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author:("juberg, Folke")
1.  How do we know when patients sleep properly or why they do not? 
Critical Care  2013;17(3):145.
The importance of adequate sleep for good health and immune system function is well documented as is reduced sleep quality experienced by ICU patients. In the previous issue of Critical Care, Elliot and co-workers present a well done, largest of its kind, single-center study on sleep patterns in critically ill patients. They base their study on the 'gold standard', the polysomnography technique, which is resource demanding to perform and often difficult to evaluate. The results are especially interesting as the authors not only used polysomnography in a large sample but also, in contrast to others, excluded patients with prior sleep problems. They also recorded patients' subjective sleep experiences in the ICU and thereafter in the ward (validated questionnaires) with simultaneous data collection of factors known to affect sleep in the ICU (mainly treatment interventions, light and sound disturbances). Interestingly, but not surprisingly, sleep was both quantitatively and qualitatively poor. Furthermore, there seemed to be little or no improvement over time when compared to earlier studies. This study stresses the magnitude of the sleep problem despite interventions such as earplugs and/or eyeshades. Sound disturbance was found to be the most significant but improvable factor. The study highlights the challenge and the importance of evaluating sleep in the critical care setting and the present need for alternative methods to measure it. All that in conjunction can be used to solve an important problem for this patient group.
PMCID: PMC3672628  PMID: 23830045
2.  Health-related quality of life scores after intensive care are almost equal to those of the normal population: a multicenter observational study 
Critical Care  2013;17(5):R236.
Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients treated in intensive care has been reported to be lower compared with age- and sex-adjusted control groups. Our aim was to test whether stratifying for coexisting conditions would reduce observed differences in HRQoL between patients treated in the ICU and a control group from the normal population. We also wanted to characterize the ICU patients with the lowest HRQoL within these strata.
We did a cross-sectional comparison of scores of the short-form health survey (SF-36) questionnaire in a multicenter study of patients treated in the ICU (n = 780) and those from a local public health survey (n = 6,093). Analyses were in both groups adjusted for age and sex, and data stratified for coexisting conditions. Within each stratum, patients with low scores (below -2 SD of the control group) were identified and characterized.
After adjustment, there were minor and insignificant differences in mean SF-36 scores between patients and controls. Eight (n = 18) and 22% (n = 51) of the patients had low scores (-2 SD of the control group) in the physical and mental dimensions of SF-36, respectively. Patients with low scores were usually male, single, on sick leave before admission to critical care, and survived a shorter time after being in ICU.
After adjusting for age, sex, and coexisting conditions, mean HRQoL scores were almost equal in patients and controls. Up to 22% (n = 51) of the patients had, however, a poor quality of life as compared with the controls (-2 SD). This group, which more often consisted of single men, individuals who were on sick leave before admission to the ICU, had an increased mortality after ICU. This group should be a target for future support.
PMCID: PMC4056627  PMID: 24119915
3.  A prospective longitudinal multicentre study of health related quality of life in ICU survivors with COPD 
Critical Care  2013;17(5):R211.
Mortality amongst COPD patients treated on the ICU is high. Health-related quality of life (HRQL) after intensive care is a relevant concern for COPD patients, their families and providers of health care. Still, there are few HRQL studies after intensive care of this patient group. Our hypothesis was that HRQL of COPD patients treated on the ICU declines rapidly with time.
Fifty-one COPD patients (COPD-ICU group) with an ICU stay longer than 24 hours received a questionnaire at 6, 12 and 24 months after discharge from ICU. HRQL was measured using two generic instruments: the EuroQoL instrument (EQ-5D and EQ-VAS) and the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36). The results were compared to HRQL of two reference groups from the general population; an age- and sex-adjusted reference population (Non-COPD reference) and a reference group with COPD (COPD reference).
HRQL of the COPD-ICU group at 6 months after discharge from ICU was lower compared to the COPD reference group: Median EQ-5D was 0.66 vs. 0.73, P = 0.08 and median EQ-VAS was 50 vs.55, P < 0.05. There were no significant differences in the SF-36 dimensions between the COPD-ICU and COPD-reference groups, although the difference in physical functioning (PF) approached statistical significance (P = 0.059). Patients in the COPD-ICU group who were lost to follow-up after 6 months had low HRQL scores at 6 months. Scores for patients who died were generally lower compared to patients who failed to respond to the questionnaire. The PF and social functioning (SF) scores in those who died were significantly lower compared to patients with a complete follow up. HRQL of patients in the COPD-ICU group that survived a complete 24 months follow up was low but stable with no statistically significant decline from 6 to 24 months after ICU discharge. Their HRQL at 24 months was not significantly different from HRQL in the COPD reference group.
HRQL in COPD survivors after intensive care was low but did not decline from 6 to 24 months after discharge from ICU. Furthermore, HRQL at 24 months was similar to patients with COPD who had not received ICU treatment.
PMCID: PMC4056744  PMID: 24063309
4.  Prehospital analgesia using nasal administration of S-ketamine – a case series 
Pain is a problem that often has to be addressed in the prehospital setting. The delivery of analgesia may sometimes prove challenging due to problems establishing intravenous access or a harsh winter environment. To solve the problem of intravenous access, intranasal administration of drugs is used in some settings. In cases where vascular access was foreseen or proved hard to establish (one or two missed attempts) on the scene of the accident we use nasally administered S-Ketamine for prehospital analgesia. Here we describe the use of nasally administered S-Ketamine in 9 cases. The doses used were in the range of 0,45-1,25 mg/kg. 8 patients were treated in outdoor winter-conditions in Sweden. 1 patient was treated indoor. VAS-score decreased from a median of 10 (interquartile range 8-10) to 3 (interquartile range 2-4). Nasally administered S-Ketamine offers a possible last resource to be used in cases where establishing vascular access is difficult or impossible. Side-effects in these 9 cases were few and non serious. Nasally administered drugs offer a needleless approach that is advantageous for the patient as well as for health personnel in especially challenging selected cases. Nasal as opposed to intravenous analgesia may reduce the time spent on the scene of the accident and most likely reduces the need to expose the patient to the environment in especially challenging cases of prehospital analgesia. Nasal administration of S-ketamine is off label and as such we only use it as a last resource and propose that the effect and safety of the treatment should be further studied.
PMCID: PMC3660173  PMID: 23672762
Analgesia; Drug administration; Intranasal; Emergency; Ketamine; Prehospital; S-ketamine; Trauma
5.  Comparing ambient, air-convection, and fluid-convection heating techniques in treating hypothermic burn patients, a clinical RCT 
Hypothermia in burns is common and increases morbidity and mortality. Several methods are available to reach and maintain normal core body temperature, but have not yet been evaluated in critical care for burned patients. Our unit's ordinary technique for controlling body temperature (Bair Hugger®+ radiator ceiling + bed warmer + Hotline®) has many drawbacks e.g.; slow and the working environment is hampered.
The aim of this study was to compare our ordinary heating technique with newly-developed methods: the Allon™2001 Thermowrap (a temperature regulating water-mattress), and Warmcloud (a temperature regulating air-mattress).
Ten consecutive burned patients (> 20% total burned surface area and a core temperature < 36.0°C) were included in this prospective, randomised, comparative study. Patients were randomly exposed to 3 heating methods. Each treatment/measuring-cycle lasted for 6 hours. Each heating method was assessed for 2 hours according to a randomised timetable. Core temperature was measured using an indwelling (bladder) thermistor. Paired t-tests were used to assess the significance of differences between the treatments within the patients. ANOVA was used to assess the differences in temperature from the first to the last measurement among all treatments. Three-way ANOVA with the Tukey HSD post hoc test and a repeated measures ANOVA was used in the same manner, but included information about patients and treatment/measuring-cycles to control for potential confounding. Data are presented as mean (SD) and (range). Probabilities of less than 0.05 were accepted as significant.
The mean increase, 1.4 (SD 0.6°C; range 0.6-2.6°C) in core temperature/treatment/measuring-cycle highly significantly favoured the Allon™2001 Thermowrap in contrast to the conventional method 0.2 (0.6)°C (range -1.2 to 1.5°C) and the Warmcloud 0.3 (0.4)°C (range -0.4 to 0.9°C). The procedures for using the Allon™2001 Thermowrap were experienced to be more comfortable and straightforward than the conventional method or the Warmcloud.
The Allon™2001 Thermowrap was more effective than the Warmcloud or the conventional method in controlling patients' temperatures.
PMCID: PMC3141603  PMID: 21736717
6.  Multiple different laminar velocity profiles in separate veins in the microvascular network of brain cortex in rats 
The orthogonal polarisation spectral (OPS) imaging technique is a method that enables intravital microscopy of the tissue microvasculature particularly including the erythrocytes and leucocytes. As a new finding we here report multi flow, i.e, several different laminar velocity profiles in each and separate veins (diameters < 200 μm) of the microcirculation of the rat brain cortex. The phenomenon was present in all 20 preparations studied and these different laminar velocity profiles were regularly maintained in length beyond 20 times the diameter of parent vessel. In single veins up to 9 different laminar velocity profiles were discernible, each with a different red blood cell velocity. These multi flow profiles may theoretically be anticipated based on what is known in rheological physiology as the Fahreus - Lindqvist effect. It may also be predicted in tissues that have both high and heterogeneous blood flows in conjunction with large local variations in metabolic activity as are present in the cortex of the brain. The new information is that the extent and magnitude of this multi laminar flow phenomenon especially in the venular network of the brain exceeds what has previously been known. The physiological importance of these finding warrants further studies.
PMCID: PMC3048979  PMID: 21394281
Dynamic structure of blood flow; Multi-laminar flow profiles; Orthogonal polarization spectral imaging; Rheology
7.  Pre-existing disease: the most important factor for health related quality of life long-term after critical illness: a prospective, longitudinal, multicentre trial 
Critical Care  2010;14(2):R67.
The aim of the present multicenter study was to assess long term (36 months) health related quality of life in patients after critical illness, compare ICU survivors health related quality of life to that of the general population and examine the impact of pre-existing disease and factors related to ICU care on health related quality of life.
Prospective, longitudinal, multicentre trial in three combined medical and surgical intensive care units of one university and two general hospitals in Sweden. By mailed questionnaires, health related quality of life was assessed at 6, 12, 24 and 36 months after the stay in ICU by EQ-5D and SF-36, and information of pre-existing disease was collected at the 6 months measure. ICU related factors were obtained from the local ICU database. Comorbidity and health related quality of life (EQ-5D; SF-36) was examined in the reference group. Among the 5306 patients admitted, 1663 were considered eligible (>24 hrs in the intensive care unit, and age ≥ 18 yrs, and alive 6 months after discharge). At the 6 month measure 980 (59%) patients answered the questionnaire. Of these 739 (75%) also answered at 12 month, 595 (61%) at 24 month, and 478 (47%) answered at the 36 month measure. As reference group, a random sample (n = 6093) of people from the uptake area of the hospitals were used in which concurrent disease was assessed and adjusted for.
Only small improvements were recorded in health related quality of life up to 36 months after ICU admission. The majority of the reduction in health related quality of life after care in the ICU was related to the health related quality of life effects of pre-existing diseases. No significant effect on the long-term health related quality of life by any of the ICU-related factors was discernible.
A large proportion of the reduction in the health related quality of life after being in the ICU is attributable to pre-existing disease. The importance of the effect of pre-existing disease is further supported by the small, long term increment in the health related quality of life after treatment in the ICU. The reliability of the conclusions is supported by the size of the study populations and the long follow-up period.
PMCID: PMC2887189  PMID: 20398310
8.  Prevalence of sleep disturbances and long-term reduced health-related quality of life after critical care: a prospective multicenter cohort study 
Critical Care  2008;12(4):R97.
The aim of the present prospective multicenter cohort study was to examine the prevalence of sleep disturbance and its relation to the patient's reported health-related quality of life after intensive care. We also assessed the possible underlying causes of sleep disturbance, including factors related to the critical illness.
Between August 2000 and November 2003 we included 1,625 consecutive patients older than 17 years of age admitted for more than 24 hours to combined medical and surgical intensive care units (ICUs) at three hospitals in Sweden. Conventional intensive care variables were prospectively recorded in the unit database. Six months and 12 months after discharge from hospital, sleep disturbances and the health-related quality of life were evaluated using the Basic Nordic Sleep Questionnaire and the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-form Health Survey, respectively. As a nonvalidated single-item assessment, the quality of sleep prior to the ICU period was measured. As a reference group, a random sample (n = 10,000) of the main intake area of the hospitals was used.
The prevalence of self-reported quality of sleep did not change from the pre-ICU period to the post-ICU period. Intensive care patients reported significantly more sleep disturbances than the reference group (P < 0.01). At both 6 and 12 months, the main factor that affected sleep in the former hospitalised patients with an ICU stay was concurrent disease. No effects were related to the ICU period, such as the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation score, the length of stay or the treatment diagnosis. There were minor correlations between the rate and extent of sleep disturbance and the health-related quality of life.
There is little change in the long-term quality of sleep patterns among hospitalised patients with an ICU stay. This applies both to the comparison before and after critical care as well as between 6 and 12 months after the ICU stay. Furthermore, sleep disturbances for this group are common. Concurrent disease was found to be most important as an underlying cause, which emphasises that it is essential to include assessment of concurrent disease in sleep-related research in this group of patients.
PMCID: PMC2575585  PMID: 18673569
9.  Microdialysis shows metabolic effects in skin during fluid resuscitation in burn-injured patients 
Critical Care  2006;10(6):R172.
Established fluid treatment formulas for burn injuries have been challenged as studies have shown the presence of tissue hypoxia during standard resuscitation. Such findings suggest monitoring at the tissue level. This study was performed in patients with major burn injuries to evaluate the microdialysis technique for the continuous assessment of skin metabolic changes during fluid resuscitation and up to four days postburn.
We conducted an experimental study in patients with a burn injury, as represented by percentage of total body surface area burned (TBSA), of more than 25% in a university eight-bed burns intensive care unit serving about 3.5 million inhabitants. Six patients with a median TBSA percentage of 59% (range 33.5% to 90%) and nine healthy controls were examined by intracutaneous MD, in which recordings of glucose, pyruvate, lactate, glycerol, and urea were performed.
Blood glucose concentration peaked on day two at 9.8 mmol/l (6.8 to 14.0) (median and range) and gradually declined on days three and four, whereas skin glucose in MD continued to increase throughout the study period with maximum values on day four, 8.7 mmol/l (4.9 to 11.0). Controls had significantly lower skin glucose values compared with burn patients, 3.1 mmol/l (1.5 to 4.6) (p < 0.001). Lactate from burn patients was significantly higher than controls in both injured and uninjured skin (MD), 4.6 mmol/l (1.3 to 8.9) and 3.8 mmol/l (1.6 to 7.5), respectively (p < 0.01). The skin lactate/pyruvate ratio (MD) was significantly increased in burn patients on all days (p < 0.001). Skin glycerol (MD) was significantly increased at days three and four in burn patients compared with controls (p < 0.01).
Despite a strategy that fulfilled conventional goals for resuscitation, there were increased lactate/pyruvate ratios, indicative of local acidosis. A corresponding finding was not recorded systemically. We conclude that MD is a promising tool for depicting local metabolic processes that are not fully appreciated when examined systemically. Because the local response in glucose, lactate, and pyruvate metabolism seems to differ from that recorded systemically, this technique may offer a new method of monitoring organs.
PMCID: PMC1794489  PMID: 17166287

Results 1-9 (9)