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.
Despite the significant development and advancement in antibiotic therapy, life-threatening complication of infective diseases cause hundreds of thousands of deaths world. This paper updates some of the issues regarding the etiology and treatment of abdominal sepsis and summaries the latest guidelines as recommended by the Intra-abdominal Infection (IAI) Consensus (2017). Prognostic scores are currently used to assess the course of peritonitis. Irrespective of the initial cause, there are several measures universally accepted as contributing to an improved survival rate, with the early recognition of IAI being the critical matter in this respect. Immediate correction of fluid balance should be undertaken with the use of vasoactive agents being prescribed, if necessary, to augment and assist fluid resuscitation. The WISS study showed that mortality was significantly affected by sepsis irrespective of any medical and surgical measures. A significant issue is the prevalence of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae in the clinical setting, and the reported prevalence of ESBLs intra-abdominal infections has steadily increased in Asia. Europe, Latin America, Middle East, North America, and South Pacific. Abdominal cavity pathology is second only to sepsis occurring in a pulmonary site. Following IAI (2017) guidelines, antibiotic therapy should be initiated as soon as possible after a diagnosis has been verified.
Abdominal Compartment Syndrome (ACS), despite recent advances in medical and surgical care, is a significant cause of mortality. The purpose of this review is to present the main diagnostic and therapeutic aspects from the anesthetical and surgical points of view. Intra-abdominal hypertension may be diagnosed by measuring intra-abdominal pressure and indirectly by imaging and radiological means. Early detection of ACS is a key element in the ACS therapy. Without treatment, more than 90% of cases lead to death and according with the last reports, despite all treatment measures, the mortality rate is reported as being between 25 and 75%. There are conflicting reports as to the importance of a conservative therapy approach, although such an approach is the central to treatment guidelines of the World Society of Abdominal Compartment Syndrome, Decompressive laparotomy, although a backup solution in ACS therapy, reduces mortality by 16-37%. The open abdomen management has several variants, but negative pressure wound therapy represents the gold standard of surgical treatment.
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.
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.