Tag Archives: intensive care unit

End-of-life Care in the Intesive Care Unit and Nursing Roles in Communicating with Families

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2023-0013

Introduction: Professionals in Intensive Care Units face death, shifting their role from therapists to caregivers in end-of-life management. The nursing attitude and response to death has been shown to affect the quality of palliative care and end-of-life services that are interrelated services. Aim of the study: The aim of this research was to evaluate the professional attitude of nurses towards the care of the families of critically ill patients in the ICU, leading to the emergence of specific attitudes, relating them to their demographic and professional characteristics, with the aim of drawing conclusions for the improvement of quality in end-of-life care.
Material and Methods: The sample of the study was 81 nurses from a large tertiary hospital. Participants completed the “Nurse Activities for Communicating with Families” (NACF) questionnaire. The questions are about ways in which nurses can help the patient’s family during the patient’s stay in the ICU.
Results: The results revealed that the nurses took actions related to the information and psychological support of the patient’s family. On the contrary, they did not focus on the spiritual / religious needs of the patient and the needs of the family based on their cultural background.
Conclusions: The professional treatment of staff is characterized by compassion and empathy, but it is necessary to train them on important issues related to diversity, including the religious, spiritual values ​​and beliefs of patients and their relatives.

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Anticoagulation in COVID – 19: An Update

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0033

The novel coronavirus disease, 2019 (COVID – 19) evolved as an unprecedented pandemic. The severe acute respiratory syndrome-corona virus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has been associated with significantly deranged coagulation parameters and increased incidence of thrombotic events. Deranged coagulation parameters, such as D-dimers and fibrin degradation products, can indicate a poor prognosis, and their measurement will help stratify the patients according to the disease severity, need of intensive care unit admission, and prediction of the clinical course. Gaps in understanding the natural history of the disease cause difficulties in tailoring therapies and optimizing the management of patients. Lack of specific treatment further complicates this situation. While thrombotic events can cause significant morbidity and mortality in patients, a focused approach to the prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE) can, to a great extent, decrease the disease burden caused by thrombotic diseases. Pharmacological prophylactic anticoagulants and mechanical therapies such as pneumatic compression devices can help prevent venous thromboembolism and other thrombotic events. Thrombotic events due to COVID-19, their prevention and management, are the focus of this paper, with the prospect of providing insights into this relatively unexplored area.

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Opioid Use Is Associated with ICU Delirium in Mechanically Ventilated Children

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0026

Introduction: Pediatric delirium is a significant problem when encounterd in an intensive care unit (ICU). The pathophysiology of pediatric delirium is complex and the etiology is typically multifactorial. Even though various risk factors associated with pediatric delirium in a pediatric ICU have been identified, there is still a paucity of literature associated with the condition, especially in extremely critically ill children, sedated and mechanically ventilated. Aim of the study: To identify factors associated with delirium in mechanically ventilated children in an ICU.
Material and Methods: This is a single-center study conducted at a tertiary care pediatric ICU. Patients admitted to the pediatric ICU requiring sedation and mechanical ventilation for >48 hours were included. Cornell Assessment of Pediatric Delirium scale was used to screen patients with delirium. Baseline demographic and clinical factors as well as daily and cumulative doses of medications were compared between patients with and without delirium. Firth’s penalized maximum likelihood logistic regression was used on a priori set of variables to examine the association of potential factors with delirium. Two regression models were created to assess the effect of daily medication doses (Model 1) as well as cumulative medication doses (Model 2) of opioids and benzodiazepines.
Results: 95 patient visits met the inclusion criteria. 19 patients (20%) were diagnosed with delirium. Older patients (>12 years) had higher odds of developing delirium. Every 1mg/kg/day increase in daily doses of opioids was associated with an increased risk of delirium (OR=1.977, p=0.017). Likewise, 1 mg/kg increase in the cumulative opioid dose was associated with a higher odds of developing delirium (OR=1.035, p=0.022). Duration of mechanical ventilation was associated with the development of delirium in Model 1 (p=0.007).
Conclusions: Age, daily and cumulative opioid dosage and the duration of mechanical ventilation are associated with the development of delirium in mechanically ventilated children.

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Prognostic Value of Serum Lactate Levels in Critically Ill Patients in an Intensive Care Unit

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0005

Introduction: The patient in critical condition, regardless of the cause of admission, continues to be a challenge for health systems due to the high mortality that it reports. There is a need to identify some marker of early obtaining, easy to interpret and with high relevance in the prognosis of these patients.
Objective: To determine the prognostic value of serum lactate in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Method: One hundred and forty-five patients admitted to an ICU were enrolled in the study. The Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE) prognosis score, Sequential Organ Failure Assessment, hemodynamic support need, mechanical ventilation, cause of admission, stay in ICU, analytical and physiological variables were determined. The probability of survival of patients who had elevated and normal serum lactate levels was calculated. The risk of dying was determined using the Cox regression model.
Results: Twenty-eight patients died (19%) in the ICU. The serum lactate value was higher in the group of patients with trauma, infections, APACHE II and high creatinine levels; as well as with decreased mean arterial blood pressure, need for hemodynamic support and mechanical ventilation. The survival capacity was higher in patients who had normal serum lactate. Serum lactate was the sole independent predictor of mortality (AHR 1.28 [1.07-1.53], p = 0.008).
Conclusions: Patient assessment through the determination of serum lactate levels provides useful information in the initial evaluation of the critical patient.

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Use of Transcranial Doppler in Intensive Care Unit

DOI: 10.1515/jccm-2017-0021

Use of transcranial Doppler has undergone much development since its introduction in 1982, making the technique suitable for general use in intensive care units. The main application in intensive care units is to assess intracranial pressure, confirm the lack of cerebral circulation in brain death, detect vasospasm in subarachnoid haemorrhage, and monitor the blood flow parameters during thrombolysis and carotid endarterectomy, as well as measuring stenosis of the main intracranial arteries in sickle cell disease in children.
This review summarises the use of transcranial Doppler in intensive care units.

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Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis – A Case Report

DOI: 10.1515/jccm-2017-0002

Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) is an acute, life-threatening muco-cutaneous disease, often induced by drugs. It is characterized by muco-cutaneous erythematous and purpuric lesions, flaccid blisters which erupt, causing large areas of denudation. The condition can involve the genitourinary, pulmonary and, gastrointestinal systems. Because of the associated high mortality rate early diagnosis and treatment are mandatory.
This article presents the case of a sixty-six years old male patient, known to have cirrhosis, chronic kidney failure, and diabetes mellitus. His current treatment included haemodialysis. He was hospitalized as an emergency to the Dermatology Department for erythemato-violaceous, purpuric patches and papules, with acral disposition, associated with rapidly spreading erosions of the oral, nasal and genital mucosa and the emergence of flaccid blisters which erupted quickly leaving large areas of denudation. Based on the clinical examination and laboratory investigations the patient was diagnosed with TEN, secondary to carbamazepine intake for encephalopathic phenomena. The continuous alteration in both kidney and liver function and electrolyte imbalance, required him to be transferred to the intensive care unit. Following pulse therapy with systemic corticosteroids, hydro-electrolytic re-equilibration, topical corticosteroid and antibiotics, there was a favourable resolution of TEN.
The case is of interest due to possible life-threatening cutaneous complications, including sepsis and significant fluid loss, in a patient with associated severe systemic pathology, highlighting the importance of early recognition of TEN, and the role of a multidisciplinary team in providing suitable treatment.

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Can APACHE II, SOFA, ISS, and RTS Severity Scores be Used to Predict Septic Complications in Multiple Trauma Patients?

DOI: 10.1515/jccm-2016-0019

Background: Physiological composite scores are used to predict mortality in multiple trauma patients. Sepsis is the leading cause of late mortality in trauma victims brought about by immune suppression due to homeostasis dysregulation.
Objective: To determine whether APACHE II, SOFA, ISS and RTS scores can predict the occurrence of sepsis in multiple trauma patients.
Methods: APACHE II, SOFA, ISS, and RTS scores were calculated during the first twenty-four hours after the injury for sixty-four adult poly-traumatic patients. The occurrence of infectious complications was investigated over a fourteen-day period. The infection-free rates for the multiple trauma patients were considered as end-points in the Kaplan-Meier plot analysis.
Results: For SOFA, a cutoff score of 4 points was identified as a predictor of the occurrence of sepsis, with 89% of the patients with SOFA<4 being infection-free, while 37% of those with SOFA>4 were infection-free (p<0.01). None of the patients with APACHE II≤5 points developed infections. Eighty-four percent of patients with APACHE II scores of 5-10 did not develop sepsis, while 49% with APACHE II≥11 were infection-free (p<0.01).  A cutoff of 7 points was found to be most discriminative for RTS. Eighty-eight percent of the patients with RTS≥7 and 43% of those with RTS<7 were infection-free (p<0.01). Eighty-eight percent of patients with ISS<22 did not develop sepsis and 56% with ISS≥22 did not develop sepsis (p<0.01).
Conclusion: APACHE II, SOFA, ISS, and RTS functional severity scores can predict mortality as well as the occurrence of sepsis in multiple trauma patients.

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