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Journal of Critical Care [journal]
- Introduction for the 11th annual International Conference on Complexity in Acute Illness abstracts. [Congresses, Editorial]
- J Crit Care 2013 Feb; 28(1):103.
- A bedside communication tool did not improve the alignment of a multidisciplinary team's goals for intensive care unit patients. [Journal Article]
- J Crit Care 2013 Feb; 28(1):112.e7-112.e13.
Establishing well-understood daily patient care goals should improve healthcare team (HCT) communication, reduce errors, and improve patient outcomes. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that implementation of a daily goals "Door Communication Card" (DCC) would improve goal alignment between members of the HCT.As part of a process improvement project, HCT members listed their top care goals for a patient on a given day. After initial data collection, DCCs were placed on patients' doors. Anyone was allowed to write on the card, but the "official" daily goals were recorded during multidisciplinary rounds. One month after introduction of the DCC, HCT members were re-queried about their patients' care goals. Three reviewers independently compared goals and assessed their alignment before and after implementation of the DCC. We collected goals over a 4-month period and selected 5 random days before and after intervention for assessment.The goal alignment among HCT members was low before and did not improve after intervention (Attending-to-Nurse 55% vs 38%, P = .02; Attending-to-Resident 60% vs 54%, P = .43; Attending-to-Primary 35% vs 28%, P = .45; Nurse-to-Attending 52% vs 36%, P = .03; Nurse-to-Resident 55% vs 38%, P = .04; Nurse-to-Primary 37% vs 27%, P = .36; Resident-to-Attending 59% vs 54%, P = .4; Resident-to-Nurse 56% vs 40%, P = .05; Resident-to-Primary 36% vs 24%, P = .16; Primary-to-Attending 34% vs 42%, P = .44; Primary-to-Nurse 42% vs 35%, P = .6; Primary-to-Resident 32% vs 34%, P = .8).Alignment of daily patient care goals among HCT members is low overall and did not improve after implementing a DCC available to all team members. Further study to elucidate the mechanism by which daily goals forms improve patient care is required.
- Shedding light on light in the intensive care unit. [Comment, Editorial]
- J Crit Care 2013 Feb; 28(1):101-2.
- Educating fellows in practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice: The value of quality improvement in clinical practice. [Journal Article]
- J Crit Care 2013 Feb; 28(1):112.e1-5.
In 1999, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education identified 6 general competencies in which all residents must receive training. In the decade since these requirements went into effect, practice-based learning and improvement (PBLI) and systems-based practice (SBP) have proven to be the most challenging competencies to teach and assess. Because PBLI and SBP both are related to quality improvement (QI) principles and processes, we developed a QI-based curriculum to teach these competencies to our fellows.This experiential curriculum engaged our fellows in our neonatal intensive care unit's (NICU's) structured QI process. After identifying specific patient outcomes in need of improvement, our fellows applied validated QI methods to develop evidence-based treatment protocols for our neonatal intensive care unit.These projects led to immediate and meaningful improvements in patient care and also afforded our fellows various means by which to demonstrate their competence in PBLI and SBP. Our use of portfolios enabled us to document our fellows' performance in these competencies quite easily and comprehensively.Given the clinical and educational structures common to most intensive care unit-based training programs, we believe that a QI-based curriculum such as ours could be adapted by others to teach and assess PBLI and SBP.
- Expression of acute-phase cytokines, surfactant proteins, and epithelial apoptosis in small airways of human acute respiratory distress syndrome. [Journal Article]
- J Crit Care 2013 Feb; 28(1):111.e9-111.e15.
Recent studies suggest a role for distal airway injury in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The epithelium lining the small airways secretes a large number of molecules such as surfactant components and inflammatory mediators. There is little information on how these small airway secretory functions are altered in ARDS.We studied the lungs of 31 patients with ARDS (Pao(2)/fraction of inspired oxygen ≤200, 45 ± 14 years, 16 men) and 11 controls (52 ± 16 years, 7 men) submitted to autopsy and quantified the expression of interleukin (IL) 6, IL-8, surfactant proteins (SP) A and SP-B in the epithelium of small airways using immunohistochemistry and image analysis. In addition, an index of airway epithelial apoptosis was determined by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine-triphosphatase nick-end labeling assay, caspase 3, and Fas/Fas ligand expression. The density of inflammatory cells expressing IL-6 and IL-8 within the small airway walls was also quantified.Acute respiratory distress syndrome airways showed an increase in the epithelial expression of IL-8 (P = .006) and an increased density of inflammatory cells expressing IL-6 (P = .004) and IL-8 (P < .001) compared with controls. There were no differences in SP-A and SP-B epithelium expression or in epithelial apoptosis index between ARDS and controls.Distal airways are involved in ARDS lung inflammation and show a high expression of proinflammatory interleukins in both airway epithelial and inflammatory cells. Apoptosis may not be a major mechanism of airway epithelial cell death in ARDS.
- Ambient light levels and critical care outcomes. [Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural]
- J Crit Care 2013 Feb; 28(1):110.e1-8.
Guidelines for the construction of critical care units require windows in room design to ensure a contribution of natural sunlight to ambient lighting. However, few studies have been published with evidence assessing this recommendation. We investigated the association of ambient light levels with clinical outcomes and sedative/analgesic/neuroleptic use in a medical intensive care unit (MICU).This is a retrospective, observational study at a tertiary care facility with a 29-bed MICU. First/single MICU admissions between April 19, 2006, and June 30, 2009 (N = 3577), were analyzed with respect to clinical outcomes and sedation use according to MICU room orientation and corresponding light levels.Light levels were low but varied among the 4 room orientations. There were no significant differences in MICU mortality (north, 14.0%; east, 13.5%; west, 16.2%; south, 15.6%; P = .451), hospital mortality (20.8%, 20.9%, 22.2%, 22.3%; P = .796), 28-day intensive care unit-free days (17.6 ± 10.2, 18.0 ± 10.1, 17.7 ± 10.5, 17.2 ± 10.4; P = .555), 28-day ventilator-free days (16.3 ± 11.1, 16.5 ± 11.1, 15.5 ± 11.5, 15.4 ± 11.4; P = .273). No clinically significant differences in intravenous sedative/analgesic use occurred across room orientations.Despite differing ambient light, room orientation was not associated with critical care outcomes or differences in sedative/analgesic/neuroleptic use. Current guidelines positing that windows alone are necessary or sufficient for MICU room light management may require further investigation and consideration.
- Comparison of high- and low-dose corticosteroid regimens for organ donor management. [Comparative Study, Journal Article]
- J Crit Care 2013 Feb; 28(1):111.e1-7.
Corticosteroids are used to promote hemodynamic stability and reduce inflammatory organ injury after brain death. High-dose (HD) methylprednisolone has become the standard regimen based on comparisons to untreated/historical controls. However, this protocol may exacerbate hyperglycemia. Our objective was to compare a lower-dose (LD) steroid protocol (adequate for hemodynamic stabilization in adrenal insufficiency and sepsis) to the traditional HD regimen in the management of brain-dead organ donors.We evaluated 132 consecutive brain-dead donors managed before and after changing the steroid protocol from 15 mg/kg methylprednisolone (HD) to 300 mg hydrocortisone (LD). Primary outcome measures were glycemic control, oxygenation, hemodynamic stability, and organs transplanted.Groups were balanced except for nonsignificantly higher baseline Pao(2) in the LD cohort. Final Pao(2) remained higher (394 mm Hg LD vs 333 mm Hg HD, P=.03); but improvement in oxygenation was comparable (+37 mm Hg LD vs +28 mm Hg HD, P=.43), as was the proportion able to come off vasopressor support (39% LD vs 47% HD, P=.38). Similar proportions of lungs (44% vs 33%) and hearts (31% vs 27%) were transplanted in both groups. After excluding diabetics, median glucose values at 4 hours (170 mmol/L vs 188 mmol/L, P=.06) and final insulin requirements (2.9 U/h vs 8.4 U/h, P=.01) were lower with LD steroids; and more patients were off insulin infusions (74% LD vs 53% HD, P=.02).A lower-dose corticosteroid protocol did not result in worsened donor pulmonary or cardiac function, with comparable organs transplanted compared with the traditional HD regimen. Insulin requirements and glycemic control were improved. High-dose methylprednisolone may not be required to support brain-dead donors.
- The American Rare Donor Program. [Journal Article]
- J Crit Care 2013 Feb; 28(1):110.e9-110.e18.
The American Rare Donor Program (ARDP), headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, maintains a comprehensive database of donors with "rare blood types." The ARDP secures blood and blood products for difficult-to-transfuse patients. Remarkably, a significant number of physicians, both in the United States and abroad, remain unaware of the unique and critical services that the ARDP provides to critical care specialists and their patients.
- Inhaled epoprostenol vs inhaled nitric oxide for refractory hypoxemia in critically ill patients. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Crit Care 2013 May 14.
PURPOSE:The purpose of this is to compare efficacy, safety, and cost outcomes in patients who have received either inhaled epoprostenol (iEPO) or inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) for hypoxic respiratory failure.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:This is a retrospective, single-center analysis of adult, mechanically ventilated patients receiving iNO or iEPO for improvement in oxygenation.
RESULTS:We evaluated 105 mechanically ventilated patients who received iEPO (52 patients) or iNO (53 patients) between January 2009 and October 2010. Most patients received therapy for acute respiratory distress syndrome (iNO 58.5% vs iEPO 61.5%; P = .84). There was no difference in the change in the partial pressure of arterial O2/fraction of inspired O2 ratio after 1 hour of therapy (20.58 ± 91.54 vs 33.04 ± 36.19 [P = .36]) in the iNO and iEPO groups, respectively. No difference was observed in duration of therapy (P = .63), mechanical ventilation (P = .07), intensive care unit (P = .67), and hospital lengths of stay (P = .26) comparing the iNO and iEPO groups. No adverse events were attributed to either therapy. Inhaled nitric oxide was 4.5 to 17 times more expensive than iEPO depending on contract pricing.
CONCLUSIONS:We found no difference in efficacy and safety outcomes when comparing iNO and iEPO in hypoxic, critically ill patients. Inhaled epoprostenol is associated with less drug expenditure than iNO.
- Predictive value of elevated cystatin C in patients undergoing primary angioplasty for ST-elevation myocardial infarction. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Crit Care 2013 May 14.