Tracheostomy in the Intensive Care Unit

Tracheostomy in the Intensive Care Unit

A 47-year-old male was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) following a high-speed motorcycle accident. He had a number of injuries including bilateral pneumothoraces, multiple spinal fractures, an open-book pelvis fracture, and a brachial plexus injury. Bilateral chest drains were inserted and external fixation of the pelvis was performed. The patient was extubated eventually at day 15 but required reintubation within 12 hours because of a poor cough and sputum retention 

What are the indications for a tracheostomy and when shout it be considered?

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ECMO for Respiratory Failure

ECMO for Respiratory Failure

A 40 year old lady was admitted under the medical team with pneumonia. She was normally well with no history of respiratory illnesses. On day two of her hospital admission she became more hypoxic necessitating continuous-positive-airway-pressure. Her condition rapidly worsened and her chest x-ray showed diffuse bilateral infiltrates. An echocardiogram demonstrated normal systolic function. She was intubated and ventilated. Despite sedation, ARDSnet ventilation, paralysis and then proning her, she remained severely hypoxaemic. A therapeutic bronchoscopy was performed prior to proning but did not improve her condition.

Should she be referred for consideration of ECMO and was is this evidence to support it’s use?

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Diagnosing Ventilator Acquired Pneumonia

Diagnosing Ventilator Acquired Pneumonia

A 65 year old woman developed a left lower lobe hospital acquired pneumonia following a elective laparoscopic procedure for which she was ventilated for 4 days. Twenty four hours post extubation, she developed hypoxic respiratory failure with bilateral patchy shadowing on chest X-ray. She was reintubated and subsequently grew Pseudomonas aeruginosa from tracheal aspirate.

How do we diagnose Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP)?Read More »

Use of PEEP in ARDS

Use of PEEP in ARDS

A young woman was admitted with respiratory failure requiring invasive ventilation. She had bilateral lobar consolidation and positive urinary pneumococcal antigen. She was ventilated with protective lung strategies but required FiO2 of between 0.8-1.0. A PEEP of 18 was set. She was ventilated for over 2 weeks, and was tracheostomised but was discharged from the ICU after 3 weeks.

How is PEEP utilised in the ventilatory strategies in the management of Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome?Read More »

Proning for Refractory Hypoxaemia

Proning for Refractory Hypoxaemia

A 60 yr old woman was admitted to the ICU with a severe community acquired pneumonia and septic shock. She was invasively ventilated with a lung protective strategy, optimised PEEP and recruitment manouvres as needed. Her refractory hypoxia persisted and so she was probed for 16 hours a day for the first 5 days of her admission. She made slow but steady improvements and was discharged from the ICU 10 days later.

What is the current evidence for proning as a rescue therapy for refractory hypoxia?Read More »

ECMO for Severe Refractory Hypoxaemia

ECMO for Severe Refractory Hypoxaemia

An 60 year old woman developed ARDS secondary to pneumococcal meningitis. Despite optimal ventilatory management and restrictive fluid intake her oxygenation remained severely impaired. She was referred to the regional respiratory failure unit who established her on mobile ECMO for retrieval. She remained on ECMO for five days, weaned off the ventilator after three further days and made a full neurological recovery leaving hospital two weeks later.

Is there sufficient evidence to promote the use of Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) for the management of severe refractory hypoxia in the United Kingdom?Read More »

The Role of ECMO in ARDS

The Role of ECMO in ARDS

A middle aged man with acute pancreatitis developed multiorgan failure and was admitted to the ICU and required ventilation and noradrenaline. He became progressively more hypoxic despite lung protective ventilation, paralysis, inverse ratios and a restrictive fluid regime. He developed bilateral pneumothoraces requiring chest drains. He was retrieved to the nearest refractory hypoxia centre and established on VV ECMO. On the third day of ECMO therapy he developed lateralising signs and was found to have had a large intracranial haemorrhage. Treatment was subsequently withdrawn.

Do patients with ARDS benefit from ECMO?Read More »

Nitric Oxide for Refractory Hypoxaemia in ARDS

Nitric Oxide for Refractory Hypoxaemia in ARDS

A 65 year old woman developed a hospital acquired pneumonia 24 hours after a multilevel spinal fixation. She became progressively more hypoxic and required intubation. She remained profoundly hypoxic despite FiO2 1.0, paralysis, lung protective ventilation and inverse ratios. She was established on inhaled nitric oxide therapy as anticoagulation for ECMO was felt to be contraindicated. This resulted in an rapid but modest increase in SpO2. Over the next days, her recovery was complicated by pneumothoraces requiring chest drains, but she remained on iNO for several days, and weaned off the ventilator at around day 10.

Does nitric oxide have a role to play in hypoxemia secondary to ARDS?Read More »

Mechanical Ventilation in patients with COPD

Predicting Outcomes of Mechanical Ventilation in patients with COPD

An elderly man with an infective exacerbation of COPD deteriorated during his medical admission with type 2 respiratory failure. He was commenced on ward-based non-invasive ventilation while establishing further history. He was on home nebulisers, was awaiting assessment for home oxygen, and was limited to household mobility only. He could not climb stairs. He had secondary polycythaemia. After discussion with the patient and family, a ward-based ceiling of care was set. He remained on NIV for several days before being weaned off and discharged to a rehabilitation facility after a two week admission.

Can we predict outcomes for patients with respiratory failure and COPD who require invasive ventilation?Read More »

prone ventilation in ARDS

Prone Ventilation in ARDS

An 63 year old woman with a history of bronchiectasis required intubation for a community acquired pneumonia. Several days into her ICU admission she developed a rapid worsening in her oxygenation and new bilateral pulmonary infiltrates. She also required increasing vasopressor support and began to develop multiorgan failure. She was paralysed and ventilated with inverse ratios but remained profoundly hypoxic. She was proned with no effect on oxygenation. She was commenced on inhaled nitric oxide with no effect. She continued to rapidly deteriorate and died shortly after.

Does prone ventilation in ARDS improve mortality?

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