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.
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.
Introduction: Healthcare professionals who are directly involved in the diagnosis, treatment, and general care of patients with SARS-CoV-2 are at risk of developing adverse psychological reactions. A cross-sectional study of healthcare professionals aimed to determine the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on the mental health of healthcare professionals in two of the largest referral hospitals in Athens, Greece.
Methods: The study was conducted in the two largest SARS-CoV-2 referral hospitals in Athens, Greece. An assessment and the interrelationship of post-traumatic stress disorder, using the Impact of Event Scale-Revised [IES-R]) and burnout, using the Maslach Burnout Inventory [MBI]) was carried out.
Results: A total of 162 subjects were enrolled in the study. Fifty-six (35%) had an IES-R score > 33, suggesting post-traumatic stress disorder. Forty-nine (30%) had an MBI score > 27. Seventy-five (46%) had a personal accomplishment score of < 33 and 46 (28%) had a depersonalization score >10. Stepwise backward logistic regression revealed that the only independent variable that was retained regarding the presence of post-traumatic stress disorder was the emotional exhaustion score of the MBI (at a cut-off of 24 in this scale, the 95% CI of the odds ratio for the presence of post-traumatic stress disorder was 1.077-1.173).
Conclusions: In this sample of first-line Greek healthcare professionals against SARS-CoV-2, most of them were proven to be quite resilient to this challenge. One-third of them had post-traumatic stress disorder, which depended on their degree of emotional exhaustion. Healthcare professionals, as represented by this study, performed their duties without feeling helpless and developing adverse psychological reactions.
Background: Newly approved immunotherapeutic agents, like CTLA-4 inhibitors and antibodies against PD-1, are a promising therapeutic option in cancer therapy.
Case presentation: A 74-year-old man, with a history of advanced stage melanoma and treatment with ipilimumab, pembrolizumab and nivolumab, was admitted to the hospital due to respiratory failure with hypoxemia and dyspnoea. He rapidly developed severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which required treatment in the intensive care unit which included mechanical ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Computed tomographic imaging (CT) showed signs of a pneumonitis, with an ARDS pattern related to the use of PD-1 antibodies. Treating the patient with high-dose immunosuppressive steroids led to an overall improvement. He was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital and subsequently to his home.
Discussion and conclusion: This is a unique case report of a patient suffering a grade 4 adverse event under nivolumab who survived having been treated with ECMO. It highlights the possibility of associated adverse reactions as well as the use of ECMO in palliative care patients. ECMO can be of great success even in patients with malignancies, but careful decision making should be done on a case by case basis.