Latest issue of “Journal of Critical Care” Volume 35 October 2016

The contejournal of critical care.pngnt page of the latest issue can be accessed via this link

Articles featured in this issue include “The
intensive care unit specialist: report from the Task Force of World Federation of Societies of Intensive and Critical Care Medicine”, “Clinical and economic burden of bloodstream infections in critical care patients with central venous catheters” and “Can early initiation of continuous renal replacement therapy improve patient survival with septic acute kidney injury when enrolled in early goal directed therapy?”.

A personal subscription to the journal is necessary to access the full text of these articles from the journal’s website.  However, the full text of articles can be ordered via the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust Library and Knowledge Service.  This can be done either in person or via this link if you are a registered member of the library.

Implementing a pressure ulcer prevention bundle in an adult intensive care

Tayyib, N. Coyer, F. & Lewis, P. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing. Published online: August 28, 2016

B0007099 Hospital ward

Image source: Alex Williamson – Wellcome Image // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Background: The incidence of pressure ulcers (PUs) in intensive care units (ICUs) is high and numerous strategies have been implemented to address this issue. One approach is the use of a PU prevention bundle. However, to ensure success care bundle implementation requires monitoring to evaluate the care bundle compliance rate, and to evaluate the effectiveness of implementation strategies in facilitating practice change.

Aims: The aims of this study were to appraise the implementation of a series of high impact intervention care bundle components directed at preventing the development of PUs, within ICU, and to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies used to enhance the implementation compliance.

Method: An observational prospective study design was used. Implementation strategies included regular education, training, audit and feed-back and the presence of a champion in the ICU. Implementation compliance was measured along four time points using a compliance checklist.

Results: Of the 60 registered nurses (RNs) working in the critical care setting, 11 participated in this study. Study participants demonstrated a high level of compliance towards the PU prevention bundle implementation (78.1%), with 100% participant acceptance. No significant differences were found between participants’ demographic characteristics and the compliance score. There was a significant effect for time in the implementation compliance (Wilks Lambda = 0.29, F (3, 8) = 6.35, p < 0.016), indicating that RNs needed time to become familiar with the bundle and routinely implement it into their practice. PU incidence was not influenced by the compliance level of participants.

Conclusion: The implementation strategies used showed a positive impact on compliance. Assessing and evaluating implementation compliance is critical to achieve a desired outcome (reduction in PU incidence). This study’s findings also highlighted that while RNs needed time to familiarise themselves with the care bundle elements, their clinical practice was congruent with the bundle elements.

Read the abstract here

Severe community-acquired pneumonia: timely management measures in the first 24 hours

Phua, J. et al. Critical Care. Published online: 28 August 2016

Mortality rates for severe community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) range from 17 to 48 % in published studies.

In this review, we searched PubMed for relevant papers published between 1981 and June 2016 and relevant files. We explored how early and aggressive management measures, implemented within 24 hours of recognition of severe CAP and carried out both in the emergency department and in the ICU, decrease mortality in severe CAP.

These measures begin with the use of severity assessment tools and the application of care bundles via clinical decision support tools. The bundles include early guideline-concordant antibiotics including macrolides, early haemodynamic support (lactate measurement, intravenous fluids, and vasopressors), and early respiratory support (high-flow nasal cannulae, lung-protective ventilation, prone positioning, and neuromuscular blockade for acute respiratory distress syndrome).

CC flow chart

While the proposed interventions appear straightforward, multiple barriers to their implementation exist. To successfully decrease mortality for severe CAP, early and close collaboration between emergency medicine and respiratory and critical care medicine teams is required. We propose a workflow incorporating these interventions.

Read the full article here

Maternal morbidity and mortality from severe sepsis

Acosta, C D eta al. Maternal morbidity and mortality from severe sepsis: a national cohort studyBMJ Open 2016 Volume 6 Issue 8

Objectives To describe the incidence, characteristics and risk factors for critical care admission with severe maternal sepsis in the UK.

Design National cohort study.

Setting 198 critical care units in the UK.

Participants 646 pregnant and recently pregnant women who had severe sepsis within the first 24 hours of admission in 2008–2010.

Primary and secondary outcome measures Septic shock, mortality.

Results Of all maternal critical care admissions, 14.4% (n=646) had severe sepsis; 10.6% (n=474) had septic shock. The absolute risk of maternal critical care admission with severe sepsis was 4.1/10 000 maternities. Pneumonia/respiratory infection (irrespective of the H1N1 pandemic influenza strain) and genital tract infection were the most common sources of sepsis (40% and 24%, respectively). We identified a significant gradient in the risk of severe maternal sepsis associated with increasing deprivation (RR=6.5; 95% CI 4.9 to 8.5 most deprived compared with most affluent women). The absolute risk of mortality was 1.8/100 000 maternities. The most common source of infection among women who died was pneumonia/respiratory infection (41%). Known risk factors for morbidity supported by this study were: younger age, multiple gestation birth and caesarean section. Significant risk factors for mortality in unadjusted analysis were: age ≥35 years (unadjusted OR (uOR)=3.5; 95% CI 1.1 to 10.6), ≥3 organ system dysfunctions (uOR=12.7; 95% CI 2.9 to 55.1), respiratory dysfunction (uOR=6.5; 95% CI1.9 to 21.6), renal dysfunction (uOR=5.6; 95% CI 2.3 to 13.4) and haematological dysfunction (uOR=6.5; 95% CI 2.9 to 14.6).

Conclusions This study suggests a need to improve timely recognition of severe respiratory tract and genital tract infection in the obstetric population. The social gradient associated with the risk of severe sepsis morbidity and mortality raises important questions regarding maternal health service provision and usage.

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Parents’ experience of a follow-up meeting after a child’s death in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit

Brink, H.L. et al. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing. Published online: 12 August 2016

Objective: ‘To identify parents’ experience of a follow up meeting and to explore whether the conversation was adequate to meet the needs of parents for a follow-up after their child’s death in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

Design and setting: Qualitative method utilising semi-structured interviews with six pairs of parents 2–12 weeks after the follow-up conversation. The interviews were held in the parents’ homes at their request. Data were analysed using a qualitative, descriptive approach and thematic analysis.

Findings: Four main themes emerged: (i) the way back to the PICU; (ii) framework; (iii) relations and (iv) closure.

Conclusion: The parents expressed nervousness before the meeting, but were all pleased to have participated in these follow-up meetings. The parents found it meaningful that the follow-up meeting was interdisciplinary, since the parents could have answers to their questions both about treatment and care. It was important that the staff involved in the follow-up meeting were those who had been present through the hospitalisation and at the time of the child’s death. Parents experienced the follow-up meeting as being a closure of the course in the PICU, regardless the length of the hospitalisation.

Read the abstract here

Fluid resuscitation management in patients with burns: update

Guilabert, P. et al. (2016) British Journal of Anaesthesia. 117 (3). pp.284-296.


Image source: LeoCarbajal – Wikipedia // CC BY-SA 3.0

Since 1968, when Baxter and Shires developed the Parkland formula, little progress has been made in the field of fluid therapy for burn resuscitation, despite advances in haemodynamic monitoring, establishment of the ‘goal-directed therapy’ concept, and the development of new colloid and crystalloid solutions.

Burn patients receive a larger amount of fluids in the first hours than any other trauma patients. Initial resuscitation is based on crystalloids because of the increased capillary permeability occurring during the first 24 h. After that time, some colloids, but not all, are accepted. Since the emergence of the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee alert from the European Medicines Agency concerning hydroxyethyl starches, solutions containing this component are not recommended for burns. But the question is: what do we really know about fluid resuscitation in burns?

To provide an answer, we carried out a non-systematic review to clarify how to quantify the amount of fluids needed, what the current evidence says about the available solutions, and which solution is the most appropriate for burn patients based on the available knowledge.

Read the abstract here

The association of sleep quality, delirium, and sedation status with daily participation in physical therapy in the ICU

Kamdar, B.B. et al. Critical Care. Published online: 18 August 2016

Image source: Tim Ellis – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Background: Poor sleep is common in the ICU setting and may represent a modifiable risk factor for patient participation in ICU-based physical therapy (PT) interventions. This study evaluates the association of perceived sleep quality, delirium, sedation, and other clinically important patient and ICU factors with participation in physical therapy (PT) interventions.

Method: This was a secondary analysis of a prospective observational study of sleep in a single academic medical ICU (MICU). Perceived sleep quality was assessed using the Richards-Campbell Sleep Questionnaire (RCSQ) and delirium was assessed using the Confusion Assessment Method for the ICU (CAM-ICU). Other covariates included demographics, pre-hospitalization ambulation status, ICU admission diagnosis, daily mechanical ventilation status, and daily administration of benzodiazepines and opioids via bolus and continuous infusion. Associations with participation in PT interventions were assessed among patients eligible for PT using a multinomial Markov model with robust variance estimates.

Results: Overall, 327 consecutive MICU patients completed ≥1 assessment of perceived sleep quality. After adjusting for all covariates, daily assessment of perceived sleep quality was not associated with transitioning to participate in PT the following day (relative risk ratio [RRR] 1.02, 95 % CI 0.96–1.07, p = 0.55). However, the following factors had significant negative associations with participating in subsequent PT interventions: delirium (RRR 0.58, 95 % CI 0.41–0.76, p <0.001), opioid boluses (RRR 0.68, 95 % CI 0.47–0.99, p = 0.04), and continuous sedation infusions (RRR 0.58, 95 % CI 0.40–0.85, p = 0.01). Additionally, in patients with delirium, benzodiazepine boluses further reduced participation in subsequent PT interventions (RRR 0.25, 95 % CI 0.13–0.50, p <0.001).

Conclusions: Perceived sleep quality was not associated with participation in PT interventions the following day. However, continuous sedation infusions, opioid boluses, and delirium, particularly when occurring with administration of benzodiazepine boluses, were negatively associated with subsequent PT interventions and represent important modifiable factors for increasing participation in ICU-based PT interventions.

Read the full article here