High versus low mean arterial pressures in hepatorenal syndrome: A randomized controlled pilot trial

There is controversy regarding the mean arterial pressure (MAP) goals that should be targeted in the treatment of hepatorenal syndrome (HRS.) We conducted a study to assess different MAP targets in HRS in the intensive care unit (ICU).
Materials and methods:  This is a prospective randomized controlled pilot trial. ICU patients had target mean arterial pressure (MAP) ≥ 85 mmHg (control arm) or 65–70 mmHg (study arm). Urine output and serum creatinine were trended and recorded.
Results:  A total of 18 patients were enrolled. The day four urine output in the high and low MAP group was 1194 (SD = 1249) mL/24 h and 920 (SD = 812) mL/24 h, respectively. The difference in day four – day one urine output was −689 (SD = 1684) mL/24 h and 272 (SD = 582) mL/24 h for the high and low MAP groups. The difference in serum creatinine at day four – day one was −0.54 (SD = 0.63) mg/dL and − 0.77 (SD = 1.14) mg/dL in the high and low MAP groups, respectively.
Conclusion:  In this study, we failed to prove non-inferiority between a low and high target MAP in patients with HRS.
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Development and daily use of a numeric rating score to assess sleep quality in ICU patients

This publication by Rood and colleagues appeared online in Journal of Critical Care during April 2019.
Purpose:  Insufficient sleep burdens critically ill patients, optimizing sleep may enhance patient’s outcomes. Current assessment methods may unnecessary burden patients. Therefore, a single numeric rating score was validated for sleep assessment.
Materials and methods:  First, two cross-sectional measurements on two separate days, from cooperative patients from 19 centres assessed their sleep sufficiency, the numeric rating score (NRS) and the Richards Campbell Sleep Questionnaire (RCSQ). Assessments were compared using a Bland Altman plot. A NRS cut-off was determined using regression analysis. Second, daily sleep assessment was implemented and monitored single centre for a year.
Results:  Multicentre, 194 patients assessed sleep quality, of which 53% was rated as sufficient. Mean (±SD) difference between RCSQ and NRS-Sleep using Bland-Altman analysis was 0.25 (±1.21, 95% limits of agreement −2.12 to 2.62). The optimal cut-off was >5. Single centre, 1603 patients ranked 4532 ICU nights of sleep, of which 71% was sufficient; median NRS was 6 [IQR 5–7].
Conclusions:  A single numeric rating score for sleep is interchangeable for the RCSQ score for assessment of sleep quality. Optimal cut-off is >5. Use of a numeric rating score for sleep is a practical way to evaluate and monitor sleep as perceived by patients in daily ICU practice.
The full text of this article is available to subscribers via this link to the journal’s homepage.  The full text of articles from issues older than sixty days is available via this link to an archive of issues of Journal of Critical Care.  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.

Effect of physostigmine on recovery from septic shock following intra-abdominal infection – Results from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, monocentric pilot trial (Anticholium® per Se)

This research by Pinder et al was published online during April 2019 in the Journal of Critical Care.
Purpose:  The cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway has been shown to be accessible by physostigmine salicylate in animal models. However, the cholinesterase inhibitor is not approved for adjunctive therapy in sepsis, and tolerability and safety of high initial doses followed by continuous infusion have not been investigated.
Materials and methods:  In this trial, 20 patients with perioperative septic shock due to intra-abdominal infection were eligible. The physostigmine group received an initial dose of 0.04 mg/kg physostigmine salicylate, followed by continuous infusion of 1 mg/h for 120 h; the placebo group was treated with 0.9% sodium chloride. Primary outcome was the mean Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score during treatment and up to 14 days.
Results:  Administration of physostigmine salicylate was well tolerated. Mean SOFA scores were 8.9 ± 2.5 and 11.3 ± 3.6 (mean ± SD) for physostigmine and placebo group, respectively. Adjusted for age, difference between means was not statistically significant (−2.37, 95% CI: -5.43 to 0.70, p = 0.121). Norepinephrine doses required only appeared lower in the physostigmine group (p = 0.064), along with a more rapid reduction from an elevated heart rate possibly indicating less hemodynamic instability.
Conclusions:  Treatment with physostigmine salicylate was feasible and safe. Further studies are justified to assess the effect on recovery from septic shock.
The full text of this article is available to subscribers via this link to the journal’s homepage.  The full text of articles from issues older than sixty days is available via this link to an archive of issues of Journal of Critical Care.  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.

Meaningful experiences and end-of-life care in the intensive care unit: A qualitative study

This article by Stokes and colleagues was online during April 2019 in “Intensive and Critical Care Nursing”.
Objectives:  The purpose of this study was to provide a comprehensive exploration of nurses’ meaningful experiences of providing end-of-life care to patients and families in the intensive care unit (ICU). The objectives of this research were: (1) To explore what is meaningful practice for nurses regarding end-of-life care; (2) To describe how nurses create a good death in the intensive care unit and (3) To identify the challenges that nurses face that affect their meaningful experiences and ultimately the creation of a good death.
Research design:  This study utilised an interpretive phenomenological approach using Van Manen’s (1997) method.
Setting:  In-depth, face-to-face interviews were conducted with six intensive care nurses employed in a 32-bed medical/surgical intensive care unit of an academic tertiary care centre in Canada.
Findings:  The overarching theme from the analysis of this experience was “being able to make a difference” which was intricately woven around contributing to a good death. Three main themes were identified and included: creating a good death, navigating the challenges and making it work.
Conclusion:  The findings reveal how intensive care nurses provide good end-of-life care and create good deaths for patients and families.
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Early target attainment of continuous infusion piperacillin/tazobactam and meropenem in critically ill patients: A prospective observational study

This article by Hay and others was published on line in the Journal of Critical Care during April 2019.
Purpose:  To evaluate target attainment of empirically dosed continuous infusion piperacillin/tazobactam (TZP) and meropenem (MER) in critically ill patients.
Patients and methods:  Patients were sampled on a daily basis. TZP or MER concentrations were evaluated during the first two days antibiotic therapy. The lower limit of the target range was defined as unbound concentrations equaling 4 times the epidemiological cutoff value of P. aeruginosa. The upper limit of the target range was based on the risk of toxicity, i.e. unbound concentrations >160 mg/L for TZP and > 45 mg/L for MER. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate factors associated with target attainment.
ResultsData from 253 patients were analyzed. Overall, 76/205 (37.1%) and 36/48 (75%) of the patients receiving TZP or MER respectively, attained target concentrations. In multivariable analysis, estimated creatinine clearance was identified as a risk factor for target non-attainment (OR 0.988, 95%CI [0.982;0.994]). Patients receiving MER were more likely to attain target concentrations compared with patients receiving TZP (OR 6.02, 95%CI [2.12;18.4]).
ConclusionTarget attainment of empiric antibiotic therapy in critically ill patients was low (37%) for TZP and moderate (75%) for MER, despite the use of a loading dose and despite optimization of the mode of infusion.
The full text of this article is available to subscribers via this link to the journal’s homepage.  The full text of articles from issues older than sixty days is available via this link to an archive of issues of Journal of Critical Care.  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.

The hospital-based evaluation of laxative prophylaxis in ICU (HELP-ICU): A pilot cluster-crossover randomized clinical trial

This article by Hay and colleagues was published online in the Journal of Critical Care in April 2019.
Purpose:  Prophylactic laxative regimens may prevent constipation but may increase diarrhea and subsequent rectal tube insertion. Our aim was to compare three prophylactic laxative regimens on the rate of rectal tube insertion (primary outcome) and major constipation- or diarrhea-associated complications.
Material and Methods:  We conducted a cluster-crossover trial. Three pods in a single ICU were each randomized to one of three regimens for four months with rolling cross-over. All mechanically-ventilated and enterally-fed adult patients received either regimen: A) one coloxyl with senna BD from day one; B) two coloxyl with senna +20 ml lactulose BD commencing on day 3; or C) two coloxyl with senna tablets +20 ml lactulose BD commencing on day 6.
Results:  We enrolled 570 patients (A = 170, B = 205, C = 195) with similar baseline features. Overall, 53 (9.3%) patients received a rectal tube, and insertion rate was not statistically different between the three regimens (A = 12.9%, B = 7.8%, C = 7.7%; p = 0.15). The proportions of patients with other major constipation- or diarrhea-associated complications were similar, as were major patient-centred outcomes. Including mortality.
Conclusion:  Earlier commencement of a prophylactic coloxyl-based laxative regimen (day 1 or 3) did not affect the rates of complications associated with constipation or diarrhea when compared to delayed introduction (day 6).
The full text of this article is available to subscribers via this link to the journal’s homepage.  The full text of articles from issues older than sixty days is available via this link to an archive of issues of Journal of Critical Care.  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.

Differences in prevalence of ICU protocols between neurologic and non-neurologic patient populations

This research was published by Billington and colleagues in the Journal of Critical Care during March 2019
Purpose:  To compare the differences in the presence of protocols aimed at addressing complications for neurologically injured patients vs. non-neurologic injured patients in a large sample of ICUs across the United States.
Materials and methods:  Prospective observational multi-center cohort study. This was a subgroup analysis of the multi-centered prospective observational cohort study of medical, surgical, and mixed intensive care units from across the country. USCIITG-CIOS study group.
Results:  Sixty-nine ICUs participated in the study of which 25 (36%) were medical, 24 were surgical (35%) and 20 (29%) were of mixed type, and 64 (93%) were in teaching hospitals. There were 6179 patients across all sites with 1266 (20.4%) with central nervous system diagnoses. Protocol utilization in central nervous system vs. non- central nervous system patients was as follows: Sedation interruption 973/1266 (76.9%) vs. 3840/4913 (78.2%) (p = .32); acute lung injury ventilation 847/1266 (66.9%) vs. 4069/4913 (82.8%) (p < .0001); ventilator associated pneumonia 1193/1266 (94.2%) vs. 4760/4913 (96.9%) (p < .0001); ventilator weaning 1193/1266 (94.2%) vs. 4490/4913 (91.4%) (p = .0009); and early mobility 378/1266 (29.9%) vs. 1736/4913 (35.3%) (p = .0002).
Conclusion:  In this cohort, we found differences in the prevalence of respiratory illness prevention protocols between critically ill patients with neurologic illness and the general critically ill population.
The full text of this article is available to subscribers via this link to the journal’s homepage.  The full text of articles from issues older than sixty days is available via this link to an archive of issues of Journal of Critical Care.  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.