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May 1, 2015

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  • Assessment, Prevention, and Treatment of Delirium in the ICU

    A review of the latest Society of Critical Care Medicine clinical practice guidelines.

  • Does Functional Ability Prior to an ICU Admission Influence Outcomes in Older Adults?

    The impact of an older person’s functional status prior to experiencing hospitalization for a critical illness is difficult to determine. Given that ICU admission is generally an unplanned event, obtaining prospective evaluations of function prior to a critical illness or injury is almost impossible. Most evidence to date has utilized proxy reports for a patient’s functional status to determine what, if any, pre-ICU disability may have on an older adult’s outcomes after hospitalization for a critical illness or injury.

  • Neuromuscular Blockade and Successful Endotracheal Intubation

    Previous studies have shown the utility of neuromuscular blocking agents for endotracheal intubation in the operating room and emergency department. However, airway management in the ICU often involves unplanned, emergent intubations under suboptimal conditions. This study asked whether NMBAs improved first attempt success of intubations in the ICU. Additionally, these authors asked whether succinylcholine or rocuronium improved first attempt success and the effects of NMBA on intubations using video laryngoscopy.

  • Corticosteroids in Severe Community-Acquired Pneumonia: The Controversy Continues

    Treatment failure in hospitalized patients with severe community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is associated with an excessive inflammatory response and worse outcomes. Torres and colleagues sought to determine the effect of corticosteroids in patients with severe CAP and a significant inflammatory response. In this multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 120 severe CAP patients with C-reactive protein (CRP) levels >150 mg/L were randomized to receive either an IV methylprednisolone bolus of 0.5 mg/kg every 12 hours or placebo. Treatment began within 36 hours of hospital admission and lasted for 5 days. Severe CAP was defined as two out of the three minor criteria independently associated with severity including PaO2 /FiO2 < 250, multilobar involvement, and systolic blood pressure < 90 mmHg, or one out of two major criteria, including a requirement for mechanical ventilation or septic shock.1 Risk class V for the Pneumonia Severity Index was also considered severe CAP.2 The primary outcome was early or late treatment failure. Early treatment failure was defined as the development of shock, need for mechanical ventilation not present at baseline, or death within 72 hours of treatment. Late treatment failure was defined as radiographic progression, persistence of severe respiratory failure, development of shock, need for invasive mechanical ventilation not present at baseline, or death between 72 hours and 120 hours after treatment.