Background Information: Delirium is defined as an acute disorder of consciousness which can occur in up to 80% of mechanically ventilated ICU patients.1-5 This acute cognitive dysfunction is associated with prolonged hospital stay, increased mortality, longer periods of mechanical ventilation and long-term cognitive impairment compared to patients without delirium.4-8 Haloperidol, remains one of the most commonly used typical antipsychotics used to treat delirium internationally and within the United States.9,10 The Society of Critical Care Medicine’s recent guidelines do not suggest the use of Haloperidol in the prevention or treatment of delirium11 and understandably so as two randomized trials showed no reduction in duration of ICU delirium.5,12 Alternative therapies for delirium include atypical antipsychotics such as ziprasidone, however the literature shows conflicting evidence, with one study showing a benefit and another showing no effect.5,13 The authors of this study sought to examine the effects of these two treatments in a large multicenter, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Read more →
Tag Archive for: Critical Care
If you mainly treat adults or both adults and children like me, then you have probably heard the (very annoying) quote, “kids are not just small adults”, and so I won’t say it again. Well, I guess I just did, but at least I wont stop at this quote, but attempt to explain how kids are not small adults, and how this may impact their care in the emergency department and the intensive care unit.
Nearly all organ systems of young children are immature and developing throughout childhood and on into adulthood, including the cardiovascular system. Without a basic understanding of the key physiologic differences, the emergency and intensive care physicians will be ill equipped to care for the critical ill child.
To understand how kids with shock present differently than adults, it’s important to discuss a few basic differences regarding intravascular volume and cardiovascular system in children especially neonates and infants (1-24 months of age). Also remember shock is defined the exact same way as it would be in adults even though the presentation and underlying physiology may differ. Shock is simply a state where tissue/organ blood flow is inadequate to meet tissue/organ metabolic demands. Read more →
During a busy resuscitation it behooves the ED resuscitationist to avoid ordering therapies that have no clear benefit to their patients. Our nurses are overburdened, and adding interventions ‘just to be safe’ or ‘because we always do it’ is a great way to overwhelm our nursing colleagues. Bicarb administration is a contentious issue and many clinicians consider its use to fall firmly into the no-benefit camp, even when used in the management of severe metabolic acidosis. There have been no studies to date evaluating clinical outcomes with the use of sodium bicarbonate infusion therapy for severe metabolic acidemia, until now. This post is a review of the recently published BICAR-ICU trial Read more →
Choosing Your Initial Settings: I hope you now see what physiologies to consider when setting up the ventilator and your goals for each. If your patient doesn’t fit into one of these three categories, then I set up my ventilator as if I was managing a patient who has refractory hypoxemia to maintain a lung protective strategy even if they don’t think they have very significant lung disease. Maintaining a lung protective strategy with low tidal volume ventilation has been shown to decrease ventilator induced lung injury and minimize harm, even in patients without refractory hypoxemia and ARDS (1-2). Read more →
The use of heated and humidified high flow nasal cannula has become increasing popular in the treatment of patients with acute respiratory failure through all age groups. In part 1 we summarized how High Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC) works. In part 2, we will discuss the main indications for its use in adult and pediatric patients. Read more →