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1.  Impact of early enteral versus parenteral nutrition on mortality in patients requiring mechanical ventilation and catecholamines: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial (NUTRIREA-2) 
Trials  2014;15(1):507.
Nutritional support is crucial to the management of patients receiving invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) and the most commonly prescribed treatment in intensive care units (ICUs). International guidelines consistently indicate that enteral nutrition (EN) should be preferred over parenteral nutrition (PN) whenever possible and started as early as possible. However, no adequately designed study has evaluated whether a specific nutritional modality is associated with decreased mortality. The primary goal of this trial is to assess the hypothesis that early first-line EN, as compared to early first-line PN, decreases day 28 all-cause mortality in patients receiving IMV and vasoactive drugs for shock.
The NUTRIREA-2 study is a multicenter, open-label, parallel-group, randomized controlled trial comparing early PN versus early EN in critically ill patients requiring IMV for an expected duration of at least 48 hours, combined with vasoactive drugs, for shock. Patients will be allocated at random to first-line PN for at least 72 hours or to first-line EN. In both groups, nutritional support will be started within 24 hours after IMV initiation. Calorie targets will be 20 to 25 kcal/kg/day during the first week, then 25 to 30 kcal/kg/day thereafter. Patients receiving PN may be switched to EN after at least 72 hours in the event of shock resolution (no vasoactive drugs for 24 consecutive hours and arterial lactic acid level below 2 mmol/L). On day 7, all patients receiving PN and having no contraindications to EN will be switched to EN. In both groups, supplemental PN may be added to EN after day 7 in patients with persistent intolerance to EN and inadequate calorie intake. We plan to recruit 2,854 patients at 44 participating ICUs.
The NUTRIREA-2 study is the first large randomized controlled trial designed to assess the hypothesis that early EN improves survival compared to early PN in ICU patients. Enrollment started on 22 March 2013 and is expected to end in November 2015.
Trial registration Identifier: NCT01802099 (registered 27 February 2013)
PMCID: PMC4307984  PMID: 25539571
Critical illness; Enteral nutrition; Mechanical ventilation; Mortality; Nosocomial infection; Parenteral nutrition; Shock; Vasoactive drugs
2.  Writing In and Reading ICU Diaries: Qualitative Study of Families' Experience in the ICU 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e110146.
Keeping an ICU patient diary has been reported to benefit the patient's recovery. Here, we investigated the families' experience with reading and writing in patient ICU diaries kept by both the family and the staff.
We conducted a qualitative study involving 32 semi-structured in-depth interviews of relatives of 26 patients (34% of all family members who visited patients) who met our ICU-diary criterion, i.e., ventilation for longer than 48 hours. Grounded theory was used to conceptualise the interview data via a three-step coding process (open coding, axial coding, and selective coding).
Communicative, emotional, and humanising experiences emerged from our data. First, family members used the diaries to access, understand, and assimilate the medical information written in the diaries by staff members, and then to share this information with other family members. Second, the diaries enabled family members to maintain a connection with the patient by documenting their presence and expressing their love and affection. Additionally, families confided in the diaries to maintain hope. Finally, family members felt the diaries humanized the medical staff and patient.
Our findings indicate positive effects of diaries on family members. The diaries served as a powerful tool to deliver holistic patient- and family-centered care despite the potentially dehumanising ICU environment. The diaries made the family members aware of their valuable role in caring for the patient and enhanced their access to and comprehension of medical information. Diaries may play a major role in improving the well-being of ICU-patient families.
PMCID: PMC4199718  PMID: 25329581
3.  Role of biomarkers in the management of antibiotic therapy: an expert panel review: I – currently available biomarkers for clinical use in acute infections 
In the context of worldwide increasing antimicrobial resistance, good antimicrobial prescribing in more needed than ever; unfortunately, information available to clinicians often are insufficient to rely on. Biomarkers might provide help for decision-making and improve antibiotic management. The purpose of this expert panel review was to examine currently available literature on the potential role of biomarkers to improve antimicrobial prescribing, by answering three questions: 1) Which are the biomarkers available for this purpose?; 2) What is their potential role in the initiation of antibiotic therapy?; and 3) What is their role in the decision to stop antibiotic therapy? To answer these questions, studies reviewed were limited to recent clinical studies (<15 years), involving a substantial number of patients (>50) and restricted to controlled trials and meta-analyses for answering questions 2 and 3. With regard to the first question concerning routinely available biomarkers, which might be useful for antibiotic management of acute infections, these are currently limited to C-reactive protein (CRP) and procalcitonin (PCT). Other promising biomarkers that may prove useful in the near future but need to undergo more extensive clinical testing include sTREM-1, suPAR, ProADM, and Presepsin. New approaches to biomarkers of infections include point-of-care testing and genomics.
PMCID: PMC3708786  PMID: 23837559
Infection; Sepsis; Emergency medicine; Biomarkers; Procalcitonin; C-reactive protein; sTREM-1; suPAR; proADM; Presepsin
4.  Role of biomarkers in the management of antibiotic therapy: an expert panel review II: clinical use of biomarkers for initiation or discontinuation of antibiotic therapy 
Biomarker-guided initiation of antibiotic therapy has been studied in four conditions: acute pancreatitis, lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI), meningitis, and sepsis in the ICU. In pancreatitis with suspected infected necrosis, initiating antibiotics best relies on fine-needle aspiration and demonstration of infected material. We suggest that PCT be measured to help predict infection; however, available data are insufficient to decide on initiating antibiotics based on PCT levels. In adult patients suspected of community-acquired LRTI, we suggest withholding antibiotic therapy when the serum PCT level is low (<0.25 ng/mL); in patients having nosocomial LRTI, data are insufficient to recommend initiating therapy based on a single PCT level or even repeated measurements. For children with suspected bacterial meningitis, we recommend using a decision rule as an aid to therapeutic decisions, such as the Bacterial Meningitis Score or the Meningitest®; a single PCT level ≥0.5 ng/mL also may be used, but false-negatives may occur. In adults with suspected bacterial meningitis, we suggest integrating serum PCT measurements in a clinical decision rule to help distinguish between viral and bacterial meningitis, using a 0.5 ng/mL threshold. For ICU patients suspected of community-acquired infection, we do not recommend using a threshold serum PCT value to help the decision to initiate antibiotic therapy; data are insufficient to recommend using PCT serum kinetics for the decision to initiate antibiotic therapy in patients suspected of ICU-acquired infection. In children, CRP can probably be used to help discontinue therapy, although the evidence is limited. In adults, antibiotic discontinuation can be based on an algorithm using repeated PCT measurements. In non-immunocompromised out- or in- patients treated for RTI, antibiotics can be discontinued if the PCT level at day 3 is < 0.25 ng/mL or has decreased by >80-90%, whether or not microbiological documentation has been obtained. For ICU patients who have nonbacteremic sepsis from a known site of infection, antibiotics can be stopped if the PCT level at day 3 is < 0.5 ng/mL or has decreased by >80% relative to the highest level recorded, irrespective of the severity of the infectious episode; in bacteremic patients, a minimal duration of therapy of 5 days is recommended.
PMCID: PMC3716933  PMID: 23830525
Infection; Sepsis; Emergency medicine; Biomarkers; Procalcitonin; C-reactive protein; Pancreatitis; Meningitis; Pneumonia
5.  A Case of Daptomycin-Induced Immune Thrombocytopenia 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2012;56(12):6430-6431.
We report a case of severe daptomycin-induced immune thrombocytopenia in a patient treated for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis and ampicillin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis bacteremia acquired in an intensive care unit. Serum antibodies bound to platelets in the presence of daptomycin on flow cytometry. There was no evidence of other causes of thrombocytopenia. The patient died of brain herniation complicating extensive cerebral hemorrhage. To our knowledge, this is the first described case of daptomycin-induced thrombocytopenia.
PMCID: PMC3497155  PMID: 23027187
6.  Phenomenologic analysis of healthcare worker perceptions of intensive care unit diaries 
Critical Care  2013;17(1):R13.
Studies have reported associations between diaries kept for intensive care unit (ICU) patients and long-term quality-of-life and psychological outcomes in patients and their relatives. Little was known about perceptions of healthcare workers reading and writing in the diaries. We investigated healthcare worker perceptions the better to understand their opinions and responses to reading and writing in the diaries.
We used a phenomenologic approach to conduct a qualitative study of 36 semistructured interviews in a medical-surgical ICU in a 460-bed tertiary hospital.
Two domains of perception were assessed: reading and writing in the diaries. These two domains led to four main themes in the ICU workers' perceptions: suffering of the families; using the diary as a source of information for families but also as generating difficulties in writing bad news; determining the optimal interpersonal distance with the patient and relatives; and using the diary as a tool for constructing a narrative of the patient's ICU stay.
The ICU workers thought that the diary was beneficial in communicating the suffering of families while providing comfort and helping to build the patient's ICU narrative. They reported strong emotions related to the diaries and a perception of intruding into the patients' and families' privacy when reading the diaries. Fear of strong emotional investment may adversely affect the ability of ICU workers to perform their duties optimally. ICU workers are in favor of ICU diaries, but activation by the diaries of emotions among younger ICU workers may require specific support.
PMCID: PMC4056037  PMID: 23336394
7.  Mortality associated with timing of admission to and discharge from ICU: a retrospective cohort study 
Although the association between mortality and admission to intensive care units (ICU) in the "after hours" (weekends and nights) has been the topic of extensive investigation, the timing of discharge from ICU and outcome has been less well investigated. The objective of this study was to assess effect of timing of admission to and discharge from ICUs and subsequent risk for death.
Adults (≥18 years) admitted to French ICUs participating in Outcomerea between January 2006 and November 2010 were included.
Among the 7,380 patients included, 61% (4,481) were male, the median age was 62 (IQR, 49-75) years, and the median SAPS II score was 40 (IQR, 28-56). Admissions to ICU occurred during weekends (Saturday and Sunday) in 1,708 (23%) cases, during the night (18:00-07:59) in 3,855 (52%), and on nights and/or weekends in 4,659 (63%) cases. Among 5,992 survivors to ICU discharge, 903 (15%) were discharged on weekends, 659 (11%) at night, and 1,434 (24%) on nights and/or weekends. After controlling for a number of co-variates using logistic regression analysis, admission during the after hours was not associated with an increased risk for death. However, patients discharged from ICU on nights were at higher adjusted risk (odds ratio, 1.54; 95% confidence interval, 1.12-2.11) for death.
In this study, ICU discharge at night but not admission was associated with a significant increased risk for death. Further studies are needed to examine whether minimizing night time discharges from ICU may improve outcome.
PMCID: PMC3269385  PMID: 22115194
8.  Polymorphisms in the Pseudomonas aeruginosa Type III secretion protein, PcrV - implications for anti-PcrV Immunotherapy 
Microbial pathogenesis  2010;48(6):197-204.
The type III secretion system of P. aeruginosa, responsible for acute infection, is composed of over twenty proteins that facilitate cytotoxin injection directly into host cells. Integral to this process is production and secretion of PcrV. Administration of a recently developed, anti-PcrV immunoglobulin, either as a therapeutic or prophylactic has previously demonstrated efficacy against laboratory strains of P. aeruginosa in a murine model. To determine if this therapy is universally applicable to a variety of P. aeruginosa clinical isolates, genetic heterogeneity of pcrV was analyzed among strains collected from three geographically distinct regions; United States, France and Japan. Sequence analysis of PcrV demonstrated limited variation among the clinical isolates examined. Strains were grouped according to the presence of non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms. Representative isolates from each mutant group were examined for the ability of anti-PcrV to bind the protein secreted by these strains. The protective effect of anti-PcrV IgG against each strain was determined using an epithelial cell line cytotoxicity assay. The majority of strains tested demonstrated reduced cytotoxicity in the presence of anti-PcrV IgG. This study provides insights into the natural sequence variability of PcrV and an initial indication of the amino acid residues that appear to be conserved across strains. It also demonstrates the protective effect of anti-PcrV immunotherapy against a multitude of P. aeruginosa strains from diverse global regions with a variety of mutations in PcrV.
PMCID: PMC2860055  PMID: 20211240
Pseudomonas aeruginosa; type III secretion; anti-PcrV IgG; Single Nucleotide Polymorphism; Cytotoxicity
9.  Quality of life in patients aged 80 or over after ICU discharge 
Critical Care  2010;14(1):R2.
Our objective was to describe self-sufficiency and quality of life one year after intensive care unit (ICU) discharge of patients aged 80 years or over.
We performed a prospective observational study in a medical-surgical ICU in a tertiary non-university hospital. We included patients aged 80 or over at ICU admission in 2005 or 2006 and we recorded age, admission diagnosis, intensity of care, and severity of acute and chronic illnesses, as well as ICU, hospital, and one-year mortality rates. Self-sufficiency (Katz Index of Activities of Daily Living) was assessed at ICU admission and one year after ICU discharge. Quality of life (WHO-QOL OLD and WHO-QOL BREF) was assessed one year after ICU discharge.
Of the 115 consecutive patients aged 80 or over (18.2% of admitted patients), 106 were included. Mean age was 84 ± 3 years (range, 80 to 92). Mortality was 40/106 (37%) at ICU discharge, 48/106 (45.2%) at hospital discharge, and 73/106 (68.9%) one year after ICU discharge. In the 23 patients evaluated after one year, self-sufficiency was unchanged compared to the pre-admission status. Quality of life evaluations after one year showed that physical health, sensory abilities, self-sufficiency, and social participation had slightly worse ratings than the other domains, whereas social relationships, environment, and fear of death and dying had the best ratings. Compared to an age- and sex-matched sample of the general population, our cohort had better ratings for psychological health, social relationships, and environment, less fear of death and dying, better expectations about past, present, and future activities and better intimacy (friendship and love).
Among patients aged 80 or over who were selected at ICU admission, 80% were self-sufficient for activities of daily living one year after ICU discharge, 31% were alive, with no change in self-sufficiency and with similar quality of life to that of the general population matched on age and sex. However, these results must be interpreted cautiously due to the small sample of survivors.
PMCID: PMC2875504  PMID: 20064197
10.  Continuous versus Intermittent Infusion of Vancomycin in Severe Staphylococcal Infections: Prospective Multicenter Randomized Study 
A continuous infusion of vancomycin (CIV) may provide an alternative mode of infusion in severe hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant staphylococcal (MRS) infections. A multicenter, prospective, randomized study was designed to compare CIV (targeted plateau drug serum concentrations of 20 to 25 mg/liter) and intermittent infusions of vancomycin (IIV; targeted trough drug serum concentrations of 10 to 15 mg/liter) in 119 critically ill patients with MRS infections (bacteremic infections, 35%; pneumonia, 45%). Microbiological and clinical outcomes, safety, pharmacokinetics, ease of treatment adjustment, and cost were compared. Microbiological and clinical outcomes and safety were similar. CIV patients reached the targeted concentrations faster (36 ± 31 versus 51 ± 39 h, P = 0.029) and fewer samples were required for treatment monitoring than with IIV patients (7.7 ± 2.2 versus 11.8 ± 3.9 per treatment, P < 0.0001). The variability between patients in both the area under the serum concentration-time curve (AUC24h) and the daily dose given over 10 days of treatment was lower with CIV than with IIV (variances, 14,621 versus 53,975 mg2/liter2/h2 [P = 0.026] and 414 versus 818 g2 [P = 0.057], respectively). The 10-day treatment cost per patient was $454 ± 137 in the IIV group and was 23% lower in the CIV group ($321 ± 81: P < 0.0001). In summary, for comparable efficacy and tolerance, CIV may be a cost-effective alternative to IIV.
PMCID: PMC90678  PMID: 11502515

Results 1-10 (10)