Category Archives: issue

Transplant Critical Care: Is There A Need for Sub-specialized Units? — A Perspective

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2018-0014

The critical care involved in solid-organ transplantation (SOT) is complex. Pre-, intra- and post-transplant care can significantly impact both – patients’ ability to undergo SOT and their peri-operative morbidity and mortality. Much of the care necessary for medical optimization of end-stage organ failure (ESOF) patients to qualify and then successfully undergo SOT, and the management of peri-operative and/or long-term complications thereafter occurs in an intensive care unit (ICU) setting. The current literature specific to critical care in abdominal SOT patients was reviewed. This paper provides a contemporary perspective on the potential multifactorial advantages of sub-specialized transplant critical care units in providing efficient, comprehensive, and collaborative multidisciplinary care.

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Emerging Infection with Elizabethkingia meningoseptica in Neonate. A Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2018-0013

Background: Elizabethkingia meningoseptica are Gram-negative rod bacteria which are commonly found in the environment. The bacteria have also been associated with nosocomial infections, having been isolated on contaminated medical equipment, especially in neonatal wards.
Case report: Here, we present the case of a premature female infant born at 33 weeks’ gestational age, with neonatal meningitis. The onset was marked by fever, in the 5th day of life, while in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The patient was commenced on Gentamicin and Ampicillin, but her clinical condition worsened. Psychomotor agitation and food refusal developed in the 10th day of life, and a diagnosis of bacterial meningitis was made based on clinical and cerebrospinal fluid findings. A strain of Elizabethkingia meningoseptica sensitive to Vancomycin, Rifampicin and Clarithromycin was isolated from cerebrospinal fluid. First-line antibiotic therapy with Meropenem and Vancomycin was adjusted by replacing Meronem with Piperacillin/Tazobactam and Rifampicin. The patient’s clinical condition improved, although some isolated febrile episodes were still present. The cerebrospinal fluid was normalized after 6 weeks of antibiotic treatment, although periventriculitis and tetraventricular hydrocephalus were revealed by imaging studies. Neurosurgical drainage was necessary.
Conclusion: Elizabethkingia meningoseptica can cause severe infection, with high risk of mortality and neurological sequelae in neonates. Intensive care and multidisciplinary interventions are crucial for case management.

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Effects of Fibrinogen Levels and Platelet Counts on Viscoelastic Testing in Cirrhotic Patients

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2018-0012

Introduction. Cirrhotic patients have been considered for decades to have a pro-haemorrhagic pattern and were treated as such based on the results from standard coagulation tests. The aim of our study was to determine the effects of platelet count and fibrinogen levels on rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM) parameters.
Methods. We prospectively included 176 patients with End-Stage Liver Disease (ESLD) admitted to our Intensive Care Unit prior to liver transplantation. Collected data consisted of severity scores, liver, renal and standard coagulation tests, fibrinogen levels, platelet counts and ROTEM parameters. Four ROTEM assays were performed (ExTEM, InTEM, ApTEM and FibTEM) and the following parameters included: CT – clotting time, CFT – clot formation time, MCF – maximum clot firmness, ML – maximum lysis, alpha angle, TPI – thrombin potential index, MaxV – maximum velocity of clot formation (MaxV), MaxVt – time to MaxV, MCE- maximum clot elasticity and AUC – area under the curve.
Results. Statistical analysis demonstrated a linear correlation between platelet counts and ExTEM TPI (R2 linear =0.494), ExTEM MaxV (R2 linear =0.253), ExTEM MCE (R2 linear = 0.351) and ExTEM MCF (R2 cubic = 0.498). Fibrinogen levels correlated linearly with ExTEM MCF (R2 linear = 0.426), ExTEM TPI (R2 linear = 0.544), ExTEM MaxV (R2 linear = 0.332), ExTEM MCE (R2 linear = 0.395) and non-linearly with ExTEM CFT (R2 cubic = 0.475).
Conclusion. Fibrinogen levels and platelet counts had an important effect on both standard and derived ROTEM parameters. Further analysis is required in order to determine clinically oriented cut-off values below which severe coagulopathy would develop.

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Endotracheal Tube Biofilm and its Impact on the Pathogenesis of Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2018-0011

Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a common and serious nosocomial infection in mechanically ventilated patients and results in high mortality, prolonged intensive care unit- (ICU) and hospital-length of stay and increased costs. In order to reduce its incidence, it is imperative to better understand the involved mechanisms and to identify the source of infection. The role of the endotracheal tube (ET) in VAP pathogenesis became more prominent over the last decades, along with extensive research dedicated to medical device-related infections and biofilms. ET biofilm formation is an early and constant process in intubated patients. New data regarding its temporal dynamics, composition, germ identification and consequences enhance knowledge about VAP occurrence, microbiology, treatment response and recurrence.
This paper presents a structured analysis of the medical literature to date, in order to outline the role of ET biofilm in VAP pathogenesis and to review recommended methods to identify ET biofilm microorganisms and to prevent or decrease VAP incidence.

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Incidental Finding of a Left Atrial Myxoma while Characterising an Autoimmune Disease

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2018-0009

Although cardiac tumours are uncommon, cardiac myxomas account for more than fifty percent of all cases and are the most frequent primary cardiac tumour. They have a broad clinical spectrum, usually related to cardiac symptoms, peripheral embolic events or systemic manifestations. We present a case report of a 68-year-old man who presented with systemic symptoms and analytical features suggestive of an autoimmune disease. In the ensuing diagnostic procedures, a cardiac myxoma was found, and after surgical resection, both the systemic manifestations and the analytical abnormalities disappeared.

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Resistance to Antimicrobians – A Global Problem with Sectoral Resolution

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2018-0010

Mankind has been and still is constantly threatened by infectious diseases. Antimicrobials, used to treat infections, are considered one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century because they saved millions of lives from diseases that had a high mortality rate. Mankind has been and is still constantly threatened by infectious diseases. Antimicrobials, used to treat infections, are considered one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century because they saved millions of lives from diseases that had a high mortality rate. Current infectious pathology is worryingly extending due mainly to “globalization”, which confirms the current concept of “Infections Without Borders”. In this context, both the consumption of antimicrobial substances and, inherently, the resistance of the main pathogens involved have increased. Unfortunately, antimicrobials have become victims of their success because their abusive use in humans and animals has led to the emergence of resistance among clinically important pathogens. Each dose of antibiotic creates selective evolutionary pressures, resulting in pandemic spread of highly resistant bacterial clones. Resistance to antibiotics is one of the greatest threats to human health. A return to the pre-antibiotic era would not only make possible the development of epidemics caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria, a major threat to the population, but would also jeopardize some of the most valuable therapies in modern medicine, such as transplantation and immunosuppressive chemotherapy programmes –dependent on supportive antimicrobial treatments. [More]

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Perioperative Stress-Induced (Takotsubo) Cardiomyopathy in Liver Transplant Recipients

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2018-0006

A comprehensive analysis of published cases of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, occurred in liver transplant recipients in the perioperative period, has been attempted in this review. Predisposing factors, precipitating events, potential physiological mechanisms, acute and post-event management have been discussed.

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Severe Fatal Systemic Embolism Due to Non-Bacterial Thrombotic Endocarditis as the Initial Manifestation of Gastric Adenocarcinoma: Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2018-0008

Introduction: Nonbacterial thrombotic endocarditis (NBTE), also known as marantic endocarditis, is a rare, underdiagnosed complication of cancer, in the context of a hypercoagulable state. NBTE represents a serious complication due to the high risk of embolisation from the sterile cardiac vegetations. If these are not properly diagnosed and treated, infarctions in multiple arterial territories may occur.
Case presentation: The case of a 47-year-old male is described. The patient was diagnosed with a gastric adenocarcinoma, in which the first clinical manifestation was NBTE. Subsequently, a hypercoagulability syndrome was associated with multi-organ infarctions, including stroke and eventually resulted in a fatal outcome.
Conclusions: NBTE must be considered in patients with multiple arterial infarcts with no cardiovascular risk factors, in the absence of an infectious syndrome and negative blood cultures. Cancer screening must be performed to detect the cause of the prothrombotic state.

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Post-Pneumonectomy ARDS and Ogilvie Syndrome – A Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2018-0007

Introduction: The Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is a severe hypoxemic acute lung injury that may complicate lung resections. Reported mortality is very high, up to 50%. This report covers an ARDS case occurring post left pneumonectomy, with a favorable outcome, despite association with an acute colonic pseudo-obstruction syndrome (Ogilvie syndrome) that required abdominal surgery for decompression.
Case report: A 60-year old Caucasian male, diagnosed with a stage IIIA left lung tumor underwent a left pneumonectomy. On the second postoperative day, the patient developed ARDS, requiring ventilatory support. Two days later, as the multiple organ dysfunction worsened, a bowel obstruction occurred. With an acute colonic pseudo-obstruction diagnosis, the decision was to perform laparotomy and a temporary cecostomy. A subsequent improvement in the respiratory parameters and vital functions resulted in weaning from ventilator 8 days after the onset of the ARDS and transfer to the surgery ward 14 days after pneumonectomy.

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