Neuroprognostication after Cardiac Arrest

Neuroprognostication after Cardiac Arrest

A 30 year old man suffered a 30 minute cardiorespiratory arrest secondary to an asthma attack. He was resuscitated, had his severe bronchospasm managed and he was treated with therapeutic hypothermia at 33 degrees. Once rewarmed, his neurology was assessed over several days. He was ventilated on a spontaneous mode, but his pupils remained fixed and dilated and there was no higher motor function seen. A CT brain was consistent with severe hypoxic ischaemic injury. After discussion with the family, treatment was withdrawn.

How reliable is neuroprognostication after cardiac arrest? What modalities are tested? Is there a difference in patients treated with therapeutic hypothermia?

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Vasopressin in Septic Shock

Vasopressin in Septic Shock

An elderly man presented with an acute abdomen. At operation, he was found to have four-quadrant peritonitis due to a perforating sigmoid tumour. He underwent a hemicolectomy and had a defunctioning stoma formed. Postoperatively, he required 0.7mcg/kg/min noradrenaline to maintain a MAP 65mmHg. A vasopressin infusion was commenced and his noradrenaline requirements decreased. However, he developed acute kidney injury and subsequent multiorgan failure. Treatment was withdrawn around 48 hours post-operatively.

Is vasopressin safe to use in septic shock? What are the benefits?Read More »

IV Immunoglobulin for Necrotising Fasciitis

IV Immunoglobulin for Necrotising Fasciitis

A 40 year old woman presented with painful swelling of the right side of the neck. She had previously suffered a haematological malignancy and received a bone marrow transplant. A presumptive diagnosis of necrotising fasciitis was made and the neck, shoulder and chest underwent surgical debridement. Postoperatively, the patient remained ventilated in septic shock. Further debridement was required at 24 hours. Group A streptococcus was grown from the debrided tissue and IV immunoglobulins was commenced. The patient gradually weaned from support and was discharged from ICU several days later.

Does IV immunoglobulin have a role to play in the treatment of necrotising fasciitis?Read More »

Hypertensive Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy

Hypertensive Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy

A 65 year old chronic hypertensive man underwent a bone marrow transplant for acute myeloid leukaemia. He was subsequently treated for neutropaenic sepsis. He developed acute confusion and a subsequent drop in GCS requiring intubation. CT head and CSF investigation was normal. EEG was non-diagnostic. He was persistently hypertensive on the ICU. Review of notes showed that his anti-hypertensive medications had been omitted since admission, and that his ward blood pressures had been persistently elevated. Antihypertensives were established and the blood pressure improved. The neurological features improved with the blood pressure. A subsequent MRI confirmed the diagnosis.

What are the clinical features of Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome (RPLS)?Read More »

Intraabdominal Hypertension & Abdominal Compartment Syndrome

Intraabdominal Hypertension & Abdominal Compartment Syndrome

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 »

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 »

Septic Cardiomyopathy

Septic Cardiomyopathy

A middle aged man developed septic shock secondary to community acquired pneumonia. He was ventilated and commenced on noradrenaline therapy. He had an echo on admission that showed a structurally normal heart with normal biventricular function. He remained statically unwell for several days and had a further deterioration on day 4 with further bilateral consolidation seen on CXR. Repeat echocardiography showed a well filled, but globally impaired heart with an ejection fraction of 10-20%. He was commenced on additional inotropic support, but continued to deteriorate, developed multiorgan failure and died.

Is septic cardiomyopathy reversible? What is the current best treatment?Read More »

On-Demand Re-Laparotomy for Severe Secondary Peritonitis

On-Demand Re-Laparotomy for Severe Secondary Peritonitis

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 »

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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