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1.  Correction of subclinical coagulation disorders before percutaneous dilatational tracheotomy 
Blood Transfusion  2012;10(2):213-220.
There is evidence that percutaneous dilatational tracheotomy (PDT) can be safely performed in patients with severe coagulation disorders if these are carefully corrected immediately before the procedure. However, it is currently unclear whether PDT can be performed safely in patients in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with uncorrected mild coagulation disorders.
Materials and methods
In a randomised controlled trial we determined the effect of correction of mild coagulation disorders on bleeding during and after PDT. ICU patients planned for bedside PDT with: (i) a prothrombin time (PT) between 14.7–20.0 seconds, (ii) a platelet count between 40–100×109/L and/or (iii) active treatment with acetylsalicylic acid were randomised to receive infusion with fresh-frozen plasma (FFP) and/or platelets (“correction”) versus no transfusion (“no correction”) before PDT.
We randomised 35 patients to the “correction” group and 37 patients to the “no correction” group. In patients who received FFP, the decrease in PT was marginal (mean decrease 0.40±0.56 seconds); the median increase in platelet counts after transfusion of platelets was 35 [11–47]x109/L. The median blood loss was 3 [IQR: 1–6] grams in the “correction” group and 3 [IQR: 2–6] grams in the “no correction” group (P=0.96).
Bleeding during and after bedside PDT in ICU patients with mild coagulation disorders is rare in our setting. Correction of subclinical coagulation disorders by transfusion of FFP and/or platelets does not affect bleeding.
PMCID: PMC3320783  PMID: 22337277
percutaneous tracheostomy; coagulation disorders; transfusion
2.  Clinicians’ response to hyperoxia in ventilated patients in a Dutch ICU depends on the level of FiO2 
Intensive Care Medicine  2010;37(1):46-51.
Hyperoxia may induce pulmonary injury and may increase oxidative stress. In this retrospective database study we aimed to evaluate the response to hyperoxia by intensivists in a Dutch academic intensive care unit.
All arterial blood gas (ABG) data from mechanically ventilated patients from 2005 until 2009 were extracted from an electronic storage database of a mixed 32-bed intensive care unit in a university hospital in Amsterdam. Mechanical ventilation settings at the time of the ABG tests were retrieved.
The results of 126,778 ABG tests from 5,498 mechanically ventilated patients were retrieved including corresponding ventilator settings. In 28,222 (22%) of the ABG tests the arterial oxygen tension (PaO2) was >16 kPa (120 mmHg). In only 25% of the tests with PaO2 >16 kPa (120 mmHg) was the fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) decreased. Hyperoxia was accepted without adjustment in ventilator settings if FiO2 was 0.4 or lower.
Hyperoxia is frequently seen but in most cases does not lead to adjustment of ventilator settings if FiO2 <0.41. Implementation of guidelines concerning oxygen therapy should be improved and further research is needed concerning the effects of frequently encountered hyperoxia.
PMCID: PMC3020317  PMID: 20878146
Mechanical ventilation; Hyperoxia; Guidelines; Lung injury; Oxygen
3.  Tracheotomy does not affect reducing sedation requirements of patients in intensive care – a retrospective study 
Critical Care  2006;10(4):R99.
Translaryngeal intubated and ventilated patients often need sedation to treat anxiety, agitation and/or pain. Current opinion is that tracheotomy reduces sedation requirements. We determined sedation needs before and after tracheotomy of intubated and mechanically ventilated patients.
We performed a retrospective analysis of the use of morphine, midazolam and propofol in patients before and after tracheotomy.
Of 1,788 patients admitted to our intensive care unit during the study period, 129 (7%) were tracheotomized. After the exclusion of patients who received a tracheotomy before or at the day of admittance, 117 patients were left for analysis. The daily dose (DD; the amount of sedatives for each day) divided by the mean daily dose (MDD; the mean amount of sedatives per day for the study period) in the week before and the week after tracheotomy was 1.07 ± 0.93 DD/MDD versus 0.30 ± 0.65 for morphine, 0.84 ± 1.03 versus 0.11 ± 0.46 for midazolam, and 0.62 ± 1.05 versus 0.15 ± 0.45 for propofol (p < 0.01). However, when we focused on a shorter time interval (two days before and after tracheotomy), there were no differences in prescribed doses of morphine and midazolam. Studying the course in DD/MDD from seven days before the placement of tracheotomy, we found a significant decline in dosage. From day -7 to day -1, morphine dosage (DD/MDD) declined by 3.34 (95% confidence interval -1.61 to -6.24), midazolam dosage by 2.95 (-1.49 to -5.29) and propofol dosage by 1.05 (-0.41 to -2.01). After tracheotomy, no further decrease in DD/MDD was observed and the dosage remained stable for all sedatives. Patients in the non-surgical and acute surgical groups received higher dosages of midazolam than patients in the elective surgical group. Time until tracheotomy did not influence sedation requirements. In addition, there was no significant difference in sedation between different patient groups.
In our intensive care unit, sedation requirements were not further reduced after tracheotomy. Sedation requirements were already sharply declining before tracheotomy was performed.
PMCID: PMC1751026  PMID: 16834768
4.  Complications of percutaneous dilating tracheostomy 
Critical Care  2004;8(5):397-398.
PMCID: PMC1065029  PMID: 15469604
5.  Case report: A ball valve blood clot in the airways – life-saving whole tube suction 
Critical Care  2004;8(5):R289-R290.
Respiratory tract obstruction due to a blood clot may result in life threatening ventilatory impairment. Ball valve blood clot obstructions of the airways are rare. A ball valve blood clot acts as a one-way valve, allowing (near) normal air entry into the airways, but (completely) blocking expiration. In a near fatal case of obstruction of the airways by a ball valve blood clot, we performed 'whole tube suction' to resolve the airway problem.
PMCID: PMC1065016  PMID: 15469570
blood clot; airway obstruction; suction; tracheostomy

Results 1-5 (5)