS
This study is about intensive care patients and the bodily presence of significant others. The aim of the study is to inquire and understand the patients experience of the body in relation to their significant others during critical illness. Open, unstructured, in-depth interviews with six former intensive care patients provide the data for the study. The phenomenological–hermeneutical analysis points to a theme among ICU patients' experience of conflict between proximity and distance during the bodily presence of their relations. Patients experience different and conflicting forms of responses to the presence of their significant others. Patients experience significant positive confirmation but also negation through this presence. In the ICU situation, the reactions of significant others appear difficult to deal with, yet the physical presence is significant for establishing a sense of affinity. Patients seek to take some responsibility for themselves as well as for their relatives, and are met with a whole spectrum of reactions. Intensive care patients experience the need to be actively, physically present, which often creates sharp opposition between their personal needs and the needs of their significant others for active participation.
Phenomenology; hermeneutics; intensive care patients; critical illness; significant others
To implement delirium monitoring, test reliability, and monitor compliance of performing the Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit (CAM-ICU) in trauma patients.
Design and setting
Prospective, observational study in a Level 1 trauma unit of a tertiary care, university-based medical center.
Acutely injured patients admitted to the trauma unit from February 1, 2006–April 16, 2006.
Measurements and Results
Following web-based teaching modules and group in-services, bedside nurses evaluated patients daily for depth of sedation with the Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale (RASS) and for the presence of delirium with the CAM-ICU. On randomly assigned days over a 10-week period, evaluations by nursing staff were followed by evaluations by an expert evaluator of the RASS and the CAM-ICU, in order to assess compliance and reliability of the CAM-ICU in trauma patients. Following the audit period, the nurses completed a post-implementation survey.
One thousand and eleven random CAM-ICU assessments were performed by the expert evaluator, within 1 hour of the bedside nurses’ assessments. Nurses completed the CAM-ICU assessments in 84% (849 of 1011) of evaluations. Overall agreement (κ) between nurses and the expert evaluator was 0.77 (0.721, 0.822; p<0.0001). In TBI patients κ was 0.75 (0.667, 0.829; p<0.0001), while in mechanically-ventilated patients κ was 0.62 (0.534, 0.704; p<0.0001). The survey revealed nurses were confident in performing the CAM-ICU, realized the importance of delirium, and were satisfied with the training they received. The survey also acknowledged obstacles to implementation including nursing time and failure of physicians/surgeons to address treatment approaches for delirium.
The CAM-ICU can be successfully implemented in a university-based trauma unit with high compliance and reliability. Quality improvement projects seeking to implement delirium monitoring would be wise to address potential pitfalls including time complaints and the negative impact of physician indifference regarding this form of organ dysfunction.
delirium; trauma; critical care; implementation; monitoring; Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit (CAM-ICU)
Lack of communication, care and respect from healthcare professionals can be challenges for patients in trajectories of cancer, possibly accompanied by experienced fragmentation of the care, anxiety and worries. One way to try to improve delivery of care is additional help from nurse navigators (NN) offered in a predefined shorter or longer period, but patients’ experiences with this have seldom been investigated.
To explore experiences of nurse navigation offered in a short period of a longer subsequent part of cancer trajectories by patients who can use the help on offer.
The NNs worked from one hospital department with patients in the transition between primary care and a university hospital before admission. A phenomenological-hermeneutical longitudinal study was performed from referral and until two months after discharge from the hospital. Semi-structured interviews with five patients who could use the help from an NN provided data for the analysis, which started open-minded.
Affectional bonds were made to the NN and patients felt that they benefited from her presence and her help, which they requested until one month after discharge. They were disappointed and felt rejected when the contact to the NN stopped.
In efforts to increase quality of care for patients with cancer we recommend an increased awareness of cultural areas within the healthcare system, which may be an impediment to good communication. Moreover, we recommend paying special attention to critical periods in cancer patients’ trajectories, as well as to the theory of attachment to supplement thoughts of continuity of care and coordination in the care for women. In short, it is fine to offer additional help to those who can use it, but in practice as well as in research we recommend awareness of how and when to stop the help, to prevent patients from feeling hurt.
integrated care; nurse navigator; continuity; cancer; patients view; qualitative study
Severe bleeding after trauma frequently results in poor outcomes in children. Prehospital fluid replacement therapy is regarded as an important primary treatment option. Our study aimed, through a retrospective analysis of matched pairs, to assess the influence of prehospital fluid replacement therapy on the post-traumatic course of severely injured children.
The data for 67,782 patients from the TraumaRegister DGU® of the German Trauma Society were analyzed. The following inclusion criteria were applied: injury severity score ≥16 points, primary admission, age 1 to 15 years old, systolic blood pressure ≥20 mmHg at the accident site and transfusion of at least one unit of packed red blood cells (pRBC) in the emergency trauma room prior to intensive care admission. As volume replacement therapy depends on age and body weight, especially in children, three subgroups were formed according to the mean value of the administered prehospital volume. The children were matched and enrolled into two groups according to the following criteria: intubation at the accident site (yes/no), Abbreviated Injury Scale (four body regions), accident year, systolic blood pressure and age group.
A total of 31 patients in each group met the inclusion criteria. An increase in volume replacement was associated with an elevated need for a transfusion (≥10 pRBC: low volume, 9.7%; high volume, 25.8%; P = 0.18) and a reduction in the ability to coagulate (prothrombin time ratio: low volume, 58.7%; high volume, 55.6%; P = 0.23; prothrombin time: low volume, 42.2 seconds; high volume, 50.1 seconds; P = 0.38). With increasing volume, the mortality (low volume, 19.4%; high volume, 25.8%; P = 0.75) and multiple organ failure rates (group 1, 36.7%; group 2, 41.4%; P = 0.79) increased. With increased volume, the rescue time also increased (low volume, 62 minutes; high volume, 71.5 minutes; P = 0.21).
For the first time, a tendency was shown that excessive prehospital fluid replacement in children leads to a worse clinical course with higher mortality and that excessive fluid replacement has a negative influence on the ability to coagulate.
Adolescents and young adult (AYA) survivors of cancer are an understudied population with unique developmental and medical needs that extend well beyond their active treatment. Survivors diagnosed as AYAs may experience both physical and emotional late effects. In particular, the experiences of Latino cancer survivors have not been explored.
The purpose of this study was to conduct interviews with AYA Latino cancer survivors to inform professionals working with these survivors.
A hermeneutic phenomenological approach was selected based on the focus on experiences and meanings of Latino adolescents’ cancer survivorship. Phenomenology allows for understanding the subjective meaning and lived experience of populations that are understudied or marginalized. In-depth interviews were conducted with participants
Latino AYAs between the ages of 14–21 who were all post treatment.
Interviews revealed seven themes regarding the experience and meaning of survivorship for this population: gratitude, humor/positive attitude, empathy for younger children with cancer, god and faith, cancer happens for a reason/cancer changed my life/, familial support, and staff relationships.
Latino adolescent and young adult cancer survivors develop meaning out of unique cancer experiences. Programs need to be developed specifically to address Latino adolescents and young adult survivors of cancer.
To assess intensive care unit (ICU)/acute care service-delivery characteristics and pre-ICU factors as predictors of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and return to usual major activity after ICU admission for trauma.
Data from the National Study on the Costs and Outcomes of Trauma was used to evaluate a prospective cohort of 1,906 ICU survivors. We assessed PTSD with the PTSD Checklist. Regression analyses ascertained associations between ICU/acute care service-delivery characteristics, pre-ICU factors, early post-ICU distress, and 12-month PTSD and return to usual activity, while controlling for clinical and demographic characteristics.
Approximately 25% of ICU survivors had symptoms suggestive of PTSD. Increased early post-ICU distress predicted both PTSD and diminished usual major activity. Pulmonary artery catheter insertion (Risk Ratio (RR) 1.28, 95% Confidence Interval (95%CI) (1.05-1.57), p=0.01) and pre-ICU depression (RR 1.23, 95%CI (1.02-1.49), p=0.03) were associated with PTSD. Longer ICU lengths of stay (RR 1.21, 95%CI (1.03-1.44), p=0.02) and tracheostomy (RR 1.29, 95%CI (1.05-1.59), p=0.01) were associated with diminished usual activity. Greater pre-existing medical co-morbidities were associated with PTSD and limited return to usual activity.
Easily identifiable risk factors including ICU/acute care service-delivery characteristics and early post-ICU distress were associated with increased risk of PTSD and limitations in return to usual major activity. Future investigations could develop early screening interventions in acute care settings targeting these risk factors, facilitating appropriate treatments.
stress disorder; posttraumatic; critical care; intensive care unit; risk factors; outcome assessment (health care)
In the metropolitan area of Florence, 62% of major traumas involve powered two wheeler rider and pillion passengers, 10% cyclists, and 7% pedestrians. The urban and extra-urban areas are the most dangerous for the vulnerable road user. In-depth investigations are needed for assessing detailed information on road accidents. This type of study has been very limited in time frame in Italy, and completely absent in the Tuscan region.
Consequently a study called “In-depth Study of road Accident in FlorencE” (In-SAFE) has been initiated.
A network between the Department of Mechanics and Industrial Technologies (University of Florence) and the Intensive Care Unit of the Emergency Department (Careggi Teaching Hospital, Florence) was created with the aim of collecting information about the road accidents. The data collected includes: on-scene data, data coming from examination of the vehicles, kinematics and dynamic crash data, injuries, treatment, and injury mechanisms. Each injury is codified thorough the AIS score, localized by a three-dimensional human body model based on computer tomography slices, and the main scores are calculated. We then associate each injury with its cause and crash technical parameters. Finally, all the information is collected in the In-SAFE database.
Patient mean age at the time of the accident was 34.6 years, and 80% were males. The ISS mean is 24.2 (SD 8.7) and the NISS mean is 33.6 (SD 10.5). The main road accident configurations are the “car-to-PTW” (25%) and “pedestrian run over” (17,9%). For the former, the main collision configuration is “head-on crash” (57%). Cyclists and PTW riders-and-pillions-passengers suffer serious injuries (AIS3+) mainly to the head and the thorax. The head (56.4%) and the lower extremities (12.7%) are the most frequently injured pedestrian body regions.
The aim of the project is to create an in-depth road accident study with special focus on the correlation between technical parameters and injuries. An in-depth investigation team was setup and is currently active in the metropolitan area of Florence.
Twenty-eight serious road accidents involving twenty-nine ICU patients are studied. PTW users, cyclist and pedestrians are the most frequently involved in metropolitan accidents.
In-depth accident database; Injury mechanism; Injury pattern; Biomechanics; Road accident; Injury causes
A decade ago, there were justifiable criticisms of the delivery of emergency care for injured patients in accident and emergency departments in the UK. To address this, a trauma management system was developed in 1991 at Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool. This includes a trauma team, communication system, management guidelines and quality assurance. On admission to the accident and emergency department, injured patients are triaged to one of three levels of injury severity, and a multidisciplinary team lead by a paediatric surgeon or senior accident and emergency department physician is activated. The level of injury severity determines the composition of the trauma team. A care pathway based on ATLS/APLS principles has been developed. The response process as well patient management are documented and reviewed at a monthly audit meeting. Currently, more than 80% of eligible patients are managed using the trauma system, with an over-triage rate of about 25%. Regular modifications to the trauma system since its inception in 1991 have resulted in an efficient and effective management structure. Stratification of the trauma response has minimised unnecessary use of the multidisciplinary trauma team and ensures that mobilisation and use of hospital staff and resources are tailored to the needs of the injured patient. Although developed in a specialist children's hospital, the system could be adapted for any acute hospital.
The use of point of care echocardiography by non-cardiologist in acute care settings such as the emergency department (ED) or the intensive care unit (ICU) is very common. Unlike diagnostic echocardiography, the scope of such point of care exams is often restricted to address the clinical questions raised by the patient’s differential diagnosis or chief complaint in order to inform immediate management decisions. In this article, an overview of the most common applications of this focused echocardiography in the ED and ICU is provided. This includes but is not limited to the evaluation of patients experiencing hypotension, cardiac arrest, cardiac trauma, chest pain and patients after cardiac surgery.
Echocardiography; emergency department; ICU; point of care; ultrasound.
Surgical intensive care unit (ICU) stay of greater than ten days is often described by the experienced intensivist as a ‘complicated clinical course’, and is frequently attributed to persistent immune dysfunction. ‘Systemic inflammatory response syndrome’ (SIRS) followed by ‘compensatory anti-inflammatory response syndrome’ (CARS) is a conceptual framework to explain the immunological trajectory that ICU patients with severe sepsis, trauma or emergency surgery for abdominal infection often traverse, but the causes, mechanisms and reasons for persistent immune dysfunction remain unexplained. Often involving multiple organ failure (MOF) and death, improvements in surgical intensive care have altered its incidence, phenotype and frequency, and have increased the number of patients who survive initial sepsis or surgical events and progress to a persistent inflammation, immunosuppression, and catabolism syndrome (PICS). Often observed, but rarely reversible, these patients may survive to transfer to a long-term care facility only to return to the ICU, but rarely to self sufficiency. We propose that PICS is the dominant pathophysiology and phenotype that has replaced late MOF, and prolongs surgical ICU stay, usually with poor outcome. This review details the evolving epidemiology of MOF, the clinical presentation of PICS, and our understanding of how persistent inflammation and immunosuppression defines the pathobiology of prolonged intensive care. Therapy for PICS will require efficacy for multiple immune system defects and protein catabolism, and will involve innovative interventions for immune system rebalance and nutritional support to regain physical function and well being.
Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS); Compensatory Anti-inflammatory Response Syndrome (CARS); Persistent Inflammation-immunosuppression Catabolism Syndrome (PICS); Multiple Organ Failure (MOF); surgical intensive care; acute care surgery (ACS)
To determine the incidence and effect on mortality of early acute kidney injury in severely injured trauma patients using the Acute Kidney Injury Network creatinine criteria.
A retrospective cohort study of severely injured trauma patients admitted to the shock trauma intensive care unit.
Texas Trauma Institute, a state designated level I trauma unit certified by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma.
901 severely injured trauma patients admitted over a 15 month period to the shock trauma intensive care unit.
Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data abstracted from an electronic trauma database.
Measurements and Main Results
Of 901 eligible patients admitted to the shock trauma intensive care unit after traumatic injury, 54 patients (6%) developed acute kidney injury, of whom 10 (19%) required renal replacement therapy. The 30-day mortality rate for the entire cohort was 83/901 (9.2%). Patients with early acute kidney injury had a mortality rate of 16/54 (29.6%). When corrected for multiple covariates including injury severity scores, the development of early acute kidney injury was associated with a significantly higher risk of death at 30 days with an OR of 3.4 (95% CI 1.6-7.4).
Applying the Acute Kidney Injury Network creatinine criteria in severely injured trauma patients, the incidence of early acute kidney injury was 6%. After correction for injury severity, development of early acute kidney injury was independently associated with significantly higher 30-day mortality.
To assess the changes in health-related quality of life in patients discharged from the intensive care unit (ICU).
At the General University ICU, Trauma Hospital in Athens, 242 patients were enrolled prospectively over a study period of 18 months. Out of these, 116 participants (47.9%) completed all survey components at 6, 12, and 18 months. We used Quality of Life-Spanish (QOL-SP) to assess the health-related quality of life. Patients or their relatives were interviewed on ICU admission and at 6, 12, and 18 months after discharge from the ICU.
Mean quality of life score of the patients increased from 2.9 ± 4.8 (out of maximum 25 points) on ICU admission to 7.0 ± 7.2 points at 6 months after discharge, and then decreased to 5.6 ± 6.9 points at 18 months (P<0.001; Friedman test). Multilinear regression analysis showed that the variables which had the strongest association with the quality of life on admission were age (P = 0.002) and male sex (P = 0.001), whereas age (P<0.001), length of ICU stay (P<0.001), and male sex (P = 0.002) had the strongest association 18 months after discharge from the ICU. Survival rate was 66.9% at discharge from ICU and 61.6% at hospital discharge. There were 33% deaths in the ICU, 5.3% in the hospital, and 6.2% after ICU discharge. There were 7.4% patients lost to follow-up.
After discharge from the ICU, patients’ quality of life was poor and showed an improvement at 18 months after discharge, but was still worse than on admission. Age, ICU length of stay, and male sex were the factors that had the strongest impact on the quality of life on admission and at 18 months after discharge from the ICU.
We wished to obtain the experiences felt by patients during their ICU stay using an original questionnaire and to correlate the memories of those experiences with health-related quality of life (HR-QOL).
We conducted a prospective study in 10 Portuguese intensive care units (ICUs). Six months after ICU discharge, an original questionnaire on experiences of patients during their ICU stay, the recollection questionnaire, was delivered. HR-QOL was evaluated simultaneously, with the EQ-5D questionnaire. Between 1 September 2002 and 31 March 2003 1433 adult patients were admitted. ICU and hospital mortalities were 21% and 28%, respectively. Six months after ICU discharge, 464 patients completed the recollection questionnaire.
Thirty-eight percent of the patients stated they did not remember any moment of their ICU stay. The ICU environment was described as friendly and calm by 93% of the patients. Sleep was described as being good and enough by 73%. The experiences reported as being more stressful were tracheal tube aspiration (81%), nose tube (75%), family worries (71%) and pain (64%). Of respondents, 51% experienced dreams and nightmares during their ICU stay; of these, 14% stated that those dreams and nightmares disturb their present daily life and they exhibit a worse HR-QOL. Forty-one percent of patients reported current sleep disturbances, 38% difficulties in concentrating in current daily activities and 36% difficulties in remembering recent events. More than half of the patients reported more fatigue than before the ICU stay. Multiple and linear regression analysis showed that older age, longer ICU stay, higher Simplified Acute Physiology Score II, non-scheduled surgery and multiple trauma diagnostic categories, present sleep disturbances, daily disturbances by dreams and nightmares, difficulties in concentrating and difficulties in remembering recent events were independent predictors of worse HR-QOL. Multicollinearity analysis showed that, with the exception of the correlation between admission diagnostic categories and length of ICU stay (0.47), all other correlations between the independent variables and coefficient estimates included in the regression models were weak (below 0.30).
This study suggests that neuropsychological consequences of critical illness, in particular the recollection of ICU experiences, may influence subsequent HR-QOL.
critical illness; follow-up; health-related quality of life; intensive care; neuropsychological sequelae; outcome
Registered nurses (RNs) working in homecare encounter severely ill and palliative patients whose expressions may cause ethical challenges and influence their daily work. The aim of this qualitative study was to illuminate and interpret the meaning of nurses’ lived experiences when meeting these patients. Narrative interviews were conducted with 10 RNs working in home nursing care. These interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim to a text and interpreted by a phenomenological-hermeneutic method inspired by Ricoeur. The meaning of the RNs’ lived experience of patients’ expressions was formulated into four themes. The first theme, Being open for the presence of the Other, includes two subthemes: “Sensing vulnerability” and “Empathizing with.” The second theme, Being satisfied, entails the subthemes, “Feeling exceptional” and “Being trusted.” The third theme, Being frustrated, contains the subthemes, “Being disappointed” and “Being angry.” The fourth and final theme, Being ambivalent, includes one subtheme: “Being generous or reserved.” Patients’ expressions that make impressions on nurses create emotional waves. Expressions leave impressions that call upon the nurse, and confront her with taking the risk of letting intuition and pre-reflexive feelings gain entry to her care. Allowing for the Other's presence is seen as a precondition, which means facing humanity and sensing a vulnerability in herself as well as in the Other. Understanding and balancing this emotional dimension in care seems to cause confusion and distress within the nurses. Realizing how their feelings may lead to either generosity or aloofness towards the patient is upsetting. Our interpretation suggests that these impressions echo confusion according to the role of being a professional nurse. There is a need to pay more attention to how the emotional dimension in care is understood and impacts the way nurses perform their professional role.
Nurse–patient interactions; emotional dimension; touch; home nursing care; palliative care; professional identity; phenomenological-hermeneutic approach