2014 Oct - Simvastatin in the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

McAuley DF, Laffey JG, O'Kane CM, Perkins GD, Mullan B, Trinder TJ, Johnston P, Hopkins PA, Johnston AJ, McDowell C, McNally C; the HARP-2 Investigators, for the Irish Critical Care Trials Group.;N Engl J Med. 2014 Sep 30. [Epub ahead of print]

Background Studies in animals and in vitro and phase 2 studies in humans suggest that statins may be beneficial in the treatment of the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). This study tested the hypothesis that treatment with simvastatin would improve clinical outcomes in patients with ARDS.

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2014 Jun - Dying with Dignity in the Intensive Care Unit

Cook D, Rocker G.; N Engl J Med. 2014 Jun 26;370(26):2506-14.

It is not uncommon for patients to have an expected death in an ICU. This review covers issues related to the end of life in the absence of discordance between the patient's family and caregivers.

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2014 Mar - Albumin Replacement in Patients with Severe Sepsis or Septic Shock

Caironi P, Tognoni G, Masson S, Fumagalli R, Pesenti A, Romero M, Fanizza C, Caspani L, Faenza S, Grasselli G, Iapichino G, Antonelli M, Parrini V, Fiore G, Latini R, Gattinoni L; the ALBIOS Study Investigators.; N Engl J Med. 2014 Mar 18. [Epub ahead of print]

Background: Although previous studies have suggested the potential advantages of albumin administration in patients with severe sepsis, its efficacy has not been fully established.

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2014 Mar - A Randomized Trial of Protocol-Based Care for Early Septic Shock

The ProCESS Investigators.;N Engl J Med. 2014 Mar 18. [Epub ahead of print]

Background: In a single-center study published more than a decade ago involving patients presenting to the emergency department with severe sepsis and septic shock, mortality was markedly lower among those who were treated according to a 6-hour protocol of early goal-directed therapy (EGDT), in which intravenous fluids, vasopressors, inotropes, and blood transfusions were adjusted to reach central hemodynamic targets, than among those receiving usual care. We conducted a trial to determine whether these findings were generalizable and whether all aspects of the protocol were necessary.

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2014 Mar - High versus Low Blood-Pressure Target in Patients with Septic Shock

Asfar P, Meziani F, Hamel JF, Grelon F, Megarbane B, Anguel N, Mira JP, Dequin PF, Gergaud S, Weiss N, Legay F, Le Tulzo Y, Conrad M, Robert R, Gonzalez F, Guitton C, Tamion F, Tonnelier JM, Guezennec P, Linden TV, Vieillard-Baron A, Mariotte E, Pradel G, Lesieur O, Ricard JD, Hervé F, Cheyron DD, Guerin C, Mercat A, Teboul JL, Radermacher P; the SEPSISPAM Investigators.; N Engl J Med. 2014 Mar 18. [Epub ahead of print]

Background: The Surviving Sepsis Campaign recommends targeting a mean arterial pressure of at least 65 mm Hg during initial resuscitation of patients with septic shock. However, whether this blood-pressure target is more or less effective than a higher target is unknown.

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2014 Feb - Community-Acquired Pneumonia

Wunderink RG, Waterer GW.; N Engl J Med. 2014 Feb 6;370(6):543-51.

Treatment of community-acquired pneumonia typically involves either a respiratory fluoroquinolone or a combination of cephalosporin and a macrolide. Initial broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy should be targeted to patients selected according to risk factors or existing disease.

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2014 Jan - Sedation and Delirium in the Intensive Care Unit

Reade MC, Finfer S.; N Engl J Med. 2014 Jan 30;370(5):444-54.

Patients in ICUs often require pain relief and sedation to treat both the underlying medical condition and the unpleasantness associated with being in an ICU. This review provides guidance on the identification and treatment of delirium and sedation.

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2013 Dec - Acute Liver Failure

Bernal W, Wendon J.; N Engl J Med. 2013 Dec 26;369(26):2525-34.

Acute liver failure is a rare but life-threatening critical illness that occurs most often in patients who do not have preexisting liver disease. With an incidence of fewer than 10 cases per million persons per year in the developed world, acute liver failure is seen most commonly in previously healthy adults in their 30s and presents unique challenges in clinical management...

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2013 Dec 5 - Targeted Temperature Management at 33°C versus 36°C after Cardiac Arrest

Nielsen N, Wetterslev J, Cronberg T, Erlinge D, Gasche Y, Hassager C, Horn J, Hovdenes J, Kjaergaard J, Kuiper M, Pellis T, Stammet P, Wanscher M, Wise MP, Åneman A, Al-Subaie N, Boesgaard S, Bro-Jeppesen J, Brunetti I, Bugge JF, Hingston CD, Juffermans NP, Koopmans M, Køber L, Langørgen J, Lilja G, Møller JE, Rundgren M, Rylander C, Smid O, Werer C, Winkel P, Friberg H; TTM Trial Investigators.; N Engl J Med. 2013 Dec 5;369(23):2197-206. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1310519. Epub 2013 Nov 17.

BACKGROUND: Unconscious survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest have a high risk of death or poor neurologic function. Therapeutic hypothermia is recommended by international guidelines, but the supporting evidence is limited, and the target temperature associated with the best outcome is unknown. Our objective was to compare two target temperatures, both intended to prevent fever.

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2013 Nov 28 - Ventilator-Induced Lung Injury

Slutsky AS, Ranieri VM.; N Engl J Med. 2013 Nov 28;369(22):2126-36.


Mechanical ventilation may cause injury to the ventilated lung. This article reviews the probable causes of such injury and ways to prevent it.

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2013 Oct 31 - Circulatory Shock

Vincent JL, De Backer D.; N Engl J Med. 2013 Oct 31;369(18):1726-34.

Circulatory shock is present when physical signs and changes in laboratory values suggest tissue hypoperfusion. This article in the Critical Care Medicine series reviews the diagnosis and treatment of various forms of shock.

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2013 Aug 29 - Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock

Derek C. Angus, M.D., M.P.H., and Tom van der Poll, M.D., Ph.D. N Engl J Med 2013; 369:840-851 August 29, 2013

Sepsis is one of the oldest and most elusive syndromes in medicine. Hippocrates claimed that sepsis (σήψις) was the process by which flesh rots, swamps generate foul airs, and wounds fester.1 Galen later considered sepsis a laudable event, necessary for wound healing.2 With the confirmation of germ theory by Semmelweis, Pasteur, and others, sepsis was recast as a systemic infection, often described as “blood poisoning,” and assumed to be the result of the host's invasion by pathogenic organisms that then spread in the bloodstream. However, with the advent of modern antibiotics, germ theory did not fully explain the pathogenesis of sepsis: many patients with sepsis died despite successful eradication of the inciting pathogen. Thus, researchers suggested that it was the host, not the germ, that drove the pathogenesis of sepsis.3

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2013 Aug 1 - A Trial of Intraoperative Low-Tidal-Volume Ventilation in Abdominal Surgery

Emmanuel Futier, M.D., Jean-Michel Constantin, M.D., Ph.D., Catherine Paugam-Burtz, M.D., Ph.D., Julien Pascal, M.D., Mathilde Eurin, M.D., Arthur Neuschwander, M.D., Emmanuel Marret, M.D., Marc Beaussier, M.D., Ph.D., Christophe Gutton, M.D., Jean-Yves Lefrant, M.D., Ph.D., Bernard Allaouchiche, M.D., Ph.D., Daniel Verzilli, M.D., Marc Leone, M.D., Ph.D., Audrey De Jong, M.D., Jean-Etienne Bazin, M.D., Ph.D., Bruno Pereira, Ph.D., and Samir Jaber, M.D., Ph.D. for the IMPROVE Study Group. N Engl J Med 2013; 369:428-437 August 1, 2013

Lung-protective ventilation with the use of low tidal volumes and positive end-expiratory pressure is considered best practice in the care of many critically ill patients. However, its role in anesthetized patients undergoing major surgery is not known.

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2013 Jun - A randomized trial of nighttime physician staffing in an intensive care unit

Kerlin MP, Small DS, Cooney E, Fuchs BD, Bellini LM, Mikkelsen ME, Schweickert WD, Bakhru RN, Gabler NB, Harhay MO, Hansen-Flaschen J, Halpern SD.; N Engl J Med. 2013 Jun 6;368(23):2201-9. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1302854. Epub 2013 May 20.

BACKGROUND: Increasing numbers of intensive care units (ICUs) are adopting the practice of nighttime intensivist staffing despite the lack of experimental evidence of its effectiveness.

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2013 June 19 - Hospital Outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus

Abdullah Assiri, M.D., Allison McGeer, M.D., Trish M. Perl, M.D., Connie S. Price, M.D., Abdullah A. Al Rabeeah, M.D., Derek A.T. Cummings, Ph.D., Zaki N. Alabdullatif, M.D., Maher Assad, M.D., Abdulmohsen Almulhim, M.D., Hatem Makhdoom, Ph.D., Hossam Madani, Ph.D., Rafat Alhakeem, M.D., Jaffar A. Al-Tawfiq, M.D., Matthew Cotten, Ph.D., Simon J. Watson, Ph.D., Paul Kellam, Ph.D., Alimuddin I. Zumla, M.D., and Ziad A. Memish, M.D. for the KSA MERS-CoV Investigation Team. June 19, 2013, NEJM

In September 2012, the World Health Organization reported the first cases of pneumonia caused by the novel Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). We describe a cluster of health care–acquired MERS-CoV infections.

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2013 May 29 - Rapid Blood-Pressure Lowering in Patients with Acute Intracerebral Hemorrhage

Craig S. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., Emma Heeley, Ph.D., Yining Huang, M.D., Jiguang Wang, M.D., Christian Stapf, M.D., Candice Delcourt, M.D., et al. May 29, 2013 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1214609

Whether rapid lowering of elevated blood pressure would improve the outcome in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage is not known.

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2013 May 20 - Prone Positioning in Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Claude Guérin, M.D., Ph.D., Jean Reignier, M.D., Ph.D., Jean-Christophe Richard, M.D., Ph.D., Pascal Beuret, M.D., Arnaud Gacouin, M.D., Thierry Boulain, M.D., et al. May 20, 2013

Previous trials involving patients with the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) have failed to show a beneficial effect of prone positioning during mechanical ventilatory support on outcomes. We evaluated the effect of early application of prone positioning on outcomes in patients with severe ARDS.

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2013 May 29 - Targeted versus Universal Decolonization to Prevent ICU Infection

Susan S. Huang, M.D., M.P.H., Edward Septimus, M.D., Ken Kleinman, Sc.D., Julia Moody, M.S., Jason Hickok, M.B.A., R.N., Taliser R. Avery, M.S., et al. May 29, 2013

Both targeted decolonization and universal decolonization of patients in intensive care units (ICUs) are candidate strategies to prevent health care–associated infections, particularly those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

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2013 April 24 - Preliminary Report: Epidemiology of the Avian Influenza A (H7N9) Outbreak in China

Qun Li, M.D., Lei Zhou, M.D., Minghao Zhou, Ph.D., Zhiping Chen, M.D., Furong Li, M.D., Huanyu Wu, M.D., et al. April 24, 2013

The first identified cases of avian influenza A (H7N9) virus infection in humans occurred in China during February and March 2013. We analyzed data obtained from field investigations to characterize the epidemiologic characteristics of H7N9 cases in China as of April 17, 2013.

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2013 April 11 - Global Concerns Regarding Novel Influenza A (H7N9) Virus Infections

Timothy M. Uyeki, M.D., M.P.H., M.P.P., and Nancy J. Cox, Ph.D. April 11, 2013; NEJM.

Severe disease in humans caused by a novel influenza A virus that is distinct from circulating human influenza A viruses is a seminal event. It might herald sporadic human infections from an animal source — e.g., highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A (H5N1) virus; or it might signal the start of an influenza pandemic — e.g., influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus. Therefore, the discovery of novel influenza A (H7N9) virus infections in three critically ill patients reported in

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