Category Archives: JCCM 2022

Prevalence and Risk Factors of Venous Thromboembolism in Critically Ill Patients with Severe COVID-19 and the Association between the Dose of Anticoagulants and Outcomes

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2022-0023

Introduction: COVID-19 is characterized by a procoagulant state that increases the risk of venous and arterial thrombosis. The dose of anticoagulants in patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia without suspected or confirmed thrombosis has been debated.
Aim of the study: We evaluated the prevalence, predictors, and outcomes of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in critically ill COVID-19 patients and assessed the association between the dose of anticoagulants and outcomes.
Materials and methods: This retrospective cohort included patients with COVID-19 who were admitted to the ICU between March and July 2020. Patients with clinically suspected and confirmed VTE were compared to those not diagnosed to have VTE.
Results: The study enrolled 310 consecutive patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia: age 60.0±15.1 years, 67.1% required mechanical ventilation and 44.7% vasopressors. Most (97.1%) patients received anticoagulants during ICU stay: prophylactic unfractionated heparin (N=106), standard-dose enoxaparin (N=104) and intermediate-dose enoxaparin (N=57). Limb Doppler ultrasound was performed for 49 (15.8%) patients and chest computed tomographic angiography for 62 (20%). VTE was diagnosed in 41 (13.2%) patients; 20 patients had deep vein thrombosis and 23 had acute pulmonary embolism. Patients with VTE had significantly higher D-dimer on ICU admission. On multivariable Cox regression analysis, intermediate-dose enoxaparin versus standard-dose unfractionated heparin or enoxaparin was associated with lower VTE risk (hazard ratio, 0.06; 95% confidence interval, 0.01-0.74) and lower risk of the composite outcome of VTE or hospital mortality (hazard ratio, 0.42; 95% confidence interval, 0.23-0.78; p=0.006). Major bleeding was not different between the intermediate- and prophylactic-dose heparin groups.
Conclusions: In our study, clinically suspected and confirmed VTE was diagnosed in 13.2% of critically ill patients with COVID-19. Intermediate-dose enoxaparin versus standard-dose unfractionated heparin or enoxaparin was associated with decreased risk of VTE or hospital mortality.

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In between Opioid Crisis and the Need to Treat Pain, Where Do We Stand?

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2022-0029

Acute and chronic pain are very disturbing conditions for the patient, with numerous implications on the short- and long-term outcome of patients [1]. While acute pain is experienced mostly after surgery, and in some other medical conditions as well, chronic pain may be the symptom or the result of numerous medical conditions among which cancer, muscle-skeletal or neurodegenerative diseases and surgery or persistent inflammation are, probably, the main causes [2].
This is why guidelines, drugs and medical interventions have been proposed to treat acute and chronic pain [3, 4]. While acute pain, both mild or severe is well manageable with treatment, chronic pain may be very disturbing and debilitating for the patients, especially in patients with cancer, neurodegenerative or muscle-skeletal disorders and is generally much more difficult to treat [5]. [More]

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Successful Extracorporeal Blood Purification Therapy Using Double Haemoadsorption Device in Severe Endotoxin Septic Shock: A Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2022-0028

Introduction: In patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), sepsis can lead to acute kidney injury (AKI), which may require the initiation of continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) in 15-20% of cases. There is no consensus about the best extracorporeal treatment to choose in septic patients with AKI.
Case presentation: We describe the case of a 70-year-old woman admitted to the ICU with a severe endotoxin septic shock due to Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C. Despite prompt medical intervention, including fluid resuscitation, high dose vasopressor, inotrope support, and broad-spectrum antimicrobial treatment, in a few hours patient’s haemodynamic worsened and she developed multi-organ failure, including severe AKI, requiring CRRT. So, continuous veno-venous haemodiafiltration was started, using an oXiris® haemodiafilter set, in series with an adsorber device (CytoSorb®). After 48 hours of this combined extracorporeal treatment, haemodynamic parameters improved, allowing a significant reduction of the vasoactive therapy, with a concomitant decrease in endotoxin and inflammatory markers serum levels. In the following days patient’s conditions still improved and renal function recovered.
Conclusions: Timely extracorporeal blood purification therapy, using a double haemoadsorption device, may be effective in the management of severe septic shock.

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Family Burden of ICU Survivors and Correlations with Patient Quality of Life and Psychometric Scores – A Pilot Study

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2022-0027

Introduction: Post intensive care syndrome (PICS) affects an increasing number of critical illness survivors and their families, with serious physical and psychological sequelae. Since little is known about the burden of critical illness on ICU survivor families, we conducted a prospective observational study aiming to assess this, and investigate correlations of the patients’ psychometric and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores with family burden.
Materials and Methods: Twenty-nine patients were evaluated in the presence of a family member. Participants were assessed with the use of validated scales for anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, cognitive decline, and the family burden scale (FBS).
Results: High burden was present in 27.6% of family members. Statistically significant correlations were observed between the FBS score and trait anxiety, depression, and the physical and psychological components of HRQOL.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that family burden following critical illness is common, suggesting that its assessment should be incorporated in the evaluation of PICS-family in large observational studies.

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Knowledge, Practice and Attitudes to the Management of Sepsis in Jamaica

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2022-0024

Introduction: Sepsis is a life-threatening dysfunction resulting from the dysregulated host response to infection. The mortality of sepsis in Jamaica remains high amid the proven efficacy of the Surviving Sepsis Guidelines implementation in some countries.
Aim of study: To evaluate the inter-relationship of healthcare workers’ attitude towards, knowledge of and practice of sepsis management in Jamaica.
Material and methods: A survey was done using an anonymous self-administered validated questionnaire to healthcare workers across Jamaica. Questions on knowledge, attitude, and practice of sepsis within private and public hospitals were answered.
Results: A total of 616 healthcare workers were eligible for analysis. Most respondents agree that healthcare workers need more training on sepsis (93.7%) and that formal sepsis training modules should be implemented at their hospitals or practice (93.2%). Several signs of sepsis as outlined by qSOFA were correctly identified as such by most respondents (60.6% to 76.4%), with the exception of a low PaCO2 (34.9%), which was correctly identified by a minority of respondents. While a majority (69.3%) were able to correctly define sepsis, only 8.8% of respondents knew the annual sepsis mortality rate. Postgraduate training (p<0.01) and formal sepsis training (p<0.05) were both predictive of high correct knowledge and practice scores. Specialization in Anaesthesia/ Critical Care Medicine (p<0.05) or Emergency Medicine (p<0.05) was predictive of high knowledge scores and Internal Medicine predictive of high practice scores (p<0.01).
Conclusions: This study revealed that education for healthcare workers on sepsis and the implementation of SSC is needed in Jamaica.

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Burnout Syndrome During COVID-19 Second Wave on ICU Caregivers

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2022-0026

Objective: The main objective of this article is to evaluate the prevalence of burnout syndrome (BOS) among the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) healthcare workers.
Methods: The COVID-impact study is a study conducted in 6 French intensive care units. Five units admitting COVID patient and one that doesn’t admit COVID patients. The survey was conducted between October 20th and November 20th, 2020, during the second wave in France. A total of 208 professionals responded (90% response rate). The Maslach Burnout Inventory scale, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Impact of Event Revisited Scale were used to study the psychological impact of the COVID-19 Every intensive care unit worker.
Results: The cohort includes 208 professionals, 52.4% are caregivers. Almost 20% of the respondents suffered from severe BOS. The professionals who are particularly affected by BOS are women, engaged people, nurses or reinforcement, not coming willingly to the intensive care unit and professionals with psychological disorders since COVID-19, those who are afraid of being infected, and people with anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Independent risk factors isolated were being engaged and being a reinforcement. Being a volunteer to come to work in ICU is protective. 19.7% of the team suffered from severe BOS during the COVID-19 pandemic in our ICU. The independent risk factors for BOS are: being engaged (OR = 3.61 (95% CI, 1.44; 9.09), don’t working in ICU when it’s not COVID-19 pandemic (reinforcement) (OR = 37.71 (95% CI, 3.13; 454.35), being a volunteer (OR = 0.10 (95% CI, 0.02; 0.46).
Conclusion: Our study demonstrates the value of assessing burnout in health care teams. Prevention could be achieved by training personnel to form a health reserve in the event of a pandemic.

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Variability of Steroid Prescription for COVID-19 Associated Pneumonia in Real-Life, Non-Trial Settings

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2022-0025

The RECOVERY study documented lower 28-day mortality with the use of dexamethasone in hospitalized patients on invasive mechanical ventilation or oxygen with COVID-19 Pneumonia. We aimed to examine the practice patterns of steroids use, and their impact on mortality and length of stay in ICU. We retrospectively examined records of all patients with confirmed Covid 19 pneumonia admitted to the ICU of Dubai hospital from January 1st, 2020 – June 30th, 2020. We assigned patients to four groups (No steroids, low dose, medium dose, and high dose steroids). The primary clinical variable of interest was doses of steroids. Secondary outcomes were 28-day mortality and length of stay in ICU”. We found variability in doses of steroid treatment. The most frequently used dose was the high dose. Patients who survived were on significantly higher doses of steroids and had significantly longer stays in ICU. The prescription of steroids in Covid-19 ARDS is variable. The dose of steroids impacts mortality rate and length of stay in ICU, although patients treated with high dose steroids seem to stay more days in ICU.

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Pharmacokinetics of Teicoplanin in a Patient with Coronavirus Disease 2019 Receiving Veno-venous Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2022-0021

Introduction: Patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) receiving ventilation or pulmonary support via veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) can be infected with drug-resistant bacteria. When introducing VV-ECMO, the changes in serum antibiotic concentration should be considered due to an increased volume of distribution (Vd). However, no pharmacokinetic study has assessed teicoplanin (TEIC) treatment in patients with COVID-19 receiving VV-ECMO.
Case presentation: A 71-year-old man diagnosed with COVID-19 visited a primary hospital. His oxygenation conditions worsened despite treatment with favipiravir and methylprednisolone as well as oxygen therapy. After his transfer to our center, tracheal intubation and steroid pulse therapy were initiated. Seven days after admission, VV-ECMO was performed. TEIC was administered for secondary bacterial infection. The serum TEIC concentration remained within the therapeutic range, indicating that VV-ECMO did not significantly affect TEIC pharmacokinetics. VV-ECMO was discontinued 17 days after admission. However, he developed multi-organ disorder and died 42 days after admission.
Conclusion: As TEIC prevents viral invasion, it may be used with ECMO in patients with COVID-19 requiring ventilation; however, the altered pharmacokinetics of TEIC, such as increased Vd, should be considered. Therefore, TEIC pharmacokinetics in VV-ECMO should be assessed in future studies with an appropriate number of patients.

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Cardiological Monitoring – A Cornerstone for Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome Temporally Associated with COVID-19 Outcome: A Case Report and a Review from the Literature

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2022-0022

Introduction: Pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with COVID-19 (PIMS-TS) is a rare life-threatening condition requiring a complex management and multidisciplinary approach, whose outcome depends on the early diagnosis.
Case report: We report the case of a 2 years and-5-month-old boy admitted in our clinic for fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea. The clinical exam at the time of admission revealed influenced gen-eral status, bilateral palpebral edema and conjunctivitis, mucocutaneous signs of dehydration, and abdominal tenderness at palpation. The laboratory tests performed pointed out lymphopenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia, elevated C-reactive protein – CRP, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and ferritin levels, hyponatremia, hypopotassemia, hypertriglyceridemia, elevated D-dimer, in-creased troponin and NT-proBNP. The real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for SARS-CoV-2 infection was negative, but the serology was positive. Thus, established the diagnosis of PIMS-TS. We initiated intravenous immunoglobulin, empirical antibiotic, anticoagulation therapy and symptomatic drugs. Nevertheless, the clinical course and laboratory parameters worsened, and the 2nd echocardiography pointed out minimal pericardial effusion, slight dilation of the left cavities, dyskinesia of the inferior and septal basal segments of the left ventricle (LV), and LV systolic dysfunction. Therefore, we associated intravenous methylprednisolone, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, spironolactone and hydrochlorothiazide, with outstanding favorable evolution.
Conclusions: Echocardiographic monitoring might be a lifesaving diagnostic tool in the management of PIMS-TS.

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