Risk Stratification in Pediatric Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

This study aims to describe the epidemiology of patients with PARDS across Asia and evaluate whether the Pediatric Acute Lung Injury Consensus Conference risk stratification accurately predicts outcome in PARDS | Critical Care Medicine

Objectives: The Pediatric Acute Lung Injury Consensus Conference developed a pediatric specific definition for acute respiratory distress syndrome (PARDS). In this definition, severity of lung disease is stratified into mild, moderate, and severe groups. We aim to describe the epidemiology of patients with PARDS across Asia and evaluate whether the Pediatric Acute Lung Injury Consensus Conference risk stratification accurately predicts outcome in PARDS.


Measurements and Main Results: Data on epidemiology, ventilation, adjunct therapies, and clinical outcomes were collected. Patients were followed for 100 days post diagnosis of PARDS. A total of 373 patients were included. There were 89 (23.9%), 149 (39.9%), and 135 (36.2%) patients with mild, moderate, and severe PARDS, respectively. The most common risk factor for PARDS was pneumonia/lower respiratory tract infection (309 [82.8%]). Higher category of severity of PARDS was associated with lower ventilator-free days (22 [17-25], 16 [0-23], 6 [0-19]; p < 0.001 for mild, moderate, and severe, respectively) and PICU free days (19 [11-24], 15 [0-22], 5 [0-20]; p < 0.001 for mild, moderate, and severe, respectively). Overall PICU mortality for PARDS was 113 of 373 (30.3%), and 100-day mortality was 126 of 317 (39.7%). After adjusting for site, presence of comorbidities and severity of illness in the multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression model, patients with moderate (hazard ratio, 1.88 [95% CI, 1.03-3.45]; p = 0.039) and severe PARDS (hazard ratio, 3.18 [95% CI, 1.68, 6.02]; p < 0.001) had higher risk of mortality compared with those with mild PARDS.

Conclusions: Mortality from PARDS is high in Asia. The Pediatric Acute Lung Injury Consensus Conference definition of PARDS is a useful tool for risk stratification.

Full reference: Wong, J, J-M. et al. (2017) Risk Stratification in Pediatric Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: A Multicenter Observational Study. Critical Care Medicine. Published online: July 26 2017



Identifying barriers to early mobilisation among mechanically ventilated patients

Mechanically ventilated patients can be at risk for functional decline. Early mobilisation of mechanically ventilated patients can improve outcomes after critical illness to prevent this decline | Intensive & Critical Care Nursing


Aim: The aim of this study is to examine whether nurses’ attitudes and beliefs are barriers for early mobilisation and evaluate whether an education intervention can improve early mobilisation.

Results: Dependent Sample T-test revealed a statistically significant increase in post-test responses for the subscales knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours with early mobilisation. This over-all increase in post-test results support that understanding barriers can improve patient outcomes.

Conclusion: Use of structured surveys to identify barriers for early mobilisation among nursing can assist in providing targeted education that address nurse’s perception. The education intervention appeared to have a positive impact on attitudes but it is unknown if the difference was sustained over time or affected participants practice or patient outcomes.

Full reference: Johnson, K. et al. (2017) Identifying barriers to early mobilisation among mechanically ventilated patients in a trauma intensive care unit. Intensive & Critical Care Nursing. Published online: 22 July 2017

A Review Of The Quality Of Care Provided To Patients Receiving Acute Non-Invasive Ventilation

This report focuses on the quality of acute non-invasive ventilation clinical care, for patients aged 16 years or older who are admitted to hospital | National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death 

inspiring change

Whilst this is a report looking at the care provided to patients receiving acute non- invasive ventilation (NIV), it must be noted that the most common condition that NIV is  used for in hospital is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD accounts for around 25% of deaths from lung disease, is the fifth biggest killer disease in the UK and with around 115,000 emergency hospital admissions per year is the second most common reason for hospital admission.

Approximately 20% of patients with COPD present to hospital in acidotic ventilatory failure (elevated carbon dioxide, CO2 ). Once CO2 levels have started to rise, a small
further reduction in breathing will lead to a larger rise in CO2 levels and worsening of acidosis. This leads to a downward spiral and eventually, coma and death. Rapid access to treatment as soon as possible after respiratory acidosis develops is therefore important. NIV can provide this support by using a mask or similar device to attach a
ventilator to the patient.

Effect of Intensive vs Moderate Alveolar Recruitment Strategies Added to Lung-Protective Ventilation on Postoperative Pulmonary Complications: A Randomised Clinical Trial

This randomised clinical trial by Costa Leme et al was published in JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association in April 2017.  The published copy is available in Rotherham Health Care Library.  The full text of the article can be accessed with a Rotherham NHS Athens Password via this link.

Perioperative lung-protective ventilation has been recommended to reduce pulmonary complications after cardiac surgery. The protective role of a small tidal volume (VT) has been established, whereas the added protection afforded by alveolar recruiting strategies remains controversial.

Objective:  To determine whether an intensive alveolar recruitment strategy could reduce postoperative pulmonary complications, when added to a protective ventilation with small VT.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  Randomized clinical trial of patients with hypoxemia after cardiac surgery at a single ICU in Brazil (December 2011-2014).

Interventions:  Intensive recruitment strategy (n=157) or moderate recruitment strategy (n=163) plus protective ventilation with small VT.

Outcomes and Measures:  Severity of postoperative pulmonary complications computed until hospital discharge, analyzed with a common odds ratio (OR) to detect ordinal shift in distribution of pulmonary complication severity score (0-to-5 scale, 0, no complications; 5, death). Prespecified secondary outcomes were length of stay in the ICU and hospital, incidence of barotrauma, and hospital mortality.

Results:  All 320 patients (median age, 62 years; IQR, 56-69 years; 125 women [39%]) completed the trial. The intensive recruitment strategy group had a mean 1.8 (95% CI, 1.7 to 2.0) and a median 1.7 (IQR, 1.0-2.0) pulmonary complications score vs 2.1 (95% CI, 2.0-2.3) and 2.0 (IQR, 1.5-3.0) for the moderate strategy group. Overall, the distribution of primary outcome scores shifted consistently in favor of the intensive strategy, with a common OR for lower scores of 1.86 (95% CI, 1.22 to 2.83; P = .003). The mean hospital stay for the moderate group was 12.4 days vs 10.9 days in the intensive group (absolute difference, -1.5 days; 95% CI, -3.1 to -0.3; P = .04). The mean ICU stay for the moderate group was 4.8 days vs 3.8 days for the intensive group (absolute difference, -1.0 days; 95% CI, -1.6 to -0.2; P = .01). Hospital mortality (2.5% in the intensive group vs 4.9% in the moderate group; absolute difference, -2.4%, 95% CI, -7.1% to 2.2%) and barotrauma incidence (0% in the intensive group vs 0.6% in the moderate group; absolute difference, -0.6%; 95% CI, -1.8% to 0.6%; P = .51) did not differ significantly between groups.

Conclusions and Relevance:  Among patients with hypoxemia after cardiac surgery, the use of an intensive vs a moderate alveolar recruitment strategy resulted in less severe pulmonary complications while in the hospital.

Patients’ experience of thirst while being conscious and mechanically ventilated

Kjeldsen, C.L. et al. Nursing in Critical Care. Published online: 25 January 2017


Background: Because of changes in sedation strategies, more patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) are conscious. Therefore, new and challenging tasks in nursing practice have emerged, which require a focus on the problems that patients experience. Thirst is one such major problem, arising because the mechanical ventilator prevents the patients from drinking when they have the urge to do so. To gain a deeper understanding of the patients’ experiences and to contribute new knowledge in nursing care, this study focuses on the patients’ experiences of thirst during mechanical ventilation (MV) while being conscious.

Conclusion: Patients associate feelings of desperation, anxiety and powerlessness with the experience of thirst. These feelings have a negative impact on their psychological well-being. A strategy in the ICU that includes no sedation for critically ill patients in need of MV introduces new demands on the nurses who must care for patients who are struggling with thirst.

Relevance to clinical practice: This study shows that despite several practical attempts to relieve thirst, it remains a paramount problem for the patients. ICU nurses need to increase their focus on issues of thirst and dry mouth, which are two closely related issues for the patients. Communication may be a way to involve the patients, recognize and draw attention to their problem.

Read the full abstract here

Does ventilator-associated event surveillance detect ventilator-associated pneumonia in intensive care units? A systematic review and meta-analysis

Fan, Y. et al. Critical Care. Published online: 24 October 2016

Background: Ventilator-associated event (VAE) is a new surveillance paradigm for monitoring complications in mechanically ventilated patients in intensive care units (ICUs). The National Healthcare Safety Network replaced traditional ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) surveillance with VAE surveillance in 2013. The objective of this study was to assess the consistency between VAE surveillance and traditional VAP surveillance.

Methods: We systematically searched electronic reference databases for articles describing VAE and VAP in ICUs. Pooled VAE prevalence, pooled estimates (sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV)) of VAE for the detection of VAP, and pooled estimates (weighted mean difference (WMD) and odds ratio ([OR)) of risk factors for VAE compared to VAP were calculated.

Results: From 2191 screened titles, 18 articles met our inclusion criteria, representing 61,489 patients receiving mechanical ventilation at ICUs in eight countries. The pooled prevalence rates of ventilator-associated conditions (VAC), infection-related VAC (IVAC), possible VAP, probable VAP, and traditional VAP were 13.8 %, 6.4 %, 1.1 %, 0.9 %, and 11.9 %, respectively. Pooled sensitivity and PPV of each VAE type for VAP detection did not exceed 50 %, while pooled specificity and NPV exceeded 80 %. Compared with VAP, pooled ORs of in-hospital death were 1.49 for VAC and 1.76 for IVAC; pooled WMDs of hospital length of stay were −4.27 days for VAC and −5.86 days for IVAC; and pooled WMDs of ventilation duration were −2.79 days for VAC and −2.89 days for IVAC.

Conclusions: VAE surveillance missed many cases of VAP, and the population characteristics identified by the two surveillance paradigms differed. VAE surveillance does not accurately detect cases of traditional VAP in ICUs.

Read the full article here

Dexmedetomidine Use in Critically Ill Children With Acute Respiratory Failure

This research by Grant et al was published online in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine in September 2016.  The full text of the article is available to subscribers via this link.  Registered members of the library can request the full text online via this link

Objective: Care of critically ill children includes sedation but current therapies are suboptimal. To describe dexmedetomidine use in children supported on mechanical ventilation for acute respiratory failure.

Design: Secondary analysis of data from the Randomized Evaluation of Sedation Titration for Respiratory Failure clinical trial.

Patients and Setting: Data from 2,449 children; 2 weeks to 17 years old in thirty one PICUs.

Interventions: Sedation practices were unrestrained in the usual care arm. Patients were categorized as receiving dexmedetomidine as a primary sedative, secondary sedative, periextubation agent, or never prescribed. Dexmedetomidine exposure and sedation and clinical profiles are described.

Measurements and Main Results: Of 1,224 usual care patients, 596 (49%) received dexmedetomidine. Dexmedetomidine as a primary sedative patients (n = 138; 11%) were less critically ill (Pediatric Risk of Mortality III-12 score median, 6 [interquartile range, 3-11]) and when compared with all other cohorts, experienced more episodic agitation. In the intervention group, time in sedation target improved from 28% to 50% within 1 day of initiating dexmedetomidine as a primary sedative. Dexmedetomidine as a secondary sedative usual care patients (n = 280; 23%) included more children with severe pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome or organ failure. Dexmedetomidine as a secondary sedative patients experienced more inadequate pain (22% vs 11%) and sedation (31% vs 16%) events. Dexmedetomidine as a periextubation agent patients (n = 178; 15%) were those known to not tolerate an awake, intubated state and experienced a shorter ventilator weaning process (2.1 vs 2.3 d).

Conclusions: Our data support the use of dexmedetomidine as a primary agent in low criticality patients offering the benefit of rapid achievement of targeted sedation levels. Dexmedetomidine as a secondary agent does not appear to add benefit. The use of dexmedetomidine to facilitate extubation in children intolerant of an awake, intubated state may abbreviate ventilator weaning. These data support a broader armamentarium of pediatric critical care sedation.