Microcirculatory driving pressure is defined as the difference between post-arteriolar and venular pressure. In previous research, an absence of correlation between mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) and microcirculatory perfusion has been observed. However, the microcirculation may be considered as a low pressure compartment with capillary pressure closer to venous than to arterial pressure. From this perspective, it is conceivable that central venous pressure (CVP) plays a more important role in determination of capillary perfusion. We aimed to explore associations between CVP and microcirculatory perfusion.
We performed a post-hoc analysis of a prospective study in septic patients who were resuscitated according a strict non-CVP guided treatment protocol. Simultaneous measurements of hemodynamics and sublingual Sidestream Dark Field imaging were obtained 0 and 30 minutes after fulfillment of resuscitation goals. Data were examined for differences in microcirculatory variables for CVP ≤ or > 12 mmHg and its evolution over time, as well as for predictors of a microvascular flow index (MFI) < 2.6.
In 70 patients with a mean APACHE II score of 21, 140 simultaneous measurements of CVP and sublingual microcirculation (vessels < 20 µmeter) were obtained. (MFI) and the percentage of perfused small vessels (PPV) were significantly lower in the ‘high’ CVP (> 12 mmHg) group as compared to patients in the ‘low’ CVP (≤12 mmHg) group (1.4 ± 0.9 vs. 1.9 ± 0.9, P = 0.006; and 88 ± 21% vs. 95 ± 8%, P = 0.006 respectively). Perfusion pressure (MAP–CVP) and cardiac output did not differ significantly between both CVP groups. From time point 0 to 30 minutes, a significant increase in MFI (from 1.6 ± 0.6 to 1.8 ± 0.9, P = 0.027) but not in PPV, was observed, while CVP and perfusion pressure significantly decreased in the same period. In a multivariate model CVP > 12 mmHg was the only significant predictor for a capillary MFI < 2.6 (Odds ratio 2.5 (95% confidence interval 1.1-5.8), P = 0.026).
We observed a significant association between a higher CVP and impairment of microcirculatory blood flow. Further research is needed to elaborate on our hypothesis generating findings that an elevated CVP may act as an outflow obstruction of organ perfusion.
Microcirculation; Sepsis; Central venous pressure; Sidestream dark field imaging
Hyperthermic isolated limb perfusion (HILP) is used for patients with intractable or extensive in-transit metastatic melanoma of the limb to deliver high concentrations of cytotoxic agents to the affected limb and offers a treatment option in a disease stage with a poor prognosis when no treatment is given.
In a retrospective chart review of 17 cases, we studied the anesthetic and hemodynamic changes during HILP and its management.
HILP was well tolerated except in one case that is described herein. We present summary data of all cases undergoing upper and lower limb perfusion, discuss our current clinical practice of preoperative, perioperative and intraoperative patient care including the management of HILP circuit.
HILP is a challenging procedure, and requires a team effort including the surgical team, anesthesia care providers, perfusionists and nurses. Intraoperatively, invasive hemodynamic and metabolic monitoring is indispensable to manage significant hemodynamic and metabolic changes due to fluid shifts and release of cytokines.
In-transit metastatic melanoma; Isolated heated limb perfusion; Melphalan; Anesthesia; Invasive monitoring
As peripheral nerve blockade has increased significantly over the past decade, resident education and exposure to peripheral nerve blocks has also increased. This survey assessed the levels of exposure and confidence that graduating residents have with performing selected peripheral nerve blocks.
All program directors of ACGME-accredited anesthesiology programs in the USA were asked to distribute an online survey to their graduating residents. Information was gathered on the number and types of nerve blocks performed, technique(s) utilized, perceived comfort level in performing nerve blocks, perceived quality of regional anesthesia teaching during residency, and suggested areas for improvement.
One hundred and seven residents completed the survey. The majority completed more than 60 nerve blocks. Femoral and interscalene blocks were performed most frequently, with 59% and 41% of residents performing more than 20 of each procedure, respectively. The least-performed block was the lumber plexus block, with just 9% performing 20 or more blocks. Most residents reported feeling “very” to “somewhat” comfortable performing the surveyed blocks, with the exception of the lumber plexus block, where 64% were “not comfortable.” Overall, 78% of residents were “mostly” to “very satisfied” with the quality of education received during residency.
Most of the respondents fulfilled the ACGME requirement and expressed satisfaction with the peripheral nerve block education received during residency. However, the ACGME requirement for 40 nerve blocks may not be adequate for some residents to feel comfortable in performing a full range of blocks upon graduation. Many residents felt that curriculums incorporating simulator training and didactic lectures would be the most helpful method of improving the quality of their education pertaining to peripheral nerve blocks.
Peripheral nerve block; Ultrasound; Nerve stimulator; Residency
Currently, in the field of general anesthesia, balanced anesthesia in combination with analgesic, hypnotic, and muscle relaxant is commonly used. Remifentanil is the standard analgesic used in balanced anesthesia, and has contributed greatly to reduce the physical stress of the patient during surgery. We compared the stress response suppression effect of remifentanil by measuring stress hormones in 2 groups treated with different analgesic doses in orthopedic surgery using a tourniquet.
Twenty patients were randomly divided into 2 groups (10 patients each) undergoing maintenance of general anesthesia with 0.25 μg/kg/min remifentanil and sevoflurane (Group A) and 1.0 μg/kg/min remifentanil and sevoflurane (Group B). Hemodynamic changes, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), cortisol, antidiuretic hormone (ADH), adrenaline (Ad), noradrenaline (NAd), dopamine (DOA), insulin, and blood glucose were measured at the initiation of general anesthesia,10 minutes after the initiation of tourniquet application, and immediately before and 10 minutes after the completion of tourniquet application.
ACTH, cortisol, ADH, Ad, and NAd levels in Group B were significantly lower (ACTH and cortisol: P < 0.01, ADH, Ad, and NAd: P < 0.05) than those in Group A. No significant differences were noted in DOA, insulin, or blood glucose levels between the groups.
Anesthesia management with high-dose remifentanil (1.0 μg/kg/min) suppressed intraoperative tourniquet pain-induced stress hormone release, suggesting its usefulness in stabilizing hemodynamics.
Tourniquet pain; Remifentanil; Stress response
Abdominal surgery carries significant morbidity and mortality, which is in turn associated with an enormous use of healthcare resources. We describe the clinical course of 30 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients who underwent abdominal surgery and showed severe infections caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae sequence type (ST) 258 producing K. pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC-Kp). The aim was to evaluate risk factors for mortality and the impact of a combination therapy of colistin plus recommended regimen or higher dosage of tigecycline.
A prospective assessment of severe monomicrobial KPC-Kp infections occurring after open abdominal surgery carried out from August 2011 to August 2012 in the same hospital by different surgical teams is presented. Clinical and surgical characteristics, microbiological and surveillance data, factors associated with mortality and treatment regimens were analyzed. A combination regimen of colistin with tigecycline was used. A high dose of tigecycline was administered according to intra-abdominal abscess severity and MICs for tigecycline.
The mean age of the patients was 56.6 ± 15 and their APACHE score on admission averaged 22.72. Twenty out of 30 patients came from the surgical emergency unit. Fifteen patients showed intra-abdominal abscess, eight anastomotic leakage, four surgical site infection (SSI) and three peritonitis. The overall crude ICU mortality rate was 40% (12 out of 30 patients). Twelve of the 30 patients were started on a combination treatment of high-dose tigecycline and intravenous colistin. A significantly lower mortality rate was observed among those patients compared to patients treated with approved dose of tigecycline plus colistin. No adverse events were reported with high doses of tigecycline.
Critically-ill surgical patients are prone to severe post-surgical infectious complications caused by KPC-Kp. Timely microbiological diagnosis and optimizing antibiotic dosing regimens are essential to prevent worse outcomes. Further studies and well-controlled clinical trials are needed to define the optimal treatment of infections by KPC-Kp and, more generally, carbapenem-resistant bacteria.
Klebsiella pneumoniae; Carbapenemase; Abdominal surgery
Sepsis-induced cardiac dysfunction may limit fluid responsiveness and the mechanism thereof remains unclear. Since cardiac function may affect the relative value of cardiac filling pressures, such as the recommended central venous pressure (CVP), versus filling volumes in guiding fluid loading, we studied these parameters as determinants of fluid responsiveness, according to cardiac function.
A delta CVP-guided, 90 min colloid fluid loading protocol was performed in 16 mechanically ventilated patients with sepsis-induced hypotension and three 30 min consecutive fluid loading steps of about 450 mL per patient were evaluated. Global end-diastolic volume index (GEDVI), cardiac index (CI) and global ejection fraction (GEF) were assessed from transpulmonary dilution. Baseline and changes in CVP and GEDVI were compared among responding (CI increase ≥10% and ≥15%) and non-responding fluid loading steps, in patient with low (<20%, n = 9) and near-normal (≥20%) GEF (n = 7) at baseline.
A low GEF was in line with other indices of impaired cardiac (left ventricular) function, prior to and after fluid loading. Of 48 fluid loading steps, 9 (of 27) were responding when GEF <20% and 6 (of 21) when GEF ≥20. Prior to fluid loading, CVP did not differ between responding and non-responding steps and levels attained were 23 higher in the latter, regardless of GEF (P = 0.004). Prior to fluid loading, GEDVI (and CI) was higher in responding (1007 ± 306 mL/m2) than non-responding steps (870 ± 236 mL/m2) when GEF was low (P = 0.002), but did not differ when GEF was near-normal. Increases in GEDVI were associated with increases in CI and fluid responsiveness, regardless of GEF (P < 0.001).
As estimated from transpulmonary dilution, about half of patients with sepsis-induced hypotension have systolic cardiac dysfunction. During dysfunction, cardiac dilation with a relatively high baseline GEDVI maintains fluid responsiveness by further dilatation (increase in GEDVI rather than of CVP) as in patients without dysfunction. Absence of fluid responsiveness during systolic cardiac dysfunction may be caused by diastolic dysfunction and/or right ventricular dysfunction.
Septic Shock; Fluid Loading; Myocardial Depression; Right Ventricular Afterload; Diastolic Compliance; Filling Volumes; Ejection Fraction
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
While pentobarbital has been used extensively in neurophysiological experiments investigating activity in peripheral nerves, it has fallen out of favor as an anesthetic because of safety concerns and is often replaced with isoflurane. However, the effects of isoflurane on the excitability of mechanoreceptive afferents have yet to be conclusively elucidated.
To fill this gap, we collected extracellular single-unit recordings of cutaneous mechanoreceptive afferents from the sciatic nerve of 21 rats during vibratory stimulation of the hindpaw. We then compared the strength and temporal structure of the afferent response measured under pentobarbital and isoflurane anesthesia.
We found that the strength and temporal structure of afferent responses were statistically equivalent whether these were evoked under isoflurane or pentobarbital.
We conclude that, if these two anesthetics have any effect on the responses of mechanoreceptive afferents, their effects are indistinguishable.
Mechanoreceptive afferents; Anesthesia; Isoflurane; Pentobarbital; Vibration; Entrainment
Poor characterization of propofol pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in the morbidly obese (MO) pediatric population poses dosing challenges. This study was conducted to evaluate propofol total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) in this population.
After IRB approval, a prospective study was conducted in 20 MO children and adolescents undergoing laparoscopic surgery under clinically titrated propofol TIVA. Propofol doses/infusion rates, hemodynamic variables, times to induction and emergence, and postoperative occurrence of respiratory adverse events (RAE) were recorded, along with intraoperative blinded Bispectral Index/BIS and postoperative Ramsay sedation scores (RSS). Study subjects completed awareness questionnaires on postoperative days 1 and 3. Propofol concentrations were obtained at predetermined intra- and post-operative time points.
Study subjects ranged 9 – 18 years (age) and 97 - 99.9% (BMI for age percentiles). Average percentage variability of hemodynamic parameters from baseline was ≈ 20%. Patients had consistently below target BIS values (BIS < 40 for >90% of maintenance phase), delayed emergence (25.8 ± 22 minutes), increased somnolence (RSS ≥ 4) in the first 30 minutes of recovery from anesthesia and 30% incidence of postoperative RAE, the odds for which increased by 14% per unit increase in BMI (p ≤ 0.05). Mean propofol concentration was 6.2 mg/L during maintenance and 1.8 mg/L during emergence from anesthesia.
Our findings indicate clinical overestimation of propofol requirements and highlight the challenges of clinically titrated propofol TIVA in MO adolescents. In this setting, it may be advantageous to titrate propofol to targeted BIS levels until more accurate weight-appropriate dosing regimens are developed, to minimize relative overdosing and its consequences.
Morbidly obese; Bariatric; Propofol; Total intravenous anesthesia; Bispectral index; Anesthetic depth; Pediatric; Adolescents
The editors of BMC Anesthesiology would like to thank all our reviewers who have contributed to the journal in Volume 12 (2012).
Varied and fragmented care plans undertaken by different practitioners currently expose surgical patients to lapses in expected care, increase the chance for operational mistakes and accidents, and often result in unnecessary care. The Perioperative Surgical Home has thus been proposed by the American Society of Anesthesiologists and other stakeholders as an innovative, patient-centered, surgical continuity of care model that incorporates shared decision making. Topics central to the debate about an anesthesiology-based Perioperative Surgical Home include: holding the gains made in anesthesia-related patient safety; impacting surgical morbidity and mortality, including failure-to-rescue; achieving healthcare outcome metrics; assimilating comparative effectiveness research into the model; establishing necessary audit and data collection; a comparison with the hospitalist model of perioperative care; the perspective of the surgeon; the benefits of the Perioperative Surgical Home to the specialty of anesthesiology; and its associated healthcare economic advantages.
Improving surgical morbidity and mortality mandates a more comprehensive and integrated approach to the management of surgical patients. In their expanded capacity as the surgical patient’s “perioperativist,” anesthesiologists can play a key role in compliance with broader set of process measures, thus becoming a more vital and valuable provider from the patient, administrator, and payer perspective. The robust perioperative databases created within the Perioperative Surgical Home present new opportunities for health services and population-level research. The Perioperative Surgical Home is not intended to replace the surgeon’s patient care responsibility, but rather leverage the abilities of the entire perioperative care team in the service of the patient. To achieve this goal, it will be necessary to expand the core knowledge, skills, and experience of anesthesiologists. Anesthesiologists will need to view becoming perioperative physicians as an expansion of the specialty, rather than an abdication of their traditional intraoperative role. The Perioperative Surgical Home will need to create strategic added value for a health system and payers. This added value will strengthen the position of anesthesiologists as they navigate and negotiate in the face of finite, if not decreasing fiscal resources.
Broadening the anesthesiologist’s scope of practice via the Perioperative Surgical Home may promote standardization and improve clinical outcomes and decrease resource utilization by providing greater patient-centered continuity of care throughout the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative periods.
Surgical home; Perioperative care; Healthcare outcomes; Comparative effectiveness; Healthcare economics; Patient satisfaction; Patient-centered care
Goal-directed fluid therapy (GDFT) has been shown to reduce complications and hospital length of stay following major surgery. However, there has been no assessment regarding its use in clinical practice.
An electronic survey was administered to randomly selected anaesthetists from the United Kingdom (UK, n = 2000) and the United States of America (USA, n = 2000), and 500 anaesthetists from Australia/New Zealand (AUS/NZ). Preferences, clinical use and attitudes towards GDFT were investigated. Results were collated to examine regional differences.
The response rates from the UK (n = 708) and AUS/NZ (n = 180) were 35%, and 36% respectively. The response rate from the USA was very low (n = 178; 9%). GDFT use was significantly more common in the UK than in AUS/NZ (p < 0.01). The Oesophageal Doppler Monitor was the most preferred instrument in the UK (n = 362; h76%) with no clear preferences in other regions. GDFT was most commonly utilised in major abdominal surgery and for patients with significant comorbidities. The commonest reasons stated for not using GDFT were either lack of availability of monitoring tools (AUS/NZ: 57 (70%); UK: 94 (64%)) or a lack of experience with instruments (AUS/NZ: 43 (53%); UK: 51 (35%)). A subset of respondents (AUS/NZ: 22(27%); UK: 45 (30%)) felt GDFT provided no perceived benefit. Enthusiasm towards the use of GDFT in the absence of existing barriers was high.
Several hypotheses were generated regarding important differences in the use of GDFT between anaesthetists from the UK and AUS/NZ. There is significant interest in utilising GDFT in clinical practice and existing barriers should be addressed.
Intravenous fluid; Goal-directed fluid therapy; Perioperative care; Surgery
Most studies that follow up hepatectomy cases are limited in scope to an investigation of mortality and morbidity rates or the costs and length of hospital stay. In this study the authors aimed to characterize the quality of life and to evaluate mortality and its determinants after hepatectomy.
This prospective study was carried in a Post-Anaesthesia Care Unit (PACU) over 15 months, and 70 patients submitted to hepatectomy were enrolled. Demographic and peri-operative characteristics were evaluated for associations with mortality. At admission and 6 months after discharge, patients completed a Short Form-36 questionnaire (SF-36) and have their independence in Activities of Daily Living (ADL) was evaluated. Binary and multiple logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate of associations with mortality, and the Wilcoxon signed rank test was used to compare SF-36 scores before and after 6 months after hepatectomy.
The mortality rate was 19% at 6 months. Multivariate analysis identified postoperative delirium as an independent determinant for mortality. Six months after discharge, 46% patients stated that their health in general was better or much better than that 1 year previously. Six months after hepatectomy, patients had worse scores in the physical function domain of SF-36; however, scores for all the other domains did not differ. At this time point, patients were more dependent in instrumental ADL than before surgery (32% versus 7%, p = 0.027).
This study identified postoperative delirium as an independent risk factor for mortality 6 months after hepatectomy. After 6 months, survivors were more dependent in instrumental ADL tasks and had worse scores in the physical function domain of SF-36.
Quality of life; Hepatectomy; Outcome; Mortality; Activities of daily living
In 1993, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) published guidelines stating that automatic perioperative suspension of Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders conflicts with patients’ rights to self-determination. Almost 20 years later, we aimed to explore both patient and doctor views concerning perioperative DNR status.
Five-hundred consecutive patients visiting our preoperative evaluation clinic were surveyed and asked whether they had made decisions regarding resuscitation and to rate their agreement with several statements concerning perioperative resuscitation. Anesthesiologists, surgeons and internists at our tertiary referral institution were also surveyed. They were asked to assess their likelihood of following a hypothetical patient’s DNR status and to rate their level of agreement with a series of non-scenario related statements concerning ethical and practical aspects of perioperative resuscitation.
Over half of patients (57%) agreed that pre-existing DNR requests should be suspended while undergoing a surgical procedure under anesthesia, but 92% believed a discussion between the doctor and patient regarding perioperative resuscitation plans should still occur. Thirty percent of doctors completing the survey believed that DNR orders should automatically be suspended intraoperatively. Anesthesiologists (18%) were significantly less likely to suspend DNR orders than surgeons (38%) or internists (34%) (p < 0.01).
Although many patients agree that their DNR orders should be suspended for their operation, they expect a discussion regarding the performance and nature of perioperative resuscitation. In contrast to previous studies, anesthesiologists were least likely to automatically suspend a DNR order.
Do not resuscitate; Perioperative medicine; Patient decisions/choice
A study by Burkle et al. in BMC Anesthesiology examined attitudes around perioperative do-not-resuscitate orders. Questionnaires were given to patients, as well as to anesthesiologists, internists and surgeons. The study has limitations and is open to interpretation. However, the findings are important. There appear to be attitudinal differences between patients and doctors, and between specialties. A small majority of patients are content to have a do-not-resuscitate order postponed during the perioperative period. A large majority expects open communication from doctors before proceeding. However, this article could also encourage a broader debate. This is about how to respect patient autonomy, while ensuring that resuscitation truly serves the patient’s best interests. This commentary outlines how more communication is needed at the bedside and in wider society.
Do not resuscitate; Perioperative; Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
The widespread of hallux valgus surgery in a day care setting enhanced the role of regional anaesthesia in the last few years. Sciatic nerve block at popliteal fossa has been shown to provide safe and effective analgesia. Our purpose was to compare the success rate and performance time of popliteal block during resident’s training for regional anaesthesia by using nerve stimulation (NS) or combined nerve stimulation and ultrasound (NS + US).
70 adult patients undergoing hallux valgus surgery were randomly assigned to receive sciatic nerve block at popliteal fossa with US+NS or NS alone with a double injection technique for peroneal and tibial branches, respectively. Two residents experienced with nerve stimulator performed the procedures after a learning phase concerning ultrasonography. A local anaesthetic solution, containing 10 mL of 0.75% ropivacaine and 10 mL of 2% lidocaine was used: 12 mL were infiltrated close the tibial nerve, and 8mL were infiltrated close the common peroneal nerve. Block success rate, sensory block onset time, block performance time were evaluated. Recourse to general anaesthesia was considered as failure.
No differences were detected in success rate and onset time of sensory block between the two groups (P > 0.05). The time to block tibial nerve and the overall block time were significantly faster in US+NS group (P < 0.05).
Ultrasound guidance for popliteal nerve block resulted in similar success rate with a faster procedure time when compared with nerve stimulator, thus providing a possible effect on resident education and operating room efficiency.
Peripheral nervous block; Hallux valgus; Resident’s education
The purpose of our study was to organize the literature regarding the efficacy of modern videolaryngoscopes in oral endotracheal intubation, then perform a quality assessment according to recommended external criteria and make recommendations for use.
Inclusion criteria included devices with recent studies of human subjects. A total of 980 articles were returned in the initial search and 65 additional items were identified using cited references. After exclusion of articles failing to meet study criteria, 77 articles remained. Data were extracted according to the rate of successful intubation and improvement of glottic view compared with direct laryngoscopy. Studies were classified according to whether they primarily examined subjects with normal airways, possessing risk factors for difficult direct laryngoscopy, or following difficult or failed direct laryngoscopy.
The evidence of efficacy for videolaryngoscopy in the difficult airway is limited. What evidence exists is both randomized prospective and observational in nature, requiring a scheme that evaluates both forms and allows recommendations to be made.
In patients at higher risk of difficult laryngoscopy we recommend the use of the Airtraq, CTrach, GlideScope, Pentax AWS and V-MAC to achieve successful intubation. In difficult direct laryngoscopy (C&L >/= 3) we cautiously recommend the use of the Airtraq, Bonfils, Bullard, CTrach, GlideScope, and Pentax AWS, by an operator with reasonable prior experience, to achieve successful intubation when used in accordance with the ASA practice guidelines for management of the difficult airway. There is additional evidence to support the use of the Airtraq, Bonfils, CTrach, GlideScope, McGrath, and Pentax AWS following failed intubation via direct laryngoscopy to achieve successful intubation. Future investigation would benefit from precise qualification of the subjects under study, and an improvement in overall methodology to include randomization and blinding.
Laryngoscopy; Airway management; Intubation; Technology
Epidural Anesthesia (EA) is a well-established procedure. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the incidence of immediate complications following epidural puncture, such as sanguineous puncture, accidental dural perforation, unsuccessful catheter placement or insufficient analgesia and to identify patient and maneuver related risk factors.
A total of 7958 non-obstetrical EA were analyzed. The risk of each complication was calculated according to the preconditions and the level of puncture. For probabilistic evaluation we used a logistic regression model with forward selection.
The risk of sanguineous puncture (n = 247, 3.1%) increases with both the patient’s age (P = 0.013) and the more caudal the approach (P < 0.01). Dural perforation (n = 123, 1.6%) was found to be influenced only by advanced age (P = 0.019). Unsuccessful catheter placement (n = 68, 0.94%) occurred more often in smaller individuals (P < 0.001) and at lower lumbar sites (P < 0.01). Amongst all cases with successful catheter placement a (partial) insufficient analgesia was found in 692 cases (8.8%). This risk of insufficient analgesia decreased with patient’s age (P <0 .01), being least likely for punctures of the lower thoracic spine (P < 0.001).
Compared to more cranial levels, EA of the lower spine is associated with an increased risk of sanguineous and unsuccessful puncture. Insufficient analgesia more often accompanies high thoracic and low lumbar approaches. The risk of a sanguineous puncture increases in elderly patients. Gender, weight and body mass index seem to have no influence on the investigated complications.
Increasing numbers of elective surgical procedures are performed as day-cases. The impact of ambulatory surgery on health-related quality of life in the recovery period has seldom been described.
We assessed health-related quality of life in 143 adult outpatients scheduled for arthroscopic procedures of the knee and shoulder joints, laparoscopic cholecystectomy and inguinal hernia repair using the RAND 36-Item Health Survey preoperatively and one week after patients had returned to work or comparable normal daily routines.
Postoperatively all patient groups reported significant improvements in bodily pain and vitality. Physical functioning improved significantly in orthopedic and inguinal hernia patients. However, in the orthopedic groups, postoperative scores for physical health were still relatively lower compared to the general population reference values.
Ambulatory surgery has a positive impact on health-related quality of life. Assessment of the recovery process is necessary for recognition of potential areas of improvement in care and postoperative rehabilitation.
Quality of life; Outcome; Ambulatory surgery procedures; RAND-36
Given the expanding scope of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and its variable impact on drug pharmacokinetics as observed in neonatal studies, it is imperative that the effects of the device on the drugs commonly prescribed in the intensive care unit (ICU) are further investigated. Currently, there are no data to confirm the appropriateness of standard drug dosing in adult patients on ECMO. Ineffective drug regimens in these critically ill patients can seriously worsen patient outcomes. This study was designed to describe the pharmacokinetics of the commonly used antibiotic, analgesic and sedative drugs in adult patients receiving ECMO.
This is a multi-centre, open-label, descriptive pharmacokinetic (PK) study. Eligible patients will be adults treated with ECMO for severe cardiac and/or respiratory failure at five Intensive Care Units in Australia and New Zealand. Patients will receive the study drugs as part of their routine management. Blood samples will be taken from indwelling catheters to investigate plasma concentrations of several antibiotics (ceftriaxone, meropenem, vancomycin, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, piperacillin-tazobactum, ticarcillin-clavulunate, linezolid, fluconazole, voriconazole, caspofungin, oseltamivir), sedatives and analgesics (midazolam, morphine, fentanyl, propofol, dexmedetomidine, thiopentone). The PK of each drug will be characterised to determine the variability of PK in these patients and to develop dosing guidelines for prescription during ECMO.
The evidence-based dosing algorithms generated from this analysis can be evaluated in later clinical studies. This knowledge is vitally important for optimising pharmacotherapy in these most severely ill patients to maximise the opportunity for therapeutic success and minimise the risk of therapeutic failure.
ECMO; Pharmacokinetics; Pharmacodynamics; Antibiotics; Sedatives; Analgesics; Therapeutic failure; Drug toxicity
Signs of serious clinical events overlap with those of sepsis. We hypothesised that any education on severe sepsis/septic shock may affect the outcome of all hospital patients. We designed this study to assess the trend of the mortality rate of adults admitted to hospital for at least one night in relationship with a hospital staff educational program dedicated to severe sepsis/septic shock.
This study was performed in six Italian hospitals in the same region. Multidisciplinary Sepsis Teams members were selected by each hospital management among senior staff. The education included the following steps: i) the Teams were taught about adult learning, problem based learning, and Surviving Sepsis guidelines, and provided with educational material (literature, electronic presentations, scenarios of clinical cases for training and booklets); ii) they started delivering courses and seminars each to their own hospital staff in the last quarter of 2007.
To analyse mortality, we selected adult patients, admitted for at least one night to the wards or units present in all the study hospitals and responsible for 80% of hospital deaths. We fitted a Poisson model with monthly hospital mortality rates from December 2003 to August 2009 as dependent variable. The effect of the educational program on hospital mortality was measured as two dummy variables identifying a first (November 2007 to December 2008) and a second (January to August 2009) education period. The analysis was adjusted for a linear time trend, seasonality and monthly average values of age, Charlson score, length of stay in hospital and urgent/non-urgent admission.
The hospital staff educated reached 30.6% at the end of June 2009. In comparison with the pre-education period, the Relative Risk of death of the patient population considered was 0.93 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.87-0.99; p 0.025) for in-patients in the first, and 0.89 (95% CI 0.81-0.98; p 0.012) for those in the second period after education.
Our hypothesis that a program educating hospital staff to early detection and treatment of severe sepsis/septic shock may affect the outcome of all hospital patients is original, but it has to be corroborated by other experiences.
Enhanced bleeding remains a serious problem after cardiac surgery, and fibrinolysis is often involved. We speculate that lower plasma concentrations of plasminogen activator inhibitor – 1 (PAI-1) preoperatively and tissue plasminogen activator/PAI-1 (t-PA/PAI-1) complex postoperatively might predispose for enhanced fibrinolysis and increased postoperative bleeding.
Totally 88 adult patients (mean age 66 ± 10 years) scheduled for cardiac surgery, were enrolled into a prospective study. Blood samples were collected pre-operatively, on admission to the recovery and at 6 and 24 hours postoperatively. Patients with a surgical bleeding that was diagnosed during reoperation were discarded from the study. The patients were allocated to two groups depending on the 24-hour postoperative chest tube drainage (CTD): Group I > 500ml, Group II ≤ 500ml. Associations between CTD, PAI-1, t-PA/PAI-1 complex and D-dimer were analyzed with SPSS.
Nine patients were excluded because of surgical bleeding. Of the 79 remaining patients, 38 were allocated to Group I and 41 to Group II. The CTD volumes correlated with the preoperative plasma levels of PAI-1 (r = − 0.3, P = 0.009). Plasma concentrations of preoperative PAI-1 and postoperative t-PA/PAI-1 complex differed significantly between the groups (P < 0.001 and P = 0.012, respectively). Group I displayed significantly lower plasma concentrations of fibrinogen and higher levels of D-dimer from immediately after the operation and throughout the first 24 hours postoperatively.
Lower plasma concentrations of PAI-1 preoperatively and t-PA/PAI-1 complex postoperatively leads to higher plasma levels of D-dimer in association with more postoperative bleeding after cardiac surgery.
Cardiac surgery; Fibrinolysis; Plasminogen activator inhibitor; Tissue plasminogen activator
The efficacy of epidural steroid injections in the management of chronic low back pain is disputed, yet the technique remains popular amongst physicians and patients alike. This study assesses the cost effectiveness of injections administered in a routine outpatient setting in England.
Patients attending the Nottingham University Hospitals’ Pain Clinic received two injections of methylprednisolone plus levobupivacaine at different dosages, separated by at least 12 weeks. Prior to each injection, and every week thereafter for 12 weeks, participants completed the EQ-5D health-related quality of life instrument. For each patient for each injection, total health state utility gain relative to baseline was calculated. The cost of the procedure was modelled from observed clinical practice. Cost effectiveness was calculated as procedure cost relative to utility gain.
39 patients provided records. Over a 13-week period commencing with injection, mean quality adjusted life year (QALY) gains per patient for the two dosages were 0.028 (SD 0.063) and 0.021 (SD 0.057). The difference in QALYs gained by dosage was insignificant (paired t-test, CIs -0.019 – 0.033). Based on modelled resource use and data from other studies, the mean cost of an injection was estimated at £219 (SD 83). The cost utility ratio of the two injections amounted to £8,975 per QALY gained (CIs 5,480 – 22,915). However, at costs equivalent to the tariff price typically paid to providers by health care purchasers, the ratio increased to £27,459 (CIs 16,779 – 70,091).
When provided in an outpatient setting, epidural steroid injections are a short term, but nevertheless cost effective, means of managing chronic low back pain. However, designation of the procedure as a day case requires the National Health Service to reimburse providers at a price which pushes the procedure to the margin of cost effectiveness.
Left ventricular (LV) dysfunction is well documented in the critically ill. We assessed 1-year mortality in relation to cardiac biomarkers and LV function parameters by echocardiography in patients with shock.
A prospective, observational, cohort study of 49 patients. B-natriuretic peptide (BNP), high-sensitive troponin T (hsTNT) and transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) were assessed within 12 h of study inclusion. LV systolic function was measured by ejection fraction (LVEF), mean atrioventricular plane displacement (AVPDm), peak systolic tissue Doppler velocity imaging (TDIs) and velocity time integral in the LV outflow tract (LVOT VTI). LV diastolic function was evaluated by transmitral pulsed Doppler (E, A, E/A, E-deceleration time), tissue Doppler indices (é, á, E/é) and left atrial volume (La volume). APACHE II (Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation) and SOFA (Sequential Organ Failure Assessment) scores were calculated.
hsTNT was significantly higher in non-survivors than in survivors (60 [17.0-99.5] vs 168 [89.8-358] ng/l, p = 0.003). Other univariate predictors of mortality were APACHE II (p = 0.009), E/é (p = 0.023), SOFA (p = 0.024) and age (p = 0.031). Survivors and non-survivors did not differ regarding BNP (p = 0.26) or any LV systolic function parameter (LVEF p = 0.87, AVPDm p = 0.087, TDIs p = 0.93, LVOT VTI p = 0.18). Multivariable logistic regression analysis identified hsTNT (p = 0.010) as the only independent predictor of 1-year mortality; adjusted odds ratio 2.0 (95% CI 1.2- 3.5).
hsTNT was the only independent predictor of 1-year mortality in patients with shock. Neither BNP nor echocardiographic parameters had an independent prognostic value. Further studies are needed to establish the clinical significance of elevated hsTNT in patients in shock.
Echocardiography; BNP; High-sensitive TNT; Myocardial function; Mortality; Shock
Although a device is needed to continuously measure blood glucose levels within an intensive care setting, and several large-scale prospective studies have shown that patients might benefit from intensive insulin, potassium, or glucose therapy during intensive care, no devices are currently available to continuously assess blood glucose levels in critically ill patients. We conceived the study described here to evaluate the clinical use of the Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) performed via a central vein, and to determine the impact of phenomena, such as drift and shift, on the agreement between the CGM and a RAPIDLab® 1265 blood gas analyser (BGA).
In the CONTinuous ASSessment of blood GLUcose (CONTASSGLU) study, up to 130 patients under intensive care will be fitted with the CGM, an ex vivo device that continuously measures blood glucose and lactate levels. Readings from the device taken 8 h after initial placement and calibration will be compared with values measured by a BGA. For this study, we chose the BGA as it is an established standard point-of-care device, instead of the devices used in certified central laboratories. Nevertheless, we will also independently compare the results from the point-of-care BGA with those determined by a central laboratory-based device. Blood samples will be collected from each patient from the same site in which the CGM will measure blood glucose. Consequently, each participant will serve as their own control, and no randomisation is necessary. The 95% limits of agreement and the corresponding confidence intervals will be calculated and compared with a prespecified clinically acceptable relative difference of 20%.
Several attempts have been made to develop a device to continuously measure blood glucose levels within an intensive care setting or to use the devices that were originally designed for diabetes management, as several of these devices are already available. However, none of these devices were successful in intensive care settings. CONTASSGLU may well bridge this gap by confirming the ability of the CGM to continuously measure blood glucose levels in intensive care settings.
Agreement; Continuous; Monitor* (monitor~s~ing); Blood glucose [MeSH]; Lactate [MeSH]; Insulin [MeSH]; Potassium [MeSH]; Perioperative care [MeSH]; Critical care [MeSH]; Intensive care