Non-opioid analgesics as adjuvants to opioid for pain management in adult patients in the ICU: A systematic review and meta-analysis

This research by Zhao and colleagues was published online in the Journal of Critical Care during August 2018.
Purpose:  To identify the impact of non-opioid analgesics as adjuvants to opioid on opioid consumption and its side effects, as well as the analgesic effectiveness in adult patients in the ICU.
Methods:  Only randomized clinical trials using non-opioid analgesics for analgesia in the ICU were included. Pooled analyses with 95% CI were determined.
Results:  Twelve studies (mainly surgical and Guillain-Barre syndrome patients) were included. Non-opioid analgesics as adjuvants to opioid were associated with a significant reduction in the consumption of opioids when compared with opioid use alone at Day 1 (MD -15.40; 95% CI -22.41 to −8.39; P< .001) and Day 2 (MD -22.93; 95% CI -27.70 to −18.16; P< .001). Non-opioid analgesics as adjuvants to opioid were associated with a significantly lower incidence of nausea and vomiting when compared with opioid use alone (RR 0.46; 95% CI 0.30 to 0.68; P< .001). Non-opioid analgesics as adjuvants to opioid significantly decreased the pain score at Day 1 (MD -0.68; 95% CI -1.28 to −0.08; P = .03) and Day 2 (MD -1.36; 95% CI -2.47 to −0.24; P = .02).
Conclusions:  Non-opioid analgesics as adjuvants to opioid reduced the consumption and the side effects of opioids in adult surgical and Guillain-Barre syndrome patients in the ICU.
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.

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Risk factors for new-onset atrial fibrillation on the general adult ICU: A systematic review

This article by Bedford and others was first published online in the Journal of Critical Care during June 2019.
Purpose:  This study was performed to systematically review the available evidence for the risk factors for NOAF on the general adult intensive care unit (ICU) and provide a semi-quantitative evidence synthesis.
Methods:  We searched the MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and the CENTRAL databases from 1970 to 2018.
We included studies of adults based in general ICUs that evaluated potential risk factors for new-onset atrial fibrillation. We excluded studies involving patients with a history of AF.
We semi-qualitatively evaluated the strength of evidence for each identified variable.
Results:  We screened 1447 studies. Seventeen studies were included in the final analysis. We identified strong evidence for age, male sex, preceding cardiovascular disease, acute renal failure, acute respiratory failure, APACHE score and the use of vasopressors as risk factors for the development of NOAF on the ICU. Modifiable risk factors had not been studied in detail.
Conclusions:  We provide the first systematic review with evidence synthesis of risk factors for NOAF on the general adult ICU. Evidence for modifiable risk factors was limited. Further research is therefore required and may contribute towards the evidence-based prevention and management of this important condition.
The full text of this article is fully available to all.

Efficacy of music on sedation, analgesia and delirium in critically ill patients. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials

This article by Gonzalo and colleagues was published online in June 2019 in the Journal of Critical Care.
Purpose:  To systematically synthesize randomized controlled trial data on the efficacy of music to provide sedation and analgesia, and reduce incidence of delirium, in critically ill patients.
Material and methods:  Relevant databases (Medline, PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane, Alt Healthwatch, LILACS, PsycINFO, CAIRSS, RILM) were searched from inception to April 26, 2018. We also searched the reference lists of included publications and for ongoing trials. The selection of relevant articles was conducted by two researchers at two levels of screening.
Data collection followed the recommendations from the Cochrane Systematic Reviews Handbook. We used the Cochrane Collaboration’s tool for assessing risk of bias. Quality of the evidence was rated according to GRADE.
Results:  The review identified six adult studies and no neonatal or pediatric studies. A descriptive analysis of study results was performed. Meta-analysis was not feasible due to heterogeneity. One study reported a reduction in sedation requirements with the use of music while the other five did not find any significant differences across groups.
Conclusions:  This systematic review revealed limited evidence to support or refute the use of music to reduce sedation/analgesia requirements, or to reduce delirium in critically ill adults, and no evidence in pediatric and neonatal critically ill patients.
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.

High flow nasal cannula compared with conventional oxygen therapy for acute hypoxemic respiratory failure: a systematic review and meta-analysis

This article was published on-line in Intensive Care Medicine during April 2019 by Rochwerg and colleagues.
Background:  This systematic review and meta-analysis summarizes the safety and efficacy of high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) in patients with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure.
Methods:  We performed a comprehensive search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Web of Science. We identified randomized controlled trials that compared HFNC to conventional oxygen therapy. We pooled data and report summary estimates of effect using relative risk for dichotomous outcomes and mean difference or standardized mean difference for continuous outcomes, with 95% confidence intervals. We assessed risk of bias of included studies using the Cochrane tool and certainty in pooled effect estimates using GRADE methods.
Results:  We included 9 RCTs (n = 2093 patients). We found no difference in mortality in patients treated with HFNC (relative risk [RR] 0.94, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.67–1.31, moderate certainty) compared to conventional oxygen therapy. We found a decreased risk of requiring intubation (RR 0.85, 95% CI 0.74–0.99) or escalation of oxygen therapy (defined as crossover to HFNC in the control group, or initiation of non-invasive ventilation or invasive mechanical ventilation in either group) favouring HFNC-treated patients (RR 0.71, 95% CI 0.51–0.98), although certainty in both outcomes was low due to imprecision and issues related to risk of bias. HFNC had no effect on intensive care unit length of stay (mean difference [MD] 1.38 days more, 95% CI 0.90 days fewer to 3.66 days more, low certainty), hospital length of stay (MD 0.85 days fewer, 95% CI 2.07 days fewer to 0.37 days more, moderate certainty), patient reported comfort (SMD 0.12 lower, 95% CI 0.61 lower to 0.37 higher, very low certainty) or patient reported dyspnea (standardized mean difference [SMD] 0.16 lower, 95% CI 1.10 lower to 1.42 higher, low certainty). Complications of treatment were variably reported amongst included studies, but little harm was associated with HFNC use.
Conclusion:  In patients with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure, HFNC may decrease the need for tracheal intubation without impacting mortality.
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Utility of pleural effusion drainage in the ICU: An updated systematic review and META-analysis

This research by Vetrugno and colleagues was published online in the “Journal of Critical Care” in March 2019.
Purpose:  The effects on the respiratory or hemodynamic function of drainage of pleural effusion on critically ill patients are not completely understood. First outcome was to evaluate the PiO2/FiO2 (P/F) ratio before and after pleural drainage. Secondary outcomes: evaluation of A-a gradient, End-Expiratory lung volume (EELV), heart rate (HR), mean arterial pressure (mAP), left ventricular end-diastolic volume (LVEDV), stroke volume (SV), cardiac output (CO), ejection fraction (EF), and E/A waves ratio (E/A). A tertiary outcome: evaluation of pneumothorax and hemothorax complications.
Materials and methods:  Searches were performed on MEDLINE, EMBASE, COCHRANE LIBRARY, SCOPUS and WEB OF SCIENCE databases from inception to June 2018 (PROSPERO CRD42018105794).
Results:  We included 31 studies (2265 patients). Pleural drainage improved the P/F ratio (SMD: −0.668; CI: -0.947–0.389; p < .001), EELV (SMD: -0.615; CI: -1.102–0.219; p = .013), but not A-a gradient (SMD: 0.218; CI: -0.273-0.710; p = .384). HR, mAP, LVEDV, SV, CO, E/A and EF were not affected. The risks of pneumothorax (proportion: 0.008; CI: 0.002–0.014; p = .138) and hemothorax (proportion: 0.006; CI: 0.001–0.011; p = .962) were negligible.
Conclusions:  Pleural effusion drainage improves oxygenation of critically ill patients. It is a safe procedure. Further studies are needed to assess the hemodynamic effects of pleural drainage.
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.

Sodium bicarbonate therapy for critically ill patients with metabolic acidosis: A scoping and a systematic review

This article by Fujii and colleagues was published online in the Journal of Critical Care during February 2019.
Purpose:  We aimed to assess the biochemical and physiological effects, clinical efficacy, and safety, of intravenous NaHCO3 therapy in critically ill patients with acute metabolic acidosis.
Methods:  We conducted a scoping review concerning the biochemical and physiological effects of NaHCO3 (PART A), and a systematic review regarding clinical efficacy (PART B). We searched MEDLINE in Part A and MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane, the National Institute of Health Clinical Trials Register, and the WHOICTRP for randomised controlled trials in Part B.
Results:  Twelve studies in Part A and two trials in Part B fulfilled the eligibility criteria. Intravenous NaHCO3 increased blood pH, base excess, serum bicarbonate, sodium, and PaCO2 during and after administration and decreased anion gap and potassium value. For clinical efficacy, only one study contributed to the effect estimate. The risk ratio (RR) for all-cause mortality was 0.83 (95% confidence interval, 0.68 to 1.02), and the risk of hypocalcaemia was increased in the bicarbonate group (RR 1.65, 95% confidence interval 1.09 to 2.50). There were inadequate data on hemodynamic indices.
Conclusions:  Given the lack of data on the effects of intravenous NaHCO3 therapy to support its clinical use and the frequency of bicarbonate therapy, a program of investigation appears justified.
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.

Parenteral calcium for intensive care unit patients

This Cochrane Systematic Review was published in October 2018.
Background:  Hypocalcemia is prevalent among critically ill patients requiring intensive care. Several epidemiological studies highlight a direct association between hypocalcemia and mortality. These data provide the impetus for current guidelines recommending parenteral calcium administration to normalize serum calcium. However, in light of the considerable variation in the threshold for calcium replacement, the lack of evidence to support a causal role of hypocalcemia in mortality, and animal studies illustrating that calcium supplementation may worsen outcomes, a systematic review is essential to evaluate whether or not the practice of calcium supplementation for intensive care unit (ICU) patients provides any benefit.
Objectives:  To assess the effects of parenteral calcium administration in ICU patients on the following outcomes: mortality, multiple organ dysfunction, ICU and hospital length of stay, costs, serum ionized calcium concentration, and complications of parenteral calcium administration.
Search methods:  We searched The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Current Controlled Trials, and the National Research Register. We hand‐searched conference abstracts from the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, the American Thoracic Surgery, the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Chest Physicians, the American College of Physicians, and the International Consensus Conference in Intensive Care Medicine. We checked references of publications and attempted to contact authors to identify additional published or unpublished data.
Selection criteria:  Randomised controlled and controlled clinical trials of ICU patients comparing parenteral calcium chloride or calcium gluconate administration with no treatment or placebo.
Data collection and analysis:  Two reviewers independently applied eligibility criteria to trial reports for inclusion and extracted data.
Main results:  There are no identifiable studies that have evaluated the association between parenteral calcium supplementation in critically ill ICU patients and the following outcomes: mortality, multiple organ dysfunction, ICU and hospital length of stay, costs, and complications of calcium administration. Serum ionized calcium concentration was reported in 5 studies (12 trial arms, 159 participants). These trials showed a small but significant increase in serum ionized calcium concentration after calcium administration. These trials showed considerable statistical heterogeneity and differed extensively in the population studied (adult versus neonate), the indication (hypocalcemia versus prophylaxis) and threshold of hypocalcemia for which parenteral calcium was administered, and the timing of subsequent measurement of serum ionized calcium concentration to the extent that we consider a pooled estimate almost inappropriate.
Authors’ conclusions:  There is no clear evidence that parenteral calcium supplementation impacts the outcome of critically ill patients.
The full text of this Cochrane Systematic Review is available via this link.