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Category: Acute Care Cardiology

Authors: Rousse N, Robin E, Juthier F, Hysi I, Banfi C, Al Ibrahim M, Coadou H, Goldstein P, Wiel E, Vincentelli A.

Reference: Artif Organs. 2016 Sep;40(9):904-9

Out-of-Hospital refractory Cardiac Arrest (OHrCA) has a mortality rate between 90 and 95%. Since 2009, French medical academic societies have recommended the use of extracorporeal life support (ECLS) for OHrCA. According to these guidelines, patients were eligible for ECLS support if vital signs were still present during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), or if cardiac arrest was secondary to intoxication or hypothermia (≤32°C). Otherwise, patients would receive ECLS if (i) no-flow duration was less than 5 min; (ii) time delays from CPR to ECLS start (low flow) were less than 100 min; and (iii) expiratory end tidal CO2 (ETCO2 ) was more than 10 mm Hg 20 min after initiating CPR. We have reported here our experience with ECLS in OHrCA according to the previous guidelines. We retrospectively analyzed mortality rates of patients supported with ECLS in case of OHrCA. From December 2009 to December 2013, 183 patients were assisted with ECLS, among which 32 cases were of OHrCA. Mean age for the OHrCA patients was 43.6 years. Over two-thirds were male (71.9%). Causes of OHrCA included intoxication, isolated hypothermia

The CJC supplement with our content is out.  Link to Jan 2017

Authors: Abawi M, Nijhoff F, Agostoni P, Emmelot-Vonk MH, de Vries R, Doevendans PA, Stella PR.

Reference: JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2016 Jan 25;9(2):160-8.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the incidence, predictive factors, and effect of post-operative delirium (POD) among patients treated by transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).
Patients undergoing operations that involve valve replacement appear at higher risk of POD than patients subjected to coronary artery bypass surgery alone. In patients with severe aortic stenosis undergoing TAVR, little is known regarding the potential impact of POD on the clinical outcomes.
A retrospective observational cohort study of 268 consecutive patients who underwent TAVR at our institute was conducted. Delirium was diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, 4th Edition criteria. The primary outcome of this study was the presence of in-hospital POD after TAVR.
The incidence of POD after TAVR was 13.4% (n = 36). Of these cases, 18 were associated with post-procedural complications, including major vascular complications/bleeding (n = 4), stroke (n = 3), acute kidney injury (n = 3), atrial fibrillation (n = 4), and infectious disease (n = 4). POD was most frequently diagnosed on the second day after TAVR (interquartile range [IQR]: 1 to 5 days) and was associated with prolonged in-hospital stay regardless of complications (in uncomplicated TAVR: 6 days [IQR: 5 to 10 days] vs. 5 days [IQR: 4 to 5 days]; p < 0.001; and in complicated TAVR: 9 days [IQR: 8 to 15 days] vs. 6 days [IQR: 5 to 9 days]; p < 0.001). Predictors of POD were nontransfemoral (transapical/transaortic) access (odds ratio [OR]: 7.74; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.26 to 18.1), current smoking (OR: 3.99; 95% CI: 1.25 to 12.8), carotid artery disease (OR: 3.88; 95% CI: 1.50 to 10.1), atrial fibrillation (OR: 2.74; 95% CI: 1.17 to 6.37), and age (OR: 1.08; 95% CI: 1.00 to 1.17, per year increase). After a median follow-up of 16 months (IQR: 6 to 27 months), POD remained an independent predictor of mortality in patients undergoing transfemoral TAVR compared with the nontransfemoral TAVR (hazard ratio: 2.81; 95% CI: 1.16 to 6.83 vs. hazard ratio: 0.43; 95% Cl: 0.10 to 1.76), adjusted for possible confounders in a time-dependent Cox-regression model (i.e., age, sex, Logistic EuroSCORE and the occurrence of complications). CONCLUSIONS: POD after TAVR has an incidence of around 13% and occurs early in the post-operative course. Nontransfemoral access is strongly associated with the occurrence of POD. Patients who develop POD show prolonged in-hospital stay and impaired long-term survival. Copyright © 2016 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. KEYWORDS: post-operative delirium; transcatheter aortic valve replacement

Authors: Schmidt GA, Girard TD, Kress JP, Morris PE, Ouellette DR, Alhazzani W, Burns SM, Epstein SK, Esteban A, Fan E, Ferrer M, Fraser GL, Gong M, Hough C, Mehta S, Nanchal R, Patel S, Pawlik AJ, Sessler CN, Strøm T, Schweickert W, Wilson KC, Truwit JD.

Reference: Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2016 Oct 20

This clinical practice guideline addresses six questions related to liberation from mechanical ventilation in critically ill adults. It is the result of a collaborative effort between the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST).
A multi-disciplinary panel posed six clinical questions in a Population, Intervention, Comparator and Outcomes (PICO) format. A comprehensive literature search and evidence synthesis was performed for each question, which included appraising the certainty in the evidence (i.e., the quality of evidence) using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation) approach. The Evidence-to-Decision Framework was applied to each question, requiring the panel to evaluate and weigh the: importance of the problem, confidence in the evidence, certainty about how much the public value the main outcomes, magnitude and balance of desirable and undesirable outcomes, resources and costs associated with the intervention, impact on health disparities, and acceptability and feasibility of the intervention.
Evidence-based recommendations were formulated and graded, initially by subcommittees and then modified following full panel discussions. The recommendations were confirmed by confidential electronic voting; approval required that at least 80% of the panel members agree with the recommendation.
The panel provides recommendations regarding liberation from mechanical ventilation. The details regarding the evidence and rationale for each recommendation are presented in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and CHEST.

Authors: Barsuk, Jeffrey H. MD, MS; Cohen, Elaine R. MEd; Nguyen, Duyhuu MD; Mitra, Debi MD; O’Hara, Kelly MD; Okuda, Yasuharu MD; Feinglass, Joe PhD; Cameron, Kenzie A. PhD, MPH; McGaghie, William C. PhD; Wayne, Diane B. MD

Reference: Critical Care Medicine October 2016 Vol. 44 - Issue 10: p 1871–1881

Central venous catheter insertions may lead to preventable adverse events. Attending physicians’ central venous catheter insertion skills are not assessed routinely. We aimed to compare attending physicians’ simulated central venous catheterinsertion performance to published competency standards.

Prospective cohort study of attending physicians’ simulated internal jugular and subclavian central venous catheter insertion skills versus a historical comparison group of residents who participated in simulation training.

Fifty-eight Veterans Affairs Medical Centers from February 2014 to December 2014 during a 2-day simulation-based education curriculum and two academic medical centers in Chicago.

A total of 108 experienced attending physicians and 143 internal medicine and emergency medicine residents.


Using a previously published central venous catheter insertion skills checklist, we compared Veterans Affairs Medical Centers attending physicians’ simulated central venous catheter insertion performance to the same simulated performance by internal medicine and emergency medicine residents from two academic centers. Attending physician performance was compared to residents’ baseline and posttest (after simulation training) performance. Minimum passing scores were set previously by an expert panel. Attending physicians performed higher on the internal jugular (median, 75.86% items correct; interquartile range, 68.97-86.21) and subclavian (median, 83.00%; interquartile range, 59.00-86.21) assessments compared to residents’ internal jugular (median, 37.04% items correct; interquartile range, 22.22-68.97) and subclavian (median, 33.33%; interquartile range, 0.00-70.37; both p < 0.001) baseline assessments. Overall simulated performance was poor because only 12 of 67 attending physicians (17.9%) met or exceeded the minimum passing score for internal jugular central venous catheter insertion and only 11 of 47 (23.4%) met or exceeded the minimum passing score for subclavian central venous catheter insertion. Resident posttest performance after simulation training was significantly higher than attending physician performance (internal jugular: median, 96%; interquartile range, 93.10-100.00; subclavian: median, 100%; interquartile range, 96.00-100.00; both p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates highly variable simulated central venous catheter insertion performance among a national cohort of experienced attending physicians. Hospitals, healthcare systems, and governing bodies should recognize that even experienced physicians require periodic clinical skill assessment and retraining.

Authors: Vincent JL, Pelosi P, Pearse R, Payen D, Perel A, Hoeft A, Romagnoli S, Ranieri VM, Ichai C, Forget P, Della Rocca G, Rhodes A.

Reference: Crit Care. 2015 May 8;19:224.

A significant number of surgical patients are at risk of intra- or post-operative complications or both, which are associated with increased lengths of stay, costs, and mortality. Reducing these risks is important for the individual patient but also for health-care planners and managers. Insufficient tissue perfusion and cellular oxygenation due to hypovolemia, heart dysfunction or both is one of the leading causes of perioperative complications. Adequate perioperative management guided by effective and timely hemodynamic monitoring can help reduce the risk of complications and thus potentially improve outcomes. In this review, we describe the various available hemodynamic monitoring systems and how they can best be used to guide cardiovascular and fluid management in the perioperative period in high-risk surgical patients.

Authors: Cropsey C, Kennedy J, Han J, Pandharipande P.

Reference: Semin Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2015 Dec;19(4):309-17

Neurologic injury in the form of cognitive decline, delirium, and stroke are common phenomena in patients undergoing cardiac surgery and continues to be one of the most common complication after cardiac surgery, in spite of improvements in mortality and and improved surgical and anesthetic techniques. These complications lead to a significant increase in length of stay in the intensive care unit, increased length of hospital admission, and functional impairment, resulting in not only profound negative effects on patients who experience these complications, but also to increased costs of medical care and delivery. We discuss each of these complications in regard to their risks factors, incidence, potential therapeutic modalities, and relevant intraoperative and postoperative considerations.

Authors: Marik PE

Reference: Crit Care Med. 2016 Oct;44(10):1920-2.

No abstract

Authors: Opfermann, Philipp MD; Bevilacqua, Michele MD; Felli, Alessia MD; Mouhieddine, Mohamed Eng; Bachleda, Teodor MD; Pichler, Tristan MD; Hiesmayr, Michael MD; Zuckermann, Andreas MD; Dworschak, Martin MD; Steinlechner, Barbara MD

Reference: Crit Care Med. 2016 Aug 5.

Objective: The prognostic impact of thrombocytopenia in patients supported by extracorporeal membrane oxygenation after cardiac surgery is uncertain. We investigated whether thrombocytopenia is independently predictive of poor outcome and describe the incidence and time course of thrombocytopenia in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients.

Design: Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data.

Setting: Cardiosurgical ICU at a tertiary referral center.

Patients: Three hundred adult patients supported with venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for more than 24 hours because of refractory cardiogenic shock after heart surgery between January 2001 and December 2014.

Interventions: None.

Measurements and Main Results: Two-way analysis of variance was used to compare the time course of platelet count changes between survivors and nonsurvivors. Using multiple Cox regression with time-dependent covariates, we investigated the impact of platelet count on 90-day mortality. In nonsurvivors, the daily incidence of moderate (< 100 – 50 x 109/L), severe (49 – 20 x 109/L), and very severe (< 20 x 109/L) thrombocytopenia was 50%, 54%, and 7%, respectively. Platelet count had a biphasic temporal pattern with an initial decrease until day 4-5 after the initiation of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Although a significant recovery of the platelet count was observed in survivors, a recovery did not occur in nonsurvivors (p = 0.0001). After adjusting for suspected confounders, moderate, severe, and very severe thrombocytopenia were independently associated with 90-day mortality. The highest risk was associated with severe (hazard ratio, 5.9 [2.7-12.6]; p < 0.0001) and very severe thrombocytopenia (hazard ratio, 25.9 [10.7-62.9], p < 0.0001). Conclusion: Thrombocytopenia is an independent risk factor for poor outcome in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients after cardiac surgery, with persistent severe thrombocytopenia likely reflecting a high degree of physiologic imbalance.

Authors: Boyd JH, Sirounis D, Maizel J, Slama M.

Reference: Crit Care. 2016 Sep 4;20:274.

In critically ill patients at risk for organ failure, the administration of intravenous fluids has equal chances of resulting in benefit or harm. While the intent of intravenous fluid is to increase cardiac output and oxygen delivery, unwelcome results in those patients who do not increase their cardiac output are tissue edema, hypoxemia, and excess mortality. Here we briefly review bedside methods to assess fluid responsiveness, focusing upon the strengths and pitfalls of echocardiography in spontaneously breathing mechanically ventilated patients as a means to guide fluid management. We also provide new data to help clinicians anticipate bedside echocardiography findings in vasopressor-dependent, volume-resuscitated patients.

To review bedside ultrasound as a method to judge whether additional intravenous fluid will increase cardiac output. Special emphasis is placed on the respiratory effort of the patient.

Point-of-care echocardiography has the unique ability to screen for unexpected structural findings while providing a quantifiable probability of a patient’s cardiovascular response to fluids. Measuring changes in stroke volume in response to either passive leg raising or changes in thoracic pressure during controlled mechanical ventilation offer good performance characteristics but may be limited by operator skill, arrhythmia, and open lung ventilation strategies. Measuring changes in vena caval diameter induced by controlled mechanical ventilation demands less training of the operator and performs well during arrythmia. In modern delivery of critical care, however, most patients are nursed awake, even during mechanical ventilation. In patients making respiratory efforts we suggest that ventilator settings must be standardized before assessing this promising technology as a guide for fluid management.

Echocardiography; Point-of-care ultrasound; Resuscitation; Shock