A 49-year-old female Qatari woman, with no past medical history, presented at a hospital complaining of a history of cough and shortness of breath. The patient tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome (ARDS) and COVID-19. Subsequently, her course of treatment was complicated by severe acute respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary embolism and severe myocarditis requiring treatment with venous-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation as a bridge to complete recovery.
Starting in Wuhan, China , the infection caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus became a public health issue when, due to the extreme contagiousness of this virus, a pandemic has been declared , putting a strain on both the global medical staff as well as the authorities in an effort to better manage an unprecedented situation in the modern era. Looking at the society we are living in, we can easily see that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought impressive social, economic, political, cultural and medical changes as well as personal ones; I believe that the perspectives and priorities of many of us have changed.
Before discussing the transplant activity, mainly the one regarding diagnosis and maintenance of the brain-dead organ donor patient, an activity that has been carried out for many years in Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Clinics, to which many of us are devoted, practicing it with deep respect, we need to review the daily activity. As is well known, the work effort in intensive care units is extremely demanding both mentally and physically. It involves the care of critical patients with severe decompensated pathologies, requiring maximum therapeutic management, special attention, continuous specific monitoring as well as the use of advanced medical and pharmacological techniques. The new measures and regulations, personal protective equipment, structural changes and working protocols implemented to prevent and limit COVID-19 infection, as well as the rigors imposed by the care of these patients have created additional stress for the medical staff. [More]
Introduction: The widespread use of advanced technology and invasive intervention creates many psychological problems for hospitalized patients; it is especially common in critical care units.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 310 patients hospitalized in critical care units, using a non-probability sampling method. Data were collected using depression, anxiety, and stress scale (DASS-21) one month after discharge from the hospital. Data analysis was performed using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Results: 181 males and 129 females with a mean age (SD) of 55.11(1.62) years were enrolled in the study. The prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress were 46.5, 53.6 and 57.8% respectively, and the depression, anxiety and stress mean (SD) scores were 16.15(1.40), 18.57(1.46), 19.69(1.48), respectively. A statistically significant association was reported between depression, anxiety and stress with an increase in age, the number of children, occupation, education, length of hospital stay, use of mechanical ventilation, type of the critical care unit, and drug abuse.
Conclusion: The prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress in patients discharged from critical care units was high. Therefore, crucial decisions should be made to reduce depression, anxiety and stress in patients discharged from critical care units by educational strategies, identifying vulnerable patients and their preparation before invasive diagnostic-treatment procedures.
Introduction: Contrast-induced encephalopathy represents a rare, reversible complication that appears after intravenous or intra-arterial exposure to contrast agents. There is no consensus in the literature regarding the mechanism of action. However, the theoretical mechanism is set around the disruption of the blood-brain barrier and the contrast agents’ chemical properties.
Case report: The case of a 70-year-old patient, known to have hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus is reported. The patient had undergone a diagnostic coronary angiography during which he received 100ml of Ioversol (Optiray 350™). Soon after the procedure, the patient began experiencing a throbbing headache, followed by intense behavioural changes and aggressive tendencies. He was transferred to the Neurology Clinic. The neurological examination was without focal neurological signs; however, the patient was very aggressive and uncooperative. The CT scan revealed a mild hyper-density in the frontal lobes. MRI scan revealed no pathological changes. Conservative treatment with diuretics and hydration was administered, and the patient experienced a complete resolution of symptoms in 72 hours.
Conclusion: Contrast-induced encephalopathy is a possible secondary complication to contrast agents and a diagnostic challenge, and it should not be overlooked, especially following procedures that use contrast agents.
Recent randomized controlled trials have transformed the treatment of acute ischemic stroke. Mechanical or aspiration thrombectomy is the main treatment option for occlusions of large intracranial vessels. Despite its high technical success rate, endovascular thrombectomy can sometimes be complicated by anatomical peculiarities or device failures. The most frequent complications are related to vessel dissection or vessel perforation by devices while navigating intricate anatomy. Rarer still are technical device failures, like spontaneous stent-retriever detachment, which occurred with older generation retrievers. This case reports a rare device failure, which, to the best of our knowledge, has not been reported in the literature so far, namely a microwire fracture in the middle cerebral artery. This was successfully removed with an Eric stent-retriever. The potential causes and possible management strategies are discussed.
Introduction: Patients on extracorporeal membrane oxygenator (ECMO) therapy are critically ill and often develop acute kidney injury (AKI) during hospitalisation. Little is known about the association of exposure to and the effect of the type of ECMO and extent of renal recovery after AKI development. Aim of the study: In patients who developed AKI, renal recovery was characterised as complete, partial or dialysis-dependent at the time of hospital discharge in both the Veno-Arterial (VA) and Veno-Venous (VV) ECMO treatment groups.
Material and methods: The study consisted of a single-centre retrospective cohort that includes all adult patients (n=125) who received ECMO treatment at a tertiary academic medical centre between 2015 to 2019. Data on demographics, type of ECMO circuit, comorbidities, exposure to nephrotoxic factors and receipt of renal replacement therapy (RRT) were collected as a part of the analysis. Acute Kidney Injury Network (AKIN) criteria were used for the diagnosis and classification of AKI. Group differences were assessed using Fisher’s exact tests for categorical data and independent t-tests for continuous outcomes.
Results: Sixty-four patients received VA ECMO, and 58 received VV ECMO. AKI developed in 58(91%) in the VA ECMO group and 51 (88%) in the VV ECMO group (p=0.77). RRT was prescribed in significantly higher numbers in the VV group 38 (75%) compared to the VA group 27 (47%) (p=0.0035). At the time of discharge, AKI recovery rate in the VA group consisted of 15 (26%) complete recovery and 5 (9%) partial recovery; 1 (2%) remained dialysis-dependent. In the VV group, 22 (43%) had complete recovery (p=0.07), 3(6%) had partial recovery (p=0.72), and 1 (2%) was dialysis-dependent (p>0.99). In-hospital mortality was 64% in the VA group and 49% in the VV group (p=0.13).
Conclusions: Renal outcomes in critically ill patients who develop AKI are not associated with the type of ECMO used. This serves as preliminary data for future studies in the area.
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.
Introduction: Viral bronchiolitis is a leading cause of admissions to pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). A literature review indicates that there is limited information on fluid overload and the use of diuretics in mechanically ventilated children with viral bronchiolitis. This study was conducted to understand diuretic use concerning fluid overload in this population.
Material and methods: A retrospective cohort study performed at a quaternary children’s hospital. The study population consisted of mechanically ventilated children with bronchiolitis, with a confirmed viral diagnosis on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. Children with co-morbidities were excluded. Data collected included demographics, fluid status, diuretic use, morbidity and outcomes. The data were compared between groups that received or did not receive diuretics.
Result: Of the 224 mechanically ventilated children with confirmed bronchiolitis, 179 (79%) received furosemide on Day 2 of invasive ventilation. Out of these, 72% of the patients received intermittent intravenous furosemide, whereas 28% received continuous infusion. It was used more commonly in patients who had a higher fluid overload. Initial fluid overload was associated with longer duration of mechanical ventilation (median days 6 vs 4, p<0.001) and length of stay (median days 10 vs 6, p<0.001) even with the use of furosemide. Superimposed bacterial pneumonia was seen in 60% of cases and was associated with a higher per cent fluid overload at 24 hours (9.1 vs 6.3, p = 0.003).
Conclusion: Diuretics are frequently used in mechanically ventilated children with bronchiolitis and fluid overload, with intermittent dosing of furosemide being the commonest treatment. There is a potential benefit of improved oxygenation in these children, though further research is needed to quantify this benefit and any potential harm. Due to potential harm with fluid overload, restrictive fluid strategies may have a potential benefit.
This is a correction for the article Bilateral Ocular Exophthalmia – A Case of Atypical Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia in a Child, published by Réka Toth, Alina Grama, Cristina Maki and Mihaela Ioana Chinceșan in The Journal of Critical Care Medicine 2020;6(4):243-248, DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0031.
The authors received a complaint regarding the publication of the results of genetic analyzes without the consent of the Medical Genetics Laboratory from the Emergency Clinical County Hospital of Targu Mures. At the written request of the authors, the following paragraphs from page 246 will be removed from the published manuscript:
“The FLT3 D835 and DNMT3A R882 mutation was performed by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. For FLT3 ITD and NPM1 fragment analysis was also executed with capillary electrophoresis. Geneticists did not detect any mutations of examined fragments. Quantitative analysis showed FTL3-ITD:VAR=0% and NPM1:VAR=0.08%. The heterozygous deletion was shown at the level of the 2p24.3 region (for exons 2, 3 of the MYCN gene), no copy number variants for the other investigated regions was evidenced, and mutation of JAK3 V617F was not detected.”
This will not affect the information presented in the manuscript, nor the conclusions.