A Simple and Robust Bedside Model for Mortality Risk in Pediatric Patients With Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. (Sirignano)

Spicer AC, et al. A Simple and Robust Bedside Model for Mortality Risk in Pediatric Patients With Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2016 Aug 3. [Epub ahead of print]

OBJECTIVES: Despite declining mortality, acute respiratory distress syndrome is still involved in up to one third of pediatric intensive care deaths. The recently convened Pediatric Acute Lung Injury Consensus Conference has outlined research priorities for the field, which include the need for accurate bedside risk stratification of patients. We aimed to develop a simple yet robust model of mortality risk among pediatric patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome to facilitate the targeted application of high-risk investigational therapies and stratification for enrollment in clinical trials.

DESIGN: Prospective, multicenter cohort.

SETTING: Five academic PICUs.

PATIENTS: Three hundred eight children greater than 1 month and less than or equal to 18 years old, admitted to the ICU, with bilateral infiltrates on chest radiograph and PaO2/FIO2 ratio less than 300 in the clinical absence of left atrial hypertension.


MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Twenty clinical variables were recorded in the following six categories: demographics, medical history, oxygenation, ventilation, radiographic imaging, and multiple organ dysfunction. Data were measured 0-24 and 48-72 hours after acute respiratory distress syndrome onset (day 1 and 3) and examined for associations with hospital mortality. Among 308 enrolled patients, mortality was 17%. Children with a history of cancer and/or hematopoietic stem cell transplant had higher mortality (47% vs 11%; p < 0.001). Oxygenation index, the PaO2/FIO2 ratio, extrapulmonary organ dysfunction, Pediatric Risk of Mortality-3, and positive cumulative fluid balance were each associated with mortality. Using two statistical approaches, we found that a parsimonious model of mortality risk using only oxygenation index and cancer/hematopoietic stem cell transplant history performed as well as other more complex models that required additional variables.

CONCLUSIONS: In the PICU, oxygenation index and cancer/hematopoietic stem cell transplant history can be used on acute respiratory distress syndrome day 1 or day 3 to predict hospital mortality without the need for more complex models. These findings may simplify risk assessment for clinical trials, counseling families, and high-risk interventions such as extracorporeal life support.

Effect of Transfusion of Red Blood Cells With Longer vs Shorter Storage Duration on Elevated Blood Lactate Levels in Children With Severe Anemia: The TOTAL Randomized Clinical Trial. (Sirignano)

Dhabangi A, et al. Effect of Transfusion of Red Blood Cells With Longer vs Shorter Storage Duration on Elevated Blood Lactate Levels in Children With Severe Anemia: The TOTAL Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2015 Dec 15;314(23):2514-23.

IMPORTANCE: Although millions of transfusions are given annually worldwide, the effect of red blood cell (RBC) unit storage duration on oxygen delivery is uncertain.

OBJECTIVE: To determine if longer-storage RBC units are not inferior to shorter-storage RBC units for tissue oxygenation as measured by reduction in blood lactate levels and improvement in cerebral tissue oxygen saturation among children with severe anemia.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Randomized noninferiority trial of 290 children (aged 6-60 months), most with malaria or sickle cell disease, presenting February 2013 through May 2015 to a university-affiliated national referral hospital in Kampala, Uganda, with a hemoglobin level of 5 g/dL or lower and a lactate level of 5 mmol/L or higher.

INTERVENTIONS: Patients were randomly assigned to receive RBC units stored 25 to 35 days (longer-storage group; n = 145) vs 1 to 10 days (shorter-storage group; n = 145). All units were leukoreduced prior to storage. All patients received 10 mL/kg of RBCs during hours 0 through 2 and, if indicated per protocol, an additional 10 mL/kg during hours 4 through 6.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was the proportion of patients with a lactate level of 3 mmol/L or lower at 8 hours using a margin of noninferiority equal to an absolute difference of 25%. Secondary measures included noninvasive cerebral tissue oxygen saturation during the first transfusion, clinical and laboratory changes up to 24 hours, and survival and health at 30 days after transfusion. Adverse events were monitored up to 24 hours.

RESULTS: In the total population of 290 children, the mean (SD) presenting hemoglobin level was 3.7 g/dL (1.3) and mean lactate level was 9.3 mmol/L (3.4). Median (interquartile range) RBC unit storage was 8 days (7-9) for shorter storage vs 32 days (30-34) for longer storage without overlap. The proportion achieving the primary end point was 0.61 (95% CI, 0.52 to 0.69) in the longer-storage group vs 0.58 (95% CI, 0.49 to 0.66) in the shorter-storage group (between-group difference, 0.03 [95% CI, -0.07 to ∞], P < .001), meeting the prespecified margin of noninferiority. Mean lactate levels were not statistically different between the 2 groups at 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, or 24 hours. Kaplan-Meier analysis and global nonlinear regression revealed no statistical difference in lactate reduction between the 2 groups. Clinical assessment, cerebral oxygen saturation, electrolyte abnormalities, adverse events, survival, and 30-day recovery were also not significantly different between the groups.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Among children with lactic acidosis due to severe anemia, transfusion of longer-storage compared with shorter-storage RBC units did not result in inferior reduction of elevated blood lactate levels. These findings have relevance regarding the efficacy of stored RBC transfusion for patients with critical tissue hypoxia and lactic acidosis due to anemia.

Analysis of Unplanned Intensive Care Unit Admissions in Postoperative Pediatric Patients. (Sirignano)

Landry EK, et al. Analysis of Unplanned Intensive Care Unit Admissions in Postoperative Pediatric Patients. J Intensive Care Med. 2016 Aug 15. [Epub ahead of print]

BACKGROUND: Currently, there are only a few retrospective, single-institution studies that have addressed the prevalence and risk factors associated with unplanned admissions to the pediatric intensive care unit (ICU) after surgery. Based on the limited amount of studies, it appears that airway and respiratory complications put a child at increased risk for unplanned ICU admission. A more extensive and diverse analysis of unplanned postoperative admissions to the ICU is needed to address risk factors that have yet to be revealed by the current literature.

AIM: To establish a rate of unplanned postoperative ICU admissions in pediatric patients using a large, multi-institution data set and to further characterize the associated risk factors.

METHODS: Data from the National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry were analyzed. We recorded the overall risk of unplanned postoperative ICU admission in patients younger than 18 years and performed univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis to identify the associated patient, surgical, and anesthetic-related characteristics.

RESULTS: Of the 324 818 cases analyzed, 211 reported an unexpected ICU admission. There was an increased likelihood of unplanned postoperative ICU in infants (age <1 year) and children who were classified as American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status classification of III or IV. Likewise, longer case duration and cases requiring general anesthesia were also associated with unplanned ICU admissions.

CONCLUSION: This study establishes a rate of unplanned ICU admission following surgery in the heterogeneous pediatric population. This is the first study to utilize such a large data set encompassing a wide range of practice environments to identify risk factors leading to unplanned postoperative ICU admissions. Our study revealed that patient, surgical, and anesthetic complexity each contributed to an increased number of unplanned ICU admissions in the pediatric population.

Treatment of Pediatric Septic Shock With the Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines and PICU Patient Outcomes. (Sirignano)

Workman JK, et al. Treatment of Pediatric Septic Shock With the Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines and PICU Patient Outcomes. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2016 Aug 5. [Epub ahead of print]

OBJECTIVES: The Surviving Sepsis Campaign recommends rapid recognition and treatment of severe sepsis and septic shock. Few reports have evaluated the impact of these recommendations in pediatrics. We sought to determine if outcomes in patients who received initial care compliant with the Surviving Sepsis Campaign time goals differed from those treated more slowly.

DESIGN: Single center retrospective cohort study.

SETTING: Emergency department and PICU at an academic children’s hospital.

PATIENTS: Three hundred twenty-one patients treated for septic shock in the emergency department and admitted directly to the PICU.


MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The exposure was receipt of emergency department care compliant with the Surviving Sepsis Campaign recommendations (delivery of IV fluids, IV antibiotics, and vasoactive infusions within 1 hr of shock recognition). The primary outcome was development of new or progressive multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. Secondary outcomes included mortality, need for mechanical ventilation or vasoactive medications, and hospital and PICU length of stay. Of the 321 children studied, 117 received Surviving Sepsis Campaign compliant care in the emergency department and 204 did not. New or progressive multiple organ dysfunction syndrome developed in nine of the patients (7.7%) who received Surviving Sepsis Campaign compliant care and 25 (12.3%) who did not (p = 0.26). There were 17 deaths; overall mortality rate was 5%. There were no significant differences between groups in any of the secondary outcomes. Although only 36% of patients met the Surviving Sepsis Campaign guideline recommendation of bundled care within 1 hour of shock recognition, 75% of patients received the recommended interventions in less than 3 hours.

CONCLUSIONS: Treatment for pediatric septic shock in compliance with the Surviving Sepsis Campaign recommendations was not associated with better outcomes compared with children whose initial therapies in the emergency department were administered more slowly. However, all patients were treated rapidly and we report low morbidity and mortality. This underscores the importance of rapid recognition and treatment of septic shock.

A Qualitative Study Exploring Factors Associated with Provider Adherence to Severe Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Guidelines. (Colman)

Brolliar SM, et al. A Qualitative Study Exploring Factors Associated with Provider Adherence to Severe Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Guidelines. J Neurotrauma. 2016 Aug 15;33(16):1554-60.

Despite demonstrated improvement in patient outcomes with use of the Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Guidelines (Guidelines), there are differential rates of adherence. Provider perspectives on barriers and facilitators to adherence have not been elucidated. This study aimed to identify and explore in depth the provider perspective on factors associated with adherence to the Guidelines using 19 focus groups with nurses and physicians who provided acute management for pediatric patients with TBI at five university-affiliated Level 1 trauma centers. Data were examined using deductive and inductive content analysis. Results indicated that three inter-related domains were associated with clinical adherence: 1) perceived guideline credibility and applicability to individual patients, 2) implementation, dissemination, and enforcement strategies, and 3) provider culture, communication styles, and attitudes towards protocols. Specifically, Guideline usefulness was determined by the perceived relevance to the individual patient given age, injury etiology, and severity and the strength of the evidence. Institutional methods to formally endorse, codify, and implement the Guidelines into the local culture were important. Providers wanted local protocols developed using interdisciplinary consensus. Finally, a culture of collaboration, including consistent, respectful communication and interdisciplinary cooperation, facilitated adherence. Provider training and experience, as well as attitudes towards other standardized care protocols, mirror the use and attitudes towards the Guidelines. Adherence was determined by the interaction of each of these guideline, institutional, and provider factors acting in concert. Incorporating provider perspectives on barriers and facilitators to adherence into hospital and team protocols is an important step toward improving adherence and ultimately patient outcomes.

Utilizing a Collaborative Learning Model to Promote Early Extubation Following Infant Heart Surgery. (Colman)

Mahle WT, et al. Utilizing a Collaborative Learning Model to Promote Early Extubation Following Infant Heart Surgery. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2016 Aug 10. [Epub ahead of print]

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether a collaborative learning strategy-derived clinical practice guideline can reduce the duration of endotracheal intubation following infant heart surgery.

DESIGN: Prospective and retrospective data collected from the Pediatric Heart Network in the 12 months pre- and post-clinical practice guideline implementation at the four sites participating in the collaborative (active sites) compared with data from five Pediatric Heart Network centers not participating in collaborative learning (control sites).

SETTING: Ten children’s hospitals.

PATIENTS: Data were collected for infants following two-index operations: 1) repair of isolated coarctation of the aorta (birth to 365 d) and 2) repair of tetralogy of Fallot (29-365 d). There were 240 subjects eligible for the clinical practice guideline at active sites and 259 subjects at control sites.

INTERVENTIONS: Development and application of early extubation clinical practice guideline.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: After clinical practice guideline implementation, the rate of early extubation at active sites increased significantly from 11.7% to 66.9% (p < 0.001) with no increase in reintubation rate. The median duration of postoperative intubation among active sites decreased from 21.2 to 4.5 hours (p < 0.001). No statistically significant change in early extubation rates was found in the control sites 11.7% to 13.7% (p = 0.63). At active sites, clinical practice guideline implementation had no statistically significant impact on median ICU length of stay (71.9 hr pre- vs 69.2 hr postimplementation; p = 0.29) for the entire cohort. There was a trend toward shorter ICU length of stay in the tetralogy of Fallot subgroup (71.6 hr pre- vs 54.2 hr postimplementation, p = 0.068).

CONCLUSIONS: A collaborative learning strategy designed clinical practice guideline significantly increased the rate of early extubation with no change in the rate of reintubation. The early extubation clinical practice guideline did not significantly change postoperative ICU length of stay.

Lactated Ringer Is Associated With Reduced Mortality and Less Acute Kidney Injury in Critically Ill Patients: A Retrospective Cohort Analysis. (Colman)

Zampieri FG, et al. Lactated Ringer Is Associated With Reduced Mortality and Less Acute Kidney Injury in Critically Ill Patients: A Retrospective Cohort Analysis. Crit Care Med. 2016 Aug 5. [Epub ahead of print]

OBJECTIVES: To assess the impact of the percentage of fluid infused as Lactated Ringer (%LR) during the first 2 days of ICU admission in hospital mortality and occurrence of acute kidney injury.

DESIGN: Retrospective cohort.

SETTING: Analysis of a large public database (Multiparameter Intelligent Monitoring in Intensive Care-II).

PATIENTS: Adult patients with at least 2 days of ICU stay, admission creatinine lower than 5 mg/dL, and that received at least 500 mL of fluid in the first 48 hours.


MEASUREMENT AND MAIN RESULTS: 10,249 patients were included in mortality analysis and 8,085 were included in the acute kidney injury analysis. For acute kidney injury analysis, we excluded patients achieving acute kidney injury criteria in the first 2 days of ICU stay. Acute kidney injury was defined as stage 2/3 Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes creatinine criteria and was assessed from days 3-7. The effects of %LR in both outcomes were assessed through logistic regression controlling for confounders. Principal component analysis was applied to assess the effect of volume of each fluid type on mortality. Higher %LR was associated with lower mortality and less acute kidney injury. %LR effect increased with total volume of fluid infused. For patients in the fourth quartile of fluid volume (> 7 L), the odds ratio for mortality for %LR equal to 75% versus %LR equal to 25% was 0.50 (95% CI, 0.32-0.79; p < 0.001). Principal component analysis suggested that volume of Lactated Ringer and 0.9% saline infused had opposite effects in outcome, favoring Lactated Ringer.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher %LR was associated with reduced hospital mortality and with less acute kidney injury from days 3-7 after ICU admission. The association between %LR and mortality was influenced by the total volume of fluids infused.

Poor Adherence to Lung-Protective Mechanical Ventilation in Pediatric Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. (Colman)

Ward SL, et al. Poor Adherence to Lung-Protective Mechanical Ventilation in Pediatric Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2016 Aug 2. [Epub ahead of print]

OBJECTIVES: To determine the frequency of low-tidal volume ventilation in pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome and assess if any demographic or clinical factors improve low-tidal volume ventilation adherence.

DESIGN: Descriptive post hoc analysis of four multicenter pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome studies.

SETTING: Twenty-six academic PICU.

PATIENTS: Three hundred fifteen pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome patients.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: All patients who received conventional mechanical ventilation at hours 0 and 24 of pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome who had data to calculate ideal body weight were included. Two cutoff points for low-tidal volume ventilation were assessed: less than or equal to 6.5 mL/kg of ideal body weight and less than or equal to 8 mL/kg of ideal body weight. Of 555 patients, we excluded 240 for other respiratory support modes or missing data. The remaining 315 patients had a median PaO2-to-FIO2 ratio of 140 (interquartile range, 90-201), and there were no differences in demographics between those who did and did not receive low-tidal volume ventilation. With tidal volume cutoff of less than or equal to 6.5 mL/kg of ideal body weight, the adherence rate was 32% at hour 0 and 33% at hour 24. A low-tidal volume ventilation cutoff of tidal volume less than or equal to 8 mL/kg of ideal body weight resulted in an adherence rate of 58% at hour 0 and 60% at hour 24. Low-tidal volume ventilation use was no different by severity of pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome nor did adherence improve over time. At hour 0, overweight children were less likely to receive low-tidal volume ventilation less than or equal to 6.5 mL/kg ideal body weight (11% overweight vs 38% nonoverweight; p = 0.02); no difference was noted by hour 24. Furthermore, in the overweight group, using admission weight instead of ideal body weight resulted in misclassification of up to 14% of patients as receiving low-tidal volume ventilation when they actually were not.

CONCLUSIONS: Low-tidal volume ventilation is underused in the first 24 hours of pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome. Age, Pediatric Risk of Mortality-III, and pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome severity were not associated with improved low-tidal volume ventilation adherence nor did adherence improve over time. Overweight children were less likely to receive low-tidal volume ventilation strategies in the first day of illness.

Mechanical circulatory assist devices: a primer for critical care and emergency physicians. (Colman)

Sen A, Larson JS, et al. Mechanical circulatory assist devices: a primer for critical care and emergency physicians. Crit Care. 2016 Jun 25;20(1):153.

Mechanical circulatory assist devices are now commonly used in the treatment of severe heart failure as bridges to cardiac transplant, as destination therapy for patients who are not transplant candidates, and as bridges to recovery and “decision-making”. These devices, which can be used to support the left or right ventricles or both, restore circulation to the tissues, thereby improving organ function. Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are the most common support devices. To care for patients with these devices, health care providers in emergency departments (EDs) and intensive care units (ICUs) need to understand the physiology of the devices, the vocabulary of mechanical support, the types of complications patients may have, diagnostic techniques, and decision-making regarding treatment. Patients with LVADs who come to the ED or are admitted to the ICU usually have nonspecific clinical symptoms, most commonly shortness of breath, hypotension, anemia, chest pain, syncope, hemoptysis, gastrointestinal bleeding, jaundice, fever, oliguria and hematuria, altered mental status, headache, seizure, and back pain. Other patients are seen for cardiac arrest, psychiatric issues, sequelae of noncardiac surgery, and trauma. Although most patients have LVADs, some may have biventricular support devices or total artificial hearts. Involving a team of cardiac surgeons, perfusion experts, and heart-failure physicians, as well as ED and ICU physicians and nurses, is critical for managing treatment for these patients and for successful outcomes. This review is designed for critical care providers who may be the first to see these patients in the ED or ICU.