Decompressive Laparotomy in Abdominal Compartment Syndrome

Decompressive Laparotomy in Abdominal Compartment Syndrome

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 »

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Therapeutic Hypothermia after Cardiac Arrest (Post-TTM)

Therapeutic Hypothermia after Cardiac Arrest (Post-TTM)

A 55 year old presented to ED following a witnessed VF arrest. He received bystander CPR and several shocks from the ambulance crew. He was intubated at the scene, and transferred to ED with return of spontaneous circulation. He had primary PCI to LAD and was transferred to the ICU for therapeutic hypothermia. He was kept at 33 degrees for 24 hours, and rewarmed over 8 hours. He extubated 2 days late with no cognitive impairment, and mild weakness in one arm.

What is the evidence for and against Targeted Temperature Management (TTM) post cardiac arrest?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 »

Critical Care Echocardiography

Critical Care Echocardiography

A 34 year old IV drug abuser was admitted with respiratory failure, bilateral patchy changes on chest X-ray, raised inflammatory markers and septic shock. She was intubated and commenced on antibiotics and noradrenaline. An in-house Focussed Intensive Care Echo was performed to guide fluid resuscitation. This was suggestive of hypovolaemia, but a large mobile mass was also observed in the left ventricular chamber. A departmental echo the next day confirmed the presence of a large vegetation on the anterior mitral valve leaflet with severe mitral regurgitation. She underwent a further period of stabilisation and underwent a mitral valve replacement.

What is the evidence for the development of in-house echocardiography skills within the critical care setting?Read More »

Enteral vs Parenteral Feeding on ICU

Enteral vs Parenteral Feeding on ICU

A middle aged woman presented with an acute abdomen. At laparotomy she was found to have generalised peritonitis secondary to small bowel perforation due to adhesional obstruction. She remained ventilated and on noradrenaline support for several days post-op. Trophic enteral feeds were introduced at 24hrs post-op, but NG aspirates remained high for a further 48 hours despite prokinetics. The decision was made to institute parenteral nutrition if no improvement at day 5 post-op, but was never commenced as NG aspirates improved and enteral nutrition was gradually increased.

What is the evidence for enteral versus parenteral feed as a source of nutrition in critical ill patients?Read More »

ICU Admission with Haematological Malignancy

Outcomes of ICU Admission with Haematological Malignancy

An middle aged woman presented with a blast crisis following acute transformation of preexisting chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia. She failed to respond to several cycles of chemotherapy and underwent allogeneic bone marrow transplant. She subsequently developed neutropaenic septic shock and was found to have fungal pulmonary abscesses. Her sepsis was aggressively managed on ICU and she made steady progress and eventually recovered, and was discharged from hospital 5 weeks after her ICU admission.

What is the current evidence related to the mortality and morbidity associated with admission to intensive care for patients with haematological malignancy?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 »

Intralipid in Antihypertensive Overdose

Intralipid in Antihypertensive Overdose

A middle aged man presented after having taken a mixed antihypertensive overdose of ramipril, amlodipine and bendroflumethiazide. He had refractory hypotension despite fluids, noradrenaline, adrenaline vasopressin and calcium infusions.  After discussion with toxicologists he was given 20% intralipid as per the AAGBI guidelines for LA toxicity. There was an immediate but transient improvement in his BP with two bolus doses of intralipid. Over the subwequent hours and days, he stabilised and weaned off his vasopressor support. There was no long-lasting organ dysfunction.

What is the evidence for the use of intralipid in the management for antihypertensive overdose?

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Early Goal Directed Therapy for Severe Sepsis

Early Goal Directed Therapy for Severe Sepsis

An elderly man presented with urosepsis. He was in septic shock with a lactate of 8.2 on presentation. He was commenced on antibiotics and fluid resuscitated in the Emergency Department and his lactate was remeasured as 6.1. His ScvO2 was measured as 54%, rising to 63% after further fluid challenge. He was fluid resuscitated and commenced on noradrenaline to maintain a MAP of 65. He recovered from his urosepsis and was discharged from hospital 5 days later.

What is the evidence for and against Early Goal Directed Therapy for the management of severe sepsis?Read More »

Use of Albumin in Septic Shock

Use of Albumin in Septic Shock

A 40 year old woman presented with 4 days of abdominal pain, distended abdomen and faeculent vomiting. She was in septic shock on presentation and laparotomy revealed a sigmoid perforation with four quadrant peritonitis. Postoperatively she was extubated, but dependent on noradrenaline. Overnight, her vasopressor requirements escalated despite additional fluid resuscitation. Transthoracic echo suggesed hypovolaemia, and as she was hypoalbuminaemic she was given regular boluses of 20% albumin which resulted in transient improvments in blood pressure. Despite a return to theatre for further washout, she developed multiorgan failure and died.

What is the evidence behind the use of Albumin as a resuscitation fluid in patients with septic shock?Read More »