The latest medical research on Critical Care

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about critical care gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Infective Endocarditis as a Cause of Critical Illness, In-hospital Mortality, and Complications.

Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

Critical illness due to infective endocarditis (IE) has high in-hospital mortality. Besides being a cause of sepsis, this disease has the potential nature to affect multiple organs.

Data for 84 patients managed at the critical care medicine unit at Cairo University for 7 years were surveyed for IE using modified Dukes criteria. Among the patient group with a verified diagnosis of IE, patient characteristics (age and comorbidities), the grade of diagnosis, the blood culture result, echocardiographic findings, minor diagnostic signs (fever, presence of prosthetic valves and pacemaker, vascular phenomena, immunologic phenomena) and clinical complications (heart failure, septic shock, neurologic complications renal failure) were studied regarding their association to in-hospital mortality. Incidence of clinical complications was compared to the control group with sepsis due to other causes.

The mortality rate in the IE group is 18.8%. Factors showing significant association to in-hospital mortality are; septic shock p = 0.01, neurological complications p = 0.025 (especially cerebral hemorrhage p = 0.025), indicated non-performed surgery p = 0.008, and presence of underlying heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), p = 0.002. Incidence of clinical complications showed no significant difference in IE patients and patients with other causes of sepsis except heart failure which showed significantly increased incidence in the IE group, p = 0.004.

Septic shock, neurological complications, indicated nonperformed surgery, and presence of underlying HFrEF are in-hospital mortality risk factors in critically ill patients due to IE. In-hospital mortality and clinical complication incidence (except heart failure) are similar to other causes of sepsis.

Ayad RD, Andraos AW, Taema KAE, Attia IM, Yehia M. Infective Endocarditis as a Cause of Critical Illness, In-hospital Mortality, and Complications. Indian J Crit Care Med 2022;26(8):930-934.

A Double-blind Multicenter Two-arm Randomized Placebo-controlled Phase-III Clinical Study to Evaluate the Effectiveness and Safety of Thymosin α1 as an Add-on Treatment to Existing Standard of Care Treatment in Moderate-to-severe COVID-19 Patients.

Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

From an epidemic outbreak, coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has quickly developed. Thymosin α1 (Tα1) has the ability to boost the T-cell numbers, support T-cell differentiation, maturation, and reduce cell apoptosis. In this study, we have investigated the efficacy and safety of Tα1 in moderate-to-severe COVID-19 patients.

In this double-blind, multicenter, two-arm, randomized, placebo-controlled, phase III clinical study, patients were randomized to receive either Tα1 or placebo in combination with standard of care (SOC). The data on all-cause mortality, clinical progression/deterioration, duration of hospital/intensive care unit (ICU) stay, and safety data were collected. The patients were telephonically followed up on Day 28.

A total of (n = 105) COVID-19 patients were included in the study, of which 40 and 65 were severe and moderate, respectively. Thymosin arm (11.1%) had a statistically lower death rate in comparison to the placebo arm (38.5%). A total of 67 adverse events were reported in 42 patients among 105 dosed patients during the study. Among them, 43 adverse events were of mild in nature, 16 adverse events were of moderate in nature, and 8 serious adverse events (death) occurred during the study.

This study provides evidence that Tα1 can lower death rate in severe COVID-19 patients, reduce the load on hospitals by shortening the required number of days of hospitalization and help in abbreviating the requirement of oxygen support by positively impacting the recovery rate and time taken for recovery.

Shetty A, Chandrakant NS, Darnule RA, Manjunath BG, Sathe P. A Double-blind Multicenter Two-arm Randomized Placebo-controlled Phase-III Clinical Study to Evaluate the Effectiveness and Safety of Thymosin α1 as an Add-on Treatment to Existing Standard of Care Treatment in Moderate-to-severe COVID-19 Patients. Indian J Crit Care Med 2022;26(8):913-919.

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation in Severe Pulmonary Forms of Leptospirosis: A Report of Two Cases.

Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

Pulmonary involvement in leptospirosis is common. Severe pulmonary forms of leptospirosis (SPFL) carry high mortality. We report two cases of an otherwise healthy adult male from the western suburbs of India, admitted with severe pulmonary hemorrhage with extremely poor oxygenation. Veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) was used as the last-rescue life-saving measure. Both the patients showed good pulmonary recovery within 2 weeks. Despite having thrombocytopenia, we experienced lesser bleeding complications requiring transfusions during the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) period.

Sen S, Goyal A, Lokhande V. Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation in Severe Pulmonary Forms of Leptospirosis: A Report of Two Cases. Indian J Crit Care Med 2022;26(8):966-969.

Viewpoint: Weak Scientific Basis for the Recommendation of Executive Summary of Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines 2021.

Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

The Executive summary of Sepsis 2021 was published recently, which for the first time, recommended that in septic shock, the vasopressor infusion should be commenced through a peripherally inserted venous catheter (PiVC) for up to 6 hours. We discuss the scientific basis for such a recommendation regarding the safety of vasopressor infusion through a peripherally inserted vascular catheter or the accepted duration.

Nath SS, Nachimuthu N. Viewpoint: Weak Scientific Basis for the Recommendation of Executive Summary of Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines 2021. Indian J Crit Care Med 2022;26(8):898-899.

Elizabethkingia meningoseptica Infections: A Case Series from a Tertiary Hospital in South Tamil Nadu.

Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

Elizabethkingia meningoseptica is an opportunistic pathogen increasingly reported as hospital-acquired infection. Here, we report a series of cases of eight patients with invasive E. meningoseptica infections over a period of 27 months in a tertiary teaching hospital from South India. Age range was 45 days to 84 years, median 66 years, with male preponderance. Associated risk factors included recent hospitalization with surgeries, diabetes mellitus, renal failure, mechanically ventilated, and central line. All isolates were susceptible to minocycline. Combination therapy with ciprofloxacin and piperacillin tazobactam was most common. Six recovered and two patients were lost to follow-up.

Ganesan V, Sundaramurthy R. Elizabethkingia meningoseptica Infections: A Case Series from a Tertiary Hospital in South Tamil Nadu. Indian J Crit Care Med 2022;26(8):958-960.

Utility of the One-time HACOR Score as a Predictor of Weaning Failure from Mechanical Ventilation: A Prospective Observational Study.

Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

To determine the utility of the HACOR score in predicting weaning failure in resource-limited settings.

The primary objective was to determine a cut-off value of the HACOR score, sensitivity, and specificity to predict failed weaning. The secondary objective was to determine which out of five components of the score was significantly different between the successful weaning and the failed weaning groups.

Most weaning indices are either inaccurate or are dependent on complex ventilatory parameters, which are difficult to measure in resource-limited settings. This study aimed to determine the utility of the HACOR score consisting of heart rate, acidosis, consciousness level, oxygenation, and respiratory rate as a predictor of weaning in the intensive care unit.

It was a prospective observational study on 120 patients between 18 and 90 years. The HACOR score was evaluated at 30 minutes of spontaneous breathing trial (SBT). The total duration of SBT was 120 minutes.

Out of 120 patients, 83 (69.2%) had successful weaning, whereas 37 (30.8%) had weaning failure. The median and interquartile range (IQR) of the HACOR score in the successful weaning group was 2 (0-3) and 6 (5-8) in the failed weaning group (p-value <0.001). There was a significant difference in each of the five components of the HACOR score between the successful and failed weaning groups (p <0.05). HACOR score ≥5 predicted failed weaning, sensitivity 83.8%, specificity 96.4%, area under the curve (AUC) 0.950, and 95% confidence interval (CI) [0.907-0.993], p <0.001. Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that HACOR score ≥5 is an independent predictor of weaning failure [p <0.001, 95% CI (1.9-4.2), adjusted odds ratio 2.82].

A HACOR score ≥5 is an excellent predictor of weaning failure. This score may be useful as a weaning strategy in the intensive care unit.

Chaudhuri S, Gupta N, Adhikari SD, Todur P, Maddani SS, Rao S. Utility of the One-time HACOR Score as a Predictor of Weaning Failure from Mechanical Ventilation: A Prospective Observational Study. Indian J Crit Care Med 2022;26(8):900-905.

Prior to the commencement of the study, Institutional Ethics Committee permission was obtained (IEC: 197/2021) and Clinical Trial Registry of India (CTRI) registration was done before recruitment (CTRI/2021/07/035139). We obtained written informed consent from the legally authorized representative prior to recruiting patients for the study.

Inadvertent Vertebral Vein Cannulation: Anatomical Considerations and Practical Aspects.

Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

A routine vascular procedure, the central venous catheterization requires recognition of malposition to avoid its serious sequelae. This case report discusses the complications encountered following presumed right internal jugular vein cannulation in a trauma patient. Cervical spine imaging done as part of a trauma protocol revealed a catheter in the right vertebral vein. Inadvertently mispositioned catheter emphasizes the significance of ultrasound-guided central vein catheterization even if the cannulation is done using standard anatomical landmarks.

Vadi S. Inadvertent Vertebral Vein Cannulation: Anatomical Considerations and Practical Aspects. Indian J Crit Care Med 2022;26(8):956-957.

Impact of Family Presence on Delirium in Critically Ill Patients: A Retrospective Cohort Study.

Critical Care Medicine

To assess the effect of family presence on the prevalence and duration of delirium in adults admitted to an ICU.

None.

The association between family presence and delirium prevalence differed according to admission type and admission Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). Among medical and emergency surgical patients irrespective of admission GCS, physical presence of family was not significantly associated with the prevalence of delirium. In elective surgical patients, physical presence of family was associated with decreased prevalence of delirium in patients with intact Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS = 15; adjusted odds ratio, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.39-0.97; p = 0.02). Physical presence of family (adjusted mean difference [AMD] -1.87 d; 95% CI, -2.01 to -1.81; p < 0.001) and telephone calls (AMD -1.41 d; 95% CI, -1.52 to -1.31; p < 0.001) were associated with decreased duration of delirium in all patients.

The effects of family presence on delirium are complex and dependent on type of visitation, reason for ICU admission, and brain function on ICU admission.

Risk Factors and Clinical Outcomes of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia Infections: Scenario in a Tertiary Care Center from South India.

Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, a gram-negative non-fermenter has evolved from a colonizer to a significant pathogen over the last decade. It resides in various ecological niches both inside and outside the hospital settings. Infections due to S. maltophilia can be life-threatening, especially in immunocompromised patients. S. maltophilia is intrinsically resistant to most of the antibiotics, which limits treatment options. There are several risk factors involved. The present study was done to assess the risk factors and clinical outcomes associated with S. maltophilia blood stream infections and non-blood stream infections.

Varshini MK, Ganesan V, Sundaramurthy R, Rajendran T. Risk Factors and Clinical Outcomes of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia Infections: Scenario in a Tertiary Care Center from South India. Indian J Crit Care Med 2022;26(8):935-937.

The Use of IV Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (Aviptadil) in Patients With Critical COVID-19 Respiratory Failure: Results of a 60-Day Randomized Controlled Trial.

Critical Care Medicine

Respiratory failure is a lethal complication of COVID-19 that has remained resistant to drug therapy. Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is shown in nonclinical studies to upregulate surfactant production, inhibit cytokine synthesis, prevent cytopathy, and block replication of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 virus in pulmonary cells. The study aims to determine whether Aviptadil (synthetic VIP) can improve survival and recovery in patients with COVID-19 respiratory failure compared with placebo and demonstrate biological effects in such patients.

Participants were randomized 2:1 to receive 3 days of IV Aviptadil or placebo.

The primary end point (alive and free from respiratory failure at day 60) did not reach statistical significance (odds ratio [OR], 1.6; 95% CI, 0.86-3.11) for patients treated with Aviptadil when controlling for baseline ventilation status as prespecified in the protocol. There was, however, a statistically significant two-fold odds of improved survival (OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.1-3.9) at 60 days (p = 0.035). There was significant improvement in respiratory distress ratio and reduced interleukin 6 cytokine release (p = 0.02) by day 3.Subgroup analysis identified a statistically significant likelihood of achieving primary end point among those treated with high-flow nasal oxygen at baseline (p = 0.039). Subjects on mechanical ventilation also experienced a 10-fold increased odds of survival with drug versus placebo (p = 0.031).

The primary end point did not reach statistical significance, indicating that there was no difference between Aviptadil versus placebo. However, Aviptadil improves the likelihood of survival from respiratory failure at day 60 in critical COVID-19 across all sites of care. Given the absence of drug-related serious adverse events and acceptable safety profile, we believe the benefit versus risk for the use of Aviptadil is favorable for patient treatment.

Bedside Lung Ultrasound as an Independent Tool to Diagnose Pneumonia in Comparison to Chest X-ray: An Observational Prospective Study from Intensive Care Units.

Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

Diagnosing pneumonia is challenging because of multiple differential diagnosis. Bedside lung ultrasound (BLUS) is a safe, portable, rapid and inexpensive new modality to diagnose pneumonia. This study was aimed to evaluate the sensitivity of BLUS vs chest X-ray (CXR) to diagnose community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) using computed tomography (CT) scans as the gold standard.

An observational cross-sectional study was conducted in selected intensive care units (ICUs). Eligible 85 adult patients with symptoms suggestive of pneumonia as per 2007 Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), American Thoracic Society (ATS) criteria, and 2D echocardiography were enrolled consecutively by using convenient sampling technique. Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay for SARS-associated coronavirus was sent with in 1 hour followed by BLUS and CXR within 24 hours of ICU admission. The final confirmation of CAP was done by a thoracic CT scan.

Bedside lung ultrasound vs CXR could detect 74 vs 58 cases out of 84 confirmed cases. Sensitivity and specificity of BLUS vs CXR was 88.1% vs 67.8% and 100% vs 0%, respectively. Moreover, LR+ and LR- for BLUS was found to be 0 and 0.12 in comparison to 0.68 and 0 for CXR. The area under receiver operator characteristics (ROC) curve for BLUS vs CXR was 0.94 (95% CI 0.0-1.0) with p = 0.13 and 0.66 (95% CI 0.12-1.0) with p = 0.58. There was a significant agreement between diagnostic accuracy of BLUS and CT scan [kappa value (κ) = 0.14, p = 0.009], whereas CXR could not establish its diagnostic efficiency (κ = -0.023, p = 0.493). Sonographic features of pneumonia were B-lines, shred, and hepatization signs.

It is observed that BLUS showed higher sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic accuracy as compared to CXR to diagnose pneumonia.

Dhawan J, Singh G. Bedside Lung Ultrasound as an Independent Tool to Diagnose Pneumonia in Comparison to Chest X-ray: An Observational Prospective Study from Intensive Care Units. Indian J Crit Care Med 2022;26(8):920-929.

Oxygen Cylinder Fire during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in the massive utilization of oxygen cylinders during the treatment of patients. This rapid turnover has necessitated their frequent replacements. Infection control measures have encouraged the use of alcohol-based sanitizers. Over-enthusiastic or inappropriate use of these solutions may increase the risk of fire. We report an unfortunate incident of accidental fire arising out from the integration of fuel, a source of ignition, and oxygen. We also discuss the proper practices to minimize such mishaps.

Paliwal B, Kothari N, Purohit A. Oxygen Cylinder Fire during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Indian J Crit Care Med 2022;26(8):974-975.