Diabetic individuals are considered a vulnerable population during the COVID-19 Pandemic, and several studies noted worse outcomes, including death, among those who get infected. Diabetic emergencies, such as ketoacidosis (DKA), are common and potentially life-threatening conditions in uncontrolled patients. While the pathophysiological background of the relationship between COVID-19 and DKA is not fully understood, early reports available so far indicate that patients with pre-existing diabetes who get infected with the SARS-CoV 2 virus are at higher risk of DKA. It was also suggested that DKA is a poor prognostic sign for infected patients, these being at higher risk of developing worse forms of COVID-19 disease and having high mortality. Therefore, healthcare personnel dealing with such patients face a considerable challenge, as the correct and safe emergency management of such cases is far from established. This article aimed to conduct a study that reviews the current published data available about patients with DKA and COVID-19.
Despite substantial advancements in diagnosis and specific medical therapy in pulmonary arterial hypertension patients’ management, this condition continues to represent a major cause of mortality worldwide. In pulmonary arterial hypertension, the continuous increase of pulmonary vascular resistance and rapid development of right heart failure determine a poor prognosis. Against targeted therapy, patients inexorable deteriorate over time. Pulmonary arterial hypertension patients with acute right heart failure who need intensive care unit admission present a complexity of the disease pathophysiology. Intensive care management challenges are multifaceted. Awareness of algorithms of right-sided heart failure monitoring in intensive care units, targeted pulmonary hypertension therapies, and recognition of precipitating factors, hemodynamic instability and progressive multisystem organ failure requires a multidisciplinary pulmonary hypertension team. This paper summarizes the management strategies of acute right-sided heart failure in pulmonary arterial hypertension adult cases based on recently available data.
Objectives: This systematic review aims to evaluate and summarise the findings of all relevant studies which identified the effect of early vs delayed parenteral nutrition (PN), early PN vs early supplemental PN and early PN vs standard care for critically ill adults.
Methods: The literature search was undertaken using PubMed, Embase, Medline, Clinical Key, and Ovid discovery databases. The reference lists of studies published from 2000 till June 2020 were hand searched.
Result: On screening 2088 articles, a total of five RCTs with 6,277 patients were included in this review. Only one clinical trial compared early PN and late PN; the results reported significantly shorter periods in intensive care unit (ICU) stay (p=0.02) and less ICU related infections (p=0.008) in the late PN group compared to the Early PN group. Two trials compared total parenteral nutrition (TPN) and enteral nutrition (EN) +TPN groups. Both found a significantly longer hospital stay duration (p<0.05 and p<0.01) with a higher mortality rate in the TPN group compared to the EN+TPN group. A statistically significant improvement was observed in patients’ quality of life receiving early PN compared to standard care (p=0.01). In contrast, no significant difference was found in the supplemental PN vs the standard care group.
Conclusion: The supplemental PN patients had shorter ICU stay and lower mortality rates than TPN. However, these findings should be interpreted carefully as included studies have different initiation timing of nutritional support, and the patients’ diagnosis varied.
Systematic review registration: PROSPERO: CRD42020183175
Pulmonary hypertension is a rare and progressive pathology defined by abnormally high pulmonary artery pressure mediated by a diverse range of aetiologies. It affects up to twenty-six individuals per one million patients currently living in the United Kingdom (UK), with a median life expectancy of 2.8 years in idiopathic pulmonary hypertension. The diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension is often delayed due to the presentation of non-specific symptoms, leading to a delay in referral to specialists services. The complexity of treatment necessitates a multidisciplinary approach, underpinned by a diverse disease aetiology from managing the underlying disease process to novel specialist treatments. This has led to the formation of dedicated specialist treatment centres within centralised UK cities. The article aimed to provide a concise overview of pulmonary hypertension’s clinical perioperative management, including key definitions, epidemiology, pathophysiology, and risk stratification.
The novel coronavirus disease, 2019 (COVID – 19) evolved as an unprecedented pandemic. The severe acute respiratory syndrome-corona virus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has been associated with significantly deranged coagulation parameters and increased incidence of thrombotic events. Deranged coagulation parameters, such as D-dimers and fibrin degradation products, can indicate a poor prognosis, and their measurement will help stratify the patients according to the disease severity, need of intensive care unit admission, and prediction of the clinical course. Gaps in understanding the natural history of the disease cause difficulties in tailoring therapies and optimizing the management of patients. Lack of specific treatment further complicates this situation. While thrombotic events can cause significant morbidity and mortality in patients, a focused approach to the prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE) can, to a great extent, decrease the disease burden caused by thrombotic diseases. Pharmacological prophylactic anticoagulants and mechanical therapies such as pneumatic compression devices can help prevent venous thromboembolism and other thrombotic events. Thrombotic events due to COVID-19, their prevention and management, are the focus of this paper, with the prospect of providing insights into this relatively unexplored area.
Liver transplantation (LT) is a challenging surgery performed on patients with complex physiology profiles, complicated by multi-system dysfunction. It represents the treatment of choice for end-stage liver disease. The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia, and a successful procedure requires an excellent understanding of the pathophysiology of liver failure and its implications. Despite advances in knowledge and technical skills and innovations in immunosuppression, the anaesthetic management for LT can be complicated and represent a real challenge. Monitoring devices offer crucial information for the successful management of patients. Hemodynamic instability is typical during surgery, requiring sophisticated invasive monitoring. Arterial pulse contour analysis and thermo-dilution techniques (PiCCO), rotational thromboelastometry (RO-TEM), transcranial doppler (TCD), trans-oesophageal echocardiography (TEE) and bispectral index (BIS) have been proven to be reliable monitoring techniques playing a significant role in decision making. Anaesthetic management is specific according to the three critical phases of surgery: pre-anhepatic, anhepatic and neo-hepatic phase. Surgical techniques such as total or partial clamping of the inferior vena cava (IVC), use of venovenous bypass (VVBP) or portocaval shunts have a significant impact on cardiovascular stability. Post reperfusion syndrome (PRS) is a significant event and can lead to arrhythmias and even cardiac arrest.
Introduction: Gastrointestinal dysfunction (GDF) is one of the primary causes of morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients. Intensive care interventions, such as intravenous fluids and enteral feeding, can exacerbate GDF. There exists a paucity of high-quality literature on the interaction between these two modalities (intravenous fluids and enteral feeding) as a combined therapy on its impact on GDF.
Aim: To review the impact of intravenous fluids and enteral nutrition individually on determinants of gut function and implications in clinical practice.
Methods: Randomized controlled trials on intravenous fluids and enteral feeding on GDF were identified by a comprehensive database search of MEDLINE and EMBASE. Extraction of data was conducted for study characteristics, provision of fluids or feeding in both groups and quality of studies was assessed using the Cochrane criteria. A random-effects model was applied to estimate the impact of these interventions across the spectrum of GDF severity.
Results: Restricted/goal-directed intravenous fluid therapy is likely to reduce ‘mild’ GDF such as vomiting (p = 0.03) compared to a standard/ liberal intravenous fluid regime. Enterally-fed patients experience increased episodes of vomiting (p = <0.01) but are less likely to develop an anastomotic leak (p = 0.03) and peritonitis (p = 0.03) compared to parenterally fed patients. Vomiting (p = <0.01) and anastomotic leak (p = 0.04) were significantly lower in the early enteral feeding group.
Conclusions: There is less emphasis on the combined approach of intravenous fluid resuscitation and enteral feeding in critically ill patients. Conservative fluid resuscitation and aggressive enteral feeding are presumably key factors contributing to severe life-threatening GDF. Future trials should evaluate the impact of cross-interaction between conservative and aggressive modes of these two interventions on the severity of GDF.
In recent years, a new form of medicine has become increasingly significant, namely, personalised medicine (PM). PM is a form of care in which treatment is tailored for an individual patient.
PM is about using multiple data sets to create a digital human mapping. A person’s biological traits are determined by the interactions of hundreds of genes and gene networks, as well as external factors such as diet and exercise. Combining and then investigating these multiple databases with powerful statistical tools, allows a new understanding of how genetic intricacy drives health and disease and so leads to a closer personalised medical approach that targets each individual’s unique genetic make-up.
Sepsis is a systemic inflammatory response to infection, ranging from systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) to septic shock and multiple organ dysfunction syndromes (MODS). Sepsis is the most common cause of death in intensive care patients. Treatments in an ICU may need to be adapted to the continuous and rapid changes of the disease, making it challenging to identify a single target. PM is thus seen as the future of sepsis treatment in the ICU.
The fact that individual patients respond differently to treatment should be regarded as a starting point in the approach to providing treatment. The disease itself comes secondary to this concept.
Background. Despite recent advancements in antibiotic therapy and the progress made in critical care and modern diagnostic methods, acute mediastinitis continues to be a severe condition.
Diagnosis and treatment. Acute mediastinitis can occur in the context of cardio-thoracic surgery, oesophageal perforations and oropharyngeal infections condition. Forty-five percent of oesophageal perforations occurs during simple endoscopy. Spontaneous perforation (Boerhaave syndrome) accounts for 15% of perforations, and twelve percent are due to the ingestion of foreign bodies. Other causes include blind or penetrating trauma, and circa 9% to intraoperative lesions. CT scan is the standard investigation that reveals direct signs of mediastinitis. The oral administration of contrast substances can underscore the level of oesophageal perforation. Conservative treatment is the first-choice treatment and surgical treatment is reserved only for specific situations. The principles of surgical treatment consist of drainage, primary suture, oesophageal exclusion with or without the application of oesophagectomy, endoscopic vacuum wound assisted therapy of the perforation and associated paraoesophageal mediastinal drainage and endoscopic stenting associated with drainage.
Conclusions. The lowest mortality rate is recorded in patients with perforations diagnosed less than twenty-four hours after the onset of symptoms. Surgical treatment remains the gold standard especially in cases of thoracic and abdominal perforations while further investigations are mandatory before endoscopic stenting is carried out.
Approximately twenty percent of adults have gallstones making it one of the most prevalent gastrointestinal diseases in Western countries. About twenty percent of gallstone patients requires medical, endoscopic, or surgical therapies such as cholecystectomy due to the onset of gallstone-related symptoms or gallstone-related complications. Thus, patients with symptomatic, uncomplicated or complicated gallstones, regardless of the type of stones, represent one of the largest patient categories admitted to European hospitals.
This review deals with the important critical care aspects associated with a gallstone-related disease.