Category Archives: JCCM 2021, Vol. 7, Issue 4

Evaluation of Sleep Architecture Using 24-hour Polysomnography in Patients Recovering from Critical Illness in an Intensive Care Unit and High Dependency Unit: A Longitudinal, Prospective, and Observational Study

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2021-0023

Background and objective: The sleep architecture of critically ill patients being treated in Intensive care units and High dependency units is frequently unsettled and inadequate both qualitatively and quantitatively. The study aimed to investigate and elucidate factors influencing sleep architecture and quality in intensive care units (ICU) and high dependency units (HDU) in a limited resource setting with financial constraints, lacking human resources and technology for routine monitoring of noise, light and sleep promotion strategies in intensive care units (ICU).
Methods: The study was longitudinal, prospective, hospital-based, analytic, and observational. Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and the Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS) pre hospitalisation scores were recorded. Patients underwent 24-hour polysomnography (PSG) with the simultaneous monitoring of noise and light in their environments. Patients stabilised in intensive care units (ICU) were transferred to high dependency units (HDU), where the 24-hour polysomnography with the simultaneous monitoring of noise and light in their environments was repeated. Following PSG, the Richards-Campbell Sleep Questionnaire (RCSQ) was employed to rate patients’ sleep in both the intensive care units (ICU) and high dependency units (HDU).
Results: Of 46 screened patients, 26 patients were treated in the intensive care unit (ICU) and then transferred to the high dependency units (HDU). The mean (SD) of the study population’s mean (SD) age was 35.96 (11.6) years with a predominantly male population (53.2% (n=14)). The mean (SD) of the ISI and ESS scores were 6.88 (2.58) and 4.92 (1.99), respectively. The comparative analysis of PSG data recording from the ICU and high dependency units (HDU) showed a statistically significant reduction in N1, N2 and an increase in N3 stages of sleep (p<0.05). Mean(SD) of RCSQ in the ICU and the HDU were 54.65(7.70) and 60.19(10.85) (p-value = 0.04) respectively. The disease severity (APACHE II) has a weak correlation with the arousal index but failed to reach statistical significance (coeff= 0.347, p= 0.083).
Conclusion: Sleep in ICU is disturbed and persisting during the recovery period in critically ill. However, during recovery, sleep architecture shows signs of restoration.

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The Use of Hydroxyurea in the Treatment of COVID-19

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2021-0019

Introduction: The rapid worldwide spread of COVID-19 motivated medical professionals to pursue and authenticate appropriate remedies and treatment protocols. This article aims to analyze the potential benefits of one treatment protocol developed by a group of care providers caring for severe COVID-19 patients.
Methods: The clinical findings of COVID-19 patients who were transferred to a specialized care hospital after unsuccessful treatment in previous institutions, were analyzed. The specialized care hospital used a treatment protocol including hydroxyurea, a medication commonly used for sickle cell treatment, to improve respiratory distress in the COVID-19 patients. None of the COVID-19 patients included in the analyzed data were diagnosed with sickle cell, and none had previously taken hydroxyurea for any other conditions.
Results: In all presented cases, patients reverted to their baseline respiratory health after treatment with the hydroxyurea protocol. There was no significant difference in the correlation between COVID-19 and hydroxyurea. However, deaths were extremely low for those taking hydroxyurea.
Conclusions: Fatality numbers were extremely low for those taking hydroxyurea; death could be attributed to other underlying issues.

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Postpartum Acute Basilar Artery Occlusion Secondary to Vertebral Artery Dissection. Case Report and Literature Review

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2021-0015

Female patients in the peripartum and postpartum periods have an increased risk of stroke than nonpregnant women. Cerebrovascular complications of pregnancy represent a significant cause of maternal mortality and morbidity and are potentially disabling. Acute basilar artery occlusion secondary to spontaneous vertebral artery dissection in the postpartum period is an infrequent entity and a major diagnostic and treatment challenge. In the present case, a 37-year-old female patient, eight weeks after caesarean delivery, presented with a history of sudden cervical pain, followed by headache and dizziness. Some hours later, she was found unconscious by her family and was transferred to the emergency department, where a neurological status assessment suggested vertebrobasilar stroke. The imagistic workup revealed right vertebral artery dissection and basilar artery occlusion without constituted ischemic lesions. The patient underwent endovascular intervention with dilation of the narrowed vertebral artery and stent retriever basilar artery thrombectomy, with a favourable clinical outcome. This report first presents the details of this case and the relevant literature data on postpartum arterial dissections and the subsequent ischemic complications and available treatment options.

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