December Issue of “Intensive Care Medicine” Volume 44 Number 12

To access Intensive Care Medicine’s latest issue’s contents page follow this link.
Articles published in this issue include “Association of social deprivation with 1-year outcome of ICU survivors: results from the FROG-ICU study”, “Unrecognised myocardial infarction and its relationship to outcome in critically ill patients with cardiovascular disease” and “Restricted fluid resuscitation in suspected sepsis associated hypotension (REFRESH): a pilot randomised controlled trial”.
To access the full text of these articles via the journal’s homepage you require a personal subscription to the journal. Some articles may be available freely without a password.  Library members can order individual articles via the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust Library and Knowledge Service using the article requests online via this link.
The full text of articles from issues older than one year ago is available via this link to an archive of issues of Intensive Care Medicine. A Rotherham NHS Athens password is required.  Eligible staff can register for an Athens password via this link.  Please speak to the library staff for more details.

Fecal microbiota transplantation for multiple organ dysfunction syndrome

Klingensmith, N.J. & Coopersmith, C.M. Critical Care. Published online: 19 December 2016


Approximately 40 trillion bacteria reside inside the human intestine, meaning there are at least as many cells of microbial origin as human origin. While it was once believed that bacteria and humans simply co-existed in the same space, a wide body of evidence now suggests that host–microbial communication is more complex than ever imagined and the microbiome plays a critical role in maintaining host homeostasis. The microbiome is also altered in multiple disease states, including heart disease , cancer, and Clostridium difficile infection, with changes detectable in microbial composition, number, diversity, and virulence compared to healthy controls. While the majority of studies linking the microbiome to disease are associative, there is increasing evidence that the microbiome plays a crucial role in mediating the pathophysiology of multiple acute and chronic illnesses.

Read the full article here

Blood transfusion; NICE quality standard QS138 December 2016

This quality standard covers the general principles of blood transfusion in adults, young people and children over 1 year old. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement. It does not cover specific conditions that blood transfusion is used for.  This quality standard is reviewed each year and updated if needed.

The four quality statements included in the latest review:

Statement 1  People with iron-deficiency anaemia who are having surgery are offered iron supplementation before and after surgery.

Statement 2  Adults who are having surgery and expected to have moderate blood loss are offered tranexamic acid.

Statement 3  People are clinically reassessed and have their haemoglobin levels checked after each unit of red blood cells they receive, unless they are bleeding or are on a chronic transfusion programme.

Statement 4  People who may need or who have had a transfusion are given verbal and written information about blood transfusion.

Use this link for more details about this quality standard.  Follow this link for a full list of NICE Guidance published in December 2016.

Journal of Critical Care Volume 37 February 2017

The link allows you to access the content page of the latest issue.

This issue includes a special feature on “What is an intensive care unit? A report of the task force of the World Federation of Societies of Intensive and Critical Care Medicine” together with a range of articles on sepsis, pulmonary and outcomes.

To access the full text of these articles from the journal’s website you require your own subscription.  However, the full text of any articles can be ordered via the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust Library and Knowledge Service.  You can do this in person or if you are a registered member of the library you can use this link to a journal article request form.

How nurses support families of intensive care patients towards the end of life

Families of people dying in intensive care need to receive personalised communication and ongoing support, and be involved in the dying process | NIHR


Researchers gathered evidence on how nurses care for patients and their families in intensive care when life-sustaining treatment is withdrawn. The included studies explored the care of the family before, during and after the process. Most of the studies in this small, mixed methods review were qualitative.

Reviewers identified three main ways, or themes, in which families are supported. First, information and good communication, such as the focus on careful use of language, was seen commonly. Second, by careful management of treatment withdrawal itself, for example by clarifying the gradual change expected when medically focussed life-sustaining treatments are withdrawn and family centred end-of-life care begins. Lastly they described a common focus on making the nursing contribution more visible, such as using techniques to build lasting memories for families.


Read the full overview here

New blood draw protocol could minimize risk for critically ill children

Checklist-style guidelines decreased unnecessary blood culture collection by nearly half in study

C0009206 Test tubes for collecting blood
Image source: Wellcome Library // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Investigators say that safely reducing the frequency of blood draws in hospitalized children with fevers has historically not been a hospital priority despite the stress, pain and high rate of false positives associated with the procedure.

The researchers found that fostering cross-departmental collaboration and offering guidelines to clinicians helped reduce the number of unnecessary blood draws on some of the smallest and most vulnerable patients at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. Clinicians were able to accomplish an immediate reduction in unnecessary blood draws using the newly designed checklist protocols, and they were able to sustain the reduction over time.

Read the full overview here

Read the original research abstract here

Supporting Siblings of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Patients

Morrison, A. & Gullón-Riveraemail, A.L. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. Published online: December 12 2016


  • The article discusses the benefit of a Social Story™ to support siblings as an intervention approach within the NICU.
  • The Social Story™ approach is unique and differs from the formats of current children’s books about NICU.
  • This article provides an example of a NICU Social Story™ ready to implement with siblings of NICU patients.
  • Child Life Specialists can utilize Social Stories™ as educational tool to provide sibling and family support.

Read the abstract here

Therapeutic Hypothermia for Traumatic Brain Injury

Crompton, E et al. Critical Care Medicine. Published online: December 9 2016


Objective: Therapeutic hypothermia has been used to attenuate the effects of traumatic brain injuries. However, the required degree of hypothermia, length of its use, and its timing are uncertain. We undertook a comprehensive meta-analysis to quantify benefits of hypothermia therapy for traumatic brain injuries in adults and children by analyzing mortality rates, neurologic outcomes, and adverse effects.

Conclusions: Therapeutic hypothermia is likely a beneficial treatment following traumatic brain injuries in adults but cannot be recommended in children.

Read the full abstract here

Latest issue of “Intensive and Critical Care Nursing” Volume 38 Issue 1 February 2017

The current issue content page can be accessed via this link.

The articles contained in this issue include “Tissue interface pressure and skin integrity in critically ill, mechanically ventilated patients”, “Diagnosing delirium in very elderly intensive care patients”, “Perceived and actual noise levels in critical care units” and “Evaluation of current feeding practices in the critically ill: A retrospective chart review”.

To access the full text of these articles direct from the journal’s homepage requires a personal subscription.  Individual articles can be ordered via the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust Library and Knowledge Service.  Registered members of the library can make article requests online via this link.

Issues of Intensive and Critical Care Nursing from issue older than one year ago can have their full text accessed via this link.  A Rotherham NHS Athens password is required.  Eligible staff can register for an Athens password via this link.

Measuring Moral Distress Among Critical Care Clinicians

Lamiani, G. et al. Critical Care Medicine. Published online: December 7 2016

tied-up-1792237_960_720 (1).jpg

Objectives: Moral distress is a common experience among critical care professionals, leading to frustration, withdrawal from patient care, and job abandonment. Most of the studies on moral distress have used the Moral Distress Scale or its revised version (Moral Distress Scale-Revised). However, these scales have never been validated through factor analysis. This article aims to explore the factorial structure of the Moral Distress Scale-Revised and develop a valid and reliable scale through factor analysis.

Conclusions: The Italian Moral Distress Scale-Revised is a valid and reliable instrument to assess moral distress among critical care clinicians and develop tailored interventions addressing its different components. Further research could test the generalizability of its factorial structure in other cultures.

Read the full abstract here