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1.  Prophylactic use of laxative for constipation in critically ill patients 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2010;5(4):228-231.
BACKGROUND:
This study was designed to evaluate the use of laxative prophylaxis for constipation in intensive care unit (ICU) and the impact of early versus late bowel movement on patient’s outcome.
METHODS:
The study was a prospective, randomized controlled trial in critically ill ventilated adult patients, who were expected to stay on ventilator for >72 h. Control group did not receive any intervention for bowel movement for the first 72 h, whereas interventional group received prophylactic dose of lactulose 20 cc enterally every 12 h for the first 72 h. The parameters measured during the study were admission diagnosis, age, gender, comorbid conditions, admission Simplified Acute Physiologic Score (SAPS II), sedative and narcotic agents with doses and duration, timing and tolerance of nutrition, daily assessment of bowel movement, total use of prokinetic, doses of suppositories, and enema for first bowel movement, total number of days on ventilator, weaning failures, extubation or tracheostomy, ICU length of stay, and death or discharge.
RESULTS:
A total of 100 patients were enrolled, 50 patients in each control and interventional group. Mean age was 38.8 years, and both groups had male predominance. Mean SAPS II score for both was 35. Mean dose of Fentanyl (323.8 ± 108.89 mcg/h in control and 345.83 ± 94.43 mcg/h in interventional group) and mean dose of Midazolam (11.1 ± 4.04 mg/h in control and 12.4 ± 3.19 mg/h in interventional group). There were only two (4%) patients in control, while nine (18%) patients in interventional group who had bowel movement in <72 h (P < 0.05). Mean ventilator days were 16.19, and 17.36 days in control and interventional groups, respectively. Subgroup analysis showed that the patients who moved bowel in <5 days in both groups had mean ventilator days of 18.5, whereas it was 15.88 days for the patients who moved bowel after 5 days in both groups (P< 0.05). Mean ICU days for control was 21.15 ± 10.44 and 20.77 ± 8.33 days for interventional group. Forty-eight (96%) patients in each group were discharged from the ICU. Two (4%) patients died in ICU in each group.
CONCLUSIONS:
Laxative prophylaxis can be used successfully to prevent constipation in ICU patients. Late bowel movement >5 days is associated with less ventilator days, compared to early <5 days bowel movement.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.69113
PMCID: PMC2954377  PMID: 20981183
Constipation; critically ill patients; prophylaxis
2.  Percutaneous tracheostomy in critically ill patients: 24 months experience at a tertiary care hospital in United Arab Emirates 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2010;5(1):26-29.
OBJECTIVE:
We assessed the safety and complications related to percutaneous tracheostomy (PCT) without bronchoscopic guidance in our intensive care unit (ICU).
METHODS:
The prospective data over a period of 24 months were collected for patients who underwent PCT. Major, minor and long-term complications were recorded. The parameters recorded were: age, gender, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score on the day of tracheostomy, acute physiology and chronic health evaluation II (APACHE) score, and predicted mortality based on score on admission and on the day of procedure, number of days on ventilator before and after the procedure, total number of days in the hospital before the final outcome, number of successful decannulations and mortality. The patients were stratified in two groups of survivors and nonsurvivors.
RESULTS:
A total of 117 patients underwent PCT. Overall mean GCS and APACHE-II scores before PCT were 7 ± 3 and 16 ± 5, respectively. The only significant difference was APACHE-II score and the predicted mortality based on APACHE-II score on the day of PCT, which was higher amongst the nonsurvivors (P = 0.008 and P = 0.006). All 57 (49%) survivors were successfully decannulated with mean post tracheostomy days of 24 ± 15. The major complication observed was three episodes of major bleeding. Only six patients had an episode of desaturation during the procedure and there were three episode of accidental puncturing of endotracheal (ET) tube pressure cuff. During subsequent follow-up in hospital, six patients developed stomal cellulitis.
CONCLUSIONS:
PCT without bronchoscopic guidance can be performed safely by carefully selecting patients and having an experienced team High APACHE score on the day of procedure may lead to poor outcome.
doi:10.4103/1817-1737.58956
PMCID: PMC2841805  PMID: 20351957
Complications; percutaneous tracheostomy (PCT); safety

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