An elderly man was admitted with an acute abdomen and free air visible under the diaphragm on CXR. He was fluid resuscitated before undergoing emergency laparotomy, where a perforated duodenal ulcer was oversewn. He was admitted to ICU postoperatively, extubated the next morning and deemed fit for discharge to the surgical ward later that day. Due to a lack of surgical beds, he was eventually discharged from ICU at 22:30. Eight hours post discharge, he was urgently re-referred to ICU after being found moribund on the ward. Before he could be seen and assessed he suffered an unrecoverable asystolic arrest. Review of his observation charts showed that there had been a clear deterioration in recorded observations, including hypotension for the two preceeding hours. However, the Early Warning Score had been calculated incorrectly, and no escalation had occurred.
What evidence is there that rapid response systems are effective in preventing patient deterioration and improving outcomes?
A middle aged woman presented with a one day history of swollen, painful red thigh after a prodromal sore throat. She had a exquisitely tender left thigh and knee with cellulitis. She was apyrexial, with normal heart rate and blood pressure, but had a respiratory rate of 24. She had a neutrophilia (28), elevated CRP, hyperlactataemia (4.1) an acute kidney injury (creat 170) and a mild coagulopathy. She was given analgesia, broad spectrum antibiotics (including clindamycin) and underwent a CT thigh which showed muscle swelling in the anterior compartment with fluid tracking up to the hip. Knee aspirate showed large number of gram positive cocci, later confirmed as Streptococcus A. Two hours into her admission the inflammation was involving the groin. She underwent exploration and debridement in theatre, and was noradrenaline dependent postoperatively. She was commenced on intravenous immunoglobulin on the same day. She required further debridement of the leg and lower abdomen on day 3. She gradually weaned off support, and underwent several more operations for closure of wounds and reconstructive surgery.
What is the role of IVIG in Invasive Streptococcal Infections
An elderly man was admitted after a Hartman’s procedure with primary closure for a perforated sigmoid diverticulum with four quadrant peritonitis. Postoperatively, he remained ventilated and noradrenaline dependent. His intra-abdominal pressures gradually rose from 15 to 24mmHg. Urine output was poor, and he required peak pressures of 28cmH2O to achieve 6ml/kg tidal volumes. Vasopressor requirements gradually increased and a diagnosis of abdominal compartment syndrome was made. Medical management was attempted with fluid resuscitation, increased sedation, aspiration of nasogastric tube and neuromuscular blockade. However this did not improve the intra-abdominal pressures so the patient returned to theatre laparostomy and VAC dressing. On return from theatre, intra-abdominal pressures stabilised between 12 and 15mmHg. Noradrenaline requirements fell and urine output improved. The abdomen was closed on day 5 and he was discharged from ICU on day 10.
What non-surgical strategies can be used to reduce intra-abdominal pressure?
A 55 yr old man developed severe necrotizing pancreatitis with multiorgan failure. One week into his illness he had developed multiple intra-abdominal collections and had high intra-abdominal pressures. Initial conservative management failed, percutaneous drainage of his collections failed to reduce the abdominal pressures, and he underwent decompressive laparotomy.
What is the evidence behind the current guidelines for the measurement of intra-abdominal hypertension and the use of decompressive laparotomy in the management of Abdominal Compartment Syndrome?Read More »
A 65 year old woman underwent an elective mitral valve repair (MVR) and four vessel coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedure. Pre-operatively she was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) secondary to hypertensive nephropathy, and chronic airway disease secondary to smoking. Her baseline creatinine was 275. Surgery was uneventful but in the post-operatively period she developed pulmonary oedema and worsening acute kidney injury (AKI). On day 2 her creatinine reached 420 and oliguria occurred (urine output < 0.5 ml kg-1 hr-1). Non-invasive respiratory ventilation provided adequate support and maintained a normal blood PaCO2 and pH, although her base excess drifted to -7 mmol l-1.Dopamine was administered at 2–10 μg kg-1 min-1, titrated to MAP ≧ 75 mmHg; pericardial pacing continued to maintain sinus rhythm at 60 bpm; her CVP was 14 mmHg and stable. Furosemide was started and given by a continuous infusion of 10 mg hr-1 after an initial bolus of 100 mg to try and help with diuresis.
Is there any evidence to support the use of loop diuretics in acute kidney injury?
A middle aged man presented with a week long history of severe abdominal pain and distension. CT scans confirmed free air, fluid and probable large bowel perforation. Laparotomy revealed multiple large bowel perforations and four quadrant peritonitis. He had an extensive washout, a colectomy and a laparostomy with negative pressure dressing applied. He returned to theatre at 24 hrs for further washout, and at 48hrs for stoma formation. He had several further relook laparotomies, and abdominal wall closure was achieved on day 10. During this time he had been treated for septic shock and acute kidney injury and had been commenced on parenteral nutrition. His recovery was further complicated by healthcare associated infections but he left hospital nearly a month later.
How is an open abdomen managed after severe abdominal sepsis?Read More »
A 35 year old was admitted following a simultaneous kidney pancreas transplant. The procedure had been complicated and she had received a large volume transfusion and crystalloid infusion.Her initial intraabdominal pressures were elevated at 22cmH2O on admission to the intensive care. It continued to escalate over the next 48 hours peaking at 29. She was managed with sedation, NG tube and abdominal perfusion pressures kept above 60mmHg. The tranplanted pancreas remained functional, but the renal transplant showed delayed graft function. On day 4 there was a reduction in her abdominal pressure and her urine output correspondingly increased.
What is the current evidence for the management of intra abdominal hypertension (IAH)?Read More »
An elderly man underwent an elective open left hemicolectomy for a splenic flexure tumour. On day 4 he was admitted to the intensive care due to fevers, fast AF and hypotension. He developed respiratory failure and required intubation. CT abdomen revealed free fluid in the abdomen, and emergency laparotomy found anastomotic breakdown and faecal peritonitis. He was washed out, and had further bowel resection and his abdomen was closed. He developed anuria requiring renal replacement therapy and continued to have persistently raised inflammatory markers. On day 9 he had a further deterioration and repeat CT revealed several large collections. He underwent relook laparotomy and washout, but continued to deteriorate and died 48 hours later.
Do patients with severe secondary peritonitis benefit from on-demand relaparotomy or planned relaparotomy?Read More »