Category Archives: JCCM 2023, Vol. 9, Issue 1

Early Lactate Clearance as a Determinant of Survival in Patients with Sepsis: Findings from a Low-resource Country

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2023-0005

Background: Single lactate measurements have been reported to have prognostic significance, however, there is a lack of data in local literature from Pakistan. This study was done to determine prognostic role of lactate clearance in sepsis patients being managed in our lower-middle income country.
Methods: This prospective cohort study was conducted from September 2019-February 2020 at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi. Patients were enrolled using consecutive sampling and categorized based on their lactate clearance status. Lactate clearance was defined as decrease by 10% or greater in repeat lactate from the initial measurement (or both initial and repeat levels <=2.0 mmol/L).
Results: A total 198 patients were included in the study, 51% (101) were male. Multi-organ dysfunction was reported in 18.6% (37), 47.7% (94) had single organ dysfunction, and 33.8% (67) had no organ dysfunction. Around 83% (165) were discharged and 17% (33) died. There were missing data for 25.8% (51) of the patients for the lactate clearance, whereas 55% (108) patients had early lactate clearance and 19.7% (39) had delayed lactate clearance.On univariate analysis, mortality rate was higher in patients with delayed lactate clearance (38.4% vs 16.6%) and patients were 3.12 times (OR = 3.12; [95% CI: 1.37-7.09]) more likely to die as compared with early lactate clearance. Patients with delayed lactate clearance had higher organ dysfunction (79.4% vs 60.1%) and were 2.56 (OR = 2.56; [95% CI: 1.07-6.13]) times likely to have organ dysfunction. On multivariate analysis, after adjusting for age and co-morbids, patients with delayed lactate clearance were 8 times more likely to die than patients with early lactate clearance [aOR = 7.67; 95% CI:1.11-53.26], however, there was no statistically significant association between delayed lactate clearance [aOR = 2.18; 95% CI: 0.87-5.49)] and organ dysfunction.
Conclusion: Lactate clearance is a better determinant of sepsis and septic shock effective management. Early lactate clearance is related to better outcomes in septic patients.

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Accuracy of Critical Care Ultrasonography Plus Arterial Blood Gas Analysis Based Algorithm in Diagnosing Aetiology of Acute Respiratory Failure

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2023-0006

Introduction: Lung ultrasound when used in isolation, usually misses out metabolic causes of dyspnoea and differentiating acute exacerbation of COPD from pneumonia and pulmonary embolism is difficult, hence we thought of combining critical care ultrasonography (CCUS) with arterial blood gas analysis (ABG).
Aim of the study: The objective of this study was to estimate accuracy of Critical Care Ultrasonography (CCUS) plus Arterial blood gas (ABG) based algorithm in diagnosing aetiology of dyspnoea. Accuracy of traditional Chest X-ray (CxR) based algorithm was also validated in the following setting.
Methods : It was a facility based comparative study, where 174 dyspneic patients were subjected to CCUS plus ABG and CxR based algorithms on admission to ICU. The patients were classified into one of five pathophysiological diagnosis 1) Alveolar( Lung-pneumonia)disorder ; 2) Alveolar (Cardiac-pulmonary edema) disorder; 3) Ventilation with Alveolar defect (COPD) disorder ;4) Perfusion disorder; and 5) Metabolic disorder. We calculated diagnostic test properties of CCUS plus ABG and CXR based algorithm in relation to composite diagnosis and correlated these algorithms for each of the defined pathophysiological diagnosis.
Results: The sensitivity of CCUS and ABG based algorithm was 0.85 (95% CI-75.03-92.03) for alveolar (lung) ; 0.94 (95% CI-85.15-98.13) for alveolar (cardiac); 0.83 (95% CI-60.78-94.16) for ventilation with alveolar defect; 0.66 (95% CI-30-90.32) for perfusion defect; 0.63 (95% CI-45.25-77.07) for metabolic disorders.Cohn’s kappa correlation coefficient of CCUS plus ABG based algorithm in relation to composite diagnosis was 0.7 for alveolar (lung), 0.85 for alveolar (cardiac), 0.78 for ventilation with alveolar defect, 0.79 for perfusion defect and 0.69 for metabolic disorders.
Conclusion: CCUS plus ABG algorithm is highly sensitive and it’s agreement with composite diagnosis is far superior. It is a first of it’s kind study, where authors have attempted combining two point of care tests and creating an algorithmic approach for timely diagnosis and intervention.

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Rebranding Nutritional Care for Critically Ill Patients

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2023-0008

Since the organic and molecular roles and function of nutrients in supporting homeostasis for hospitalized patients have been already stated, remarkable advances have been achieved in the field of clinical nutrition [1]. Replacing the old terminology of “nutritional support” with the new concept of “nutritional therapy” both European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) and American Society for Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition (ASPEN) emphasized that adequate nutrients administration reduces oxidative stress, metabolic response and sustains the immune response [1, 2]. The persistently increased prevalence of hospital malnutrition, inappropriate nutritional support during hospitalisation contributes undeniably to an increased mortality, especially in intensive care units [3].
In order to promote the importance of nutritional care and increase awareness among authorities and clinicians, “The International Declaration on the Human Right to Nutritional Care” was adopted during ESPEN Congress 2022 in Vienna. This Declaration highlights that nutritional therapy is a human right in the same manner as the right to food and health [4]. Moreover, all the undersigned societies, including Romanian Society of Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition (ROSPEN), raise awareness of the high prevalence of disease-related malnutrition along with the lack of access to appropriate nutritional support during and after hospitalisation. [More]

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The Impact of Prenatal Diagnosis in the Evolution of Newborns with Congenital Heart Disease

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2023-0007

Congenital heart malformations are cardiac and/or vascular structural abnormalities that appear before birth, the majority of which can be detected prenatally. The latest data from the literature were reviewed, with reference to the degree of prenatal diagnosis regarding congenital heart malformations, as well as its impact on the preoperative evolution and implicitly on mortality. Studies with a significant number of enrolled patients were included in the research. Prenatal congenital heart malformations detection rates were different, depending on the period in which the study took place, the level of the medical center, as well as on the size of enrolled groups. Prenatal diagnosis in critical malformations such as hypoplastic left heart syndrome, transposition of great arteries and totally aberrant pulmonary venous drainage has proven its usefulness, allowing an early surgical intervention, thus ensuring improved neurological development, increasing the survival rate and decreasing the rate of subsequent complications. Sharing the experience and results obtained by each individual therapeutic center will definitely lead to drawing clear conclusions regarding the clinical contribution of congenital heart malformations prenatal detection.

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Brief Report: Diabetic Keto-Acidosis (DKA) Induced Hypothermia May Be Neuroprotective in Cardiac Arrest

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2023-0004

Despite the decreased survival associated with diabetes with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and the overall low survival to hospital discharge, we would like to present two cases of OHCA in diabetics who despite prolonged resuscitation efforts had complete neurological recovery likely due to concomitant hypothermia. There is a steady decreasing rate of ROSC with longer durations of CPR so that outcomes are best when <20 minutes compared to prolonged resuscitation efforts (>30-40 minutes). It has been previously recognized that hypothermia prior to cardiac arrest can be neurologically protective even with up to 9 hours of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Hypothermia has been associated with DKA and although often indicates sepsis with mortality rates of 30-60%, it may indeed be protective if occurring prior to cardiac arrest. The critical factor for neuroprotection may be a slow drop to a temperature <25⁰C prior to OHCA as is achieved in deep hypothermic circulatory arrest for operative procedures of the aortic arch and great vessels. It may be worthwhile continuing aggressive resuscitation efforts even for prolonged periods before attaining ROSC for OHCA in patients found hypothermic from metabolic illnesses as compared to only from environmental exposures (avalanche victims, cold water submersions, etc.) as has been traditionally reported in the medical literature.

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The Use of Caffeine Citrate for Respiratory Stimulation in Acquired Central Hypoventilation Syndrome: A Case Series

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2023-0003

Introduction: Caffeine is commonly used as a respiratory stimulant for the treatment of apnea of prematurity in neonates. However, there are no reports to date of caffeine used to improve respiratory drive in adult patients with acquired central hypoventilation syndrome (ACHS).
Presentation of case series: We report two cases of ACHS who were successfully liberated from mechanical ventilation after caffeine use, without side effects. The first case was a 41-year-old ethnic Chinese male, diagnosed with high-grade astrocytoma in the right hemi-pons, intubated and admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) in view of central hypercapnia with intermittent apneic episodes. Oral caffeine citrate (1600mg loading followed by 800mg once daily) was initiated. His ventilator support was weaned successfully after 12 days. The second case was a 65-year-old ethnic Indian female, diagnosed with posterior circulation stroke. She underwent posterior fossa decompressive craniectomy and insertion of an extra-ventricular drain. Post-operatively, she was admitted to the ICU and absence of spontaneous breath was observed for 24 hours. Oral caffeine citrate (300mg twice daily) was initiated and she regained spontaneous breath after 2 days of treatment. She was extubated and discharged from the ICU.
Conclusion: Oral caffeine was an effective respiratory stimulant in the above patients with ACHS. Larger randomized controlled studies are needed to determine its efficacy in the treatment of ACHS in adult patients.

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Ramping Position to Aid Non-invasive Ventilation (NIV) in Obese Patients in the ICU

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2023-0002

Introduction: The ramping position is recommended to facilitate pre-oxygenation and mask ventilation of obese patients in anaesthetics via improving the airway alignment.
Presentation of case series: Two cases of obese patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with type 2 respiratory failure. Both cases showed obstructive breathing patterns on non-invasive ventilation (NIV) and failed resolution of hypercapnia. Ramping position alleviated the obstructive breathing pattern and hypercapnia was subsequently resolved.
Conclusion: There are no available studies on the rule of the ramping position in aiding NIV in obese patients in the ICU. Accordingly, this case series is significantly important in highlighting the possible benefits of the ramping position for obese patients in settings other than anaesthesia.

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Brain Tissue Oxygen Levels as a Perspective Therapeutic Target in Traumatic Brain Injury. Retrospective Cohort Study

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2023-0001

Introduction: Management of traumatic brain injury (TBI) requires a multidisciplinary approach and represents a significant challenge for both neurosurgeons and intensivists. The role of brain tissue oxygenation (PbtO2) monitoring and its impact on posttraumatic outcomes remains a controversial topic.
Aim of the study: Our study aimed to evaluate the impact of PbtO2 monitoring on mortality, 30 days and 6 months neurological outcomes in patients with severe TBI compared with those resulting from standard intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring.
Material and methods: In this retrospective cohort study, we analysed the outcomes of 77 patients with severe TBI who met the inclusion criteria. These patients were divided into two groups, including 37 patients who were managed with ICP and PbtO2 monitoring protocols and 40 patients who were managed using ICP protocols alone.
Results: There were no significant differences in demographic data between the two groups. We found no statistically significant differences in mortality or Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores one month after TBI. However, our results revealed that GOS scores at 6 months had improved significantly among patients managed with PbtO2; this finding was particularly notable for Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores of 4–5. Close monitoring and management of reductions in PbtO2, particularly by increasing the fraction of inspired oxygen, was associated with higher partial pressures of oxygen in this group.
Conclusions: Monitoring of PbtO2 may facilitate the appropriate evaluation and treatment of low PbtO2 and represents a promising tool for the management of patients with severe TBI. Additional studies will be needed to confirm these findings.

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