Re-thinking resuscitation: leaving blood pressure cosmetics behind and moving forward to permissive hypotension and a tissue perfusion-based approach. (Kamat)

Dünser MW, Takala J, Brunauer A, Bakker J. Re-thinking resuscitation: leaving blood pressure cosmetics behind and moving forward to permissive hypotension and a tissue perfusion-based approach. Crit Care. 2013 Oct 8;17(5):326.

“Definitions of shock and resuscitation endpoints traditionally focus on blood pressures and cardiac output. This carries a high risk of overemphasizing systemic hemodynamics at the cost of tissue perfusion. In line with novel shock definitions and evidence of the lack of a correlation between macro- and microcirculation in shock, we recommend that macrocirculatory resuscitation endpoints, particularly arterial and central venous pressure as well as cardiac output, be reconsidered. In this viewpoint article, we propose a three-step approach of resuscitation endpoints in shock of all origins. This approach targets only a minimum individual and context-sensitive mean arterial blood pressure (for example, 45 to 50 mm Hg) to preserve heart and brain perfusion. Further resuscitation is exclusively guided by endpoints of tissue perfusion irrespectively of the presence of arterial hypotension (‘permissive hypotension’). Finally, optimization of individual tissue (for example, renal) perfusion is targeted. Prospective clinical studies are necessary to confirm the postulated benefits of targeting these resuscitation endpoints.”

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Nighttime intensivist staffing and the timing of death among ICU decedents: a retrospective cohort study. (Carmean)

Reineck LA, Wallace DJ, Barnato AE, Kahn JM. Nighttime intensivist staffing and the timing of death among ICU decedents: a retrospective cohort study. Crit Care. 2013 Oct 3;17(5):R216.

INTRODUCTION: Intensive care units (ICUs) are increasingly adopting 24-hour intensivist physician staffing. Although nighttime intensivist staffing does not consistently reduce mortality, it may affect other outcomes such as the quality of end-of-life care.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of ICU decedents using the 2009–2010 Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation clinical information system linked to a survey of ICU staffing practices. We restricted the analysis to ICUs with high-intensity daytime staffing, in which the addition of nighttime staffing does not influence mortality. We used multivariable regression to assess the relationship between nighttime intensivist staffing and two separate outcomes potentially related to the quality of end-of-life care: time from ICU admission to death and death at night.

RESULTS: Of 30,456 patients admitted to 27 high-intensity daytime staffed ICUs, 3,553 died in the hospital within 30 days. After adjustment for potential confounders, admission to an ICU with nighttime intensivist staffing was associated with a shorter duration between ICU admission and death (adjusted difference: -2.5 days, 95% CI -3.5 to -1.5, p-value < 0.001) and a decreased odds of nighttime death (adjusted odds ratio: 0.75, 95% CI 0.60 to 0.94, p-value 0.011) compared to admission to an ICU without nighttime intensivist staffing.

CONCLUSIONS: Among ICU decedents, nighttime intensivist staffing is associated with reduced time between ICU admission and death and reduced odds of nighttime death.

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Dexmedetomidine use in the ICU: Are we there yet? (Pham)

Ahmed S, Murugan R. Dexmedetomidine use in the ICU: Are we there yet? Crit Care. 2013 May 31;17(3):320.

BACKGROUND: Long-term sedation with midazolam or propofol in intensive care units (ICUs) has serious adverse effects. Dexmedetomidine, an alpha-2 agonist available for ICU sedation, may reduce the duration of mechanical ventilation and enhance patient comfort.

METHODS: OBJECTIVE: The objective was to determine the efficacy of dexmedetomidine versus midazolam or propofol (preferred usual care) in maintaining sedation, reducing duration of mechanical ventilation, and improving patients’ interaction with nursing care.

DESIGN: Two phase 3 multicenter, randomized, double-blind trials were conducted.

SETTING: The MIDEX (Midazolam vs. Dexmedetomidine) trial compared midazolam with dexmedetomidine in ICUs of 44 centers in nine European countries. The PRODEX (Propofol vs. Dexmedetomidine) trial compared propofol with dexmedetomidine in 31 centers in six European countries and two centers in Russia.

SUBJECTS: The subjects were adult ICU patients who were receiving mechanical ventilation and who needed light to moderate sedation for more than 24 hours.

INTERVENTION: After enrollment, 251 and 249 subjects were randomly assigned midazolam and dexmedetomidine, respectively, in the MIDEX trial, and 247 and 251 subjects were randomly assigned propofol and dexmedetomidine, respectively, in the PRODEX trial. Sedation with dexmedetomidine, midazolam, or propofol; daily sedation stops; and spontaneous breathing trials were employed.

OUTCOMES: For each trial, investigators tested whether dexmedetomidine was noninferior to control with respect to proportion of time at target sedation level (measured by Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale) and superior to control with respect to duration of mechanical ventilation. Secondary end points were the ability of the patient to communicate pain (measured by using a visual analogue scale [VAS]) and length of ICU stay. Time at target sedation was analyzed in per-protocol (midazolam, n = 233, versus dexmedetomidine, n = 227; propofol, n = 214, versus dexmedetomidine, n = 223) population.

RESULTS: Dexmedetomidine/midazolam ratio in time at target sedation was 1.07 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.97 to 1.18), and dexmedetomidine/propofol ratio in time at target sedation was 1.00 (95% CI 0.92 to 1.08). Median duration of mechanical ventilation appeared shorter with dexmedetomidine (123 hours, interquartile range (IQR) 67 to 337) versus midazolam (164 hours, IQR 92 to 380; P = 0.03) but not with dexmedetomidine (97 hours, IQR 45 to 257) versus propofol (118 hours, IQR 48 to 327; P = 0.24). Patient interaction (measured by using VAS) was improved with dexmedetomidine (estimated score difference versus midazolam 19.7, 95% CI 15.2 to 24.2; P <0.001; and versus propofol 11.2, 95% CI 6.4 to 15.9; P <0.001). Lengths of ICU and hospital stays and mortality rates were similar. Dexmedetomidine versus midazolam patients had more hypotension (51/247 [20.6%] versus 29/250 [11.6%]; P = 0.007) and bradycardia (35/247 [14.2%] versus 13/250 [5.2%]; P <0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Among ICU patients receiving prolonged mechanical ventilation, dexmedetomidine was not inferior to midazolam and propofol in maintaining light to moderate sedation. Dexmedetomidine reduced duration of mechanical ventilation compared with midazolam and improved the ability of patients to communicate pain compared with midazolam and propofol. Greater numbers of adverse effects were associated with dexmedetomidine.

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Relationship between red cell storage duration and outcomes in adults receiving red cell transfusions: a systematic review. (Paden)

Crit Care. 2013 Apr 8;17(2):R66. PMID: 23566599

INTRODUCTION: The duration of red blood cell (RBC) storage before transfusion may alter RBC function and supernatant and, therefore, influence the incidence of complications or even mortality.

METHODS: A MEDLINE search from 1983 to December 2012 was performed to identify studies reporting age of transfused RBCs and mortality or morbidity in adult patients.

RESULTS: Fifty-five studies were identified; most were single-center (93%) and retrospective (64%), with only a few, small randomized studies (8 studies, 14.5%). The numbers of patients included ranged from 8 to 364,037. Morbidity outcomes included hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay (LOS), infections, multiple organ failure, microcirculatory alterations, cancer recurrence, thrombosis, bleeding, vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage, and cognitive dysfunction. Overall, half of the studies showed no deleterious effects of aged compared to fresh blood on any endpoint. Eleven of 22 (50%) studies reported no increased mortality, and three of 9 (33%) showed no increased LOS with older RBCs. Ten of 18 (55%) studies showed increased infections and 8 of 12 (66%) studies showed no increased risks of organ failure with transfusion of older RBCs. The considerable heterogeneity among studies and numerous methodological flaws precluded a formal meta-analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: In this systematic review, we could find no definitive argument to support the superiority of fresh over older RBCs for transfusion.

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