UMEM Educational Pearls - By Mike Winters

Category: Critical Care

Title: Ventilation During Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Keywords: CPR, ventilation, respiratory rate, PaCO2 (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/27/2017 by Mike Winters, MD
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Ventilation During Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation  

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitations are often highly stressful and chaotic situations.  As a result, it is no surprise that ventilation rates can be as high as 60 breaths per minute.  
  • Hyperventilation during cardiopulmonary resuscitation can increase intrathoracic pressure, impair venous return, decrease coronary perfusion pressure, and ultimately decrease survival.
  • It is imperative that the team leader pay close attention to ventilation and ensure that approximately 8 to 10 breaths per minute are delivered.
  • Once ROSC is achieved, the respiratory rate should be adjusted to maintain a PaCO2 between 40 and 45 mm Hg.  

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Antibiotics in Sepsis

  • Currently international guidelines for the management of sepsis and septic shock recommend antibiotic administration within 1 hour of recognition.
  • With the persistent problem of ED boarding, many patients with sepsis and septic shock remain in the ED long after the initial dose of broad-spectrum antibiotics.
  • A recent single center, retrospective cohort study demonstrated that 1 out of 3 patients with sepsis or septic shock experienced major delays in the time to the second dose of antibiotics.  In fact, over 70% of patients who were given an initial antibiotic with a 6-hr recommended dosing interval experienced major delays.
  • Inpatient boarding in the ED was found to be an independent risk factor for major delays.
  • Take Home Point: Don't forget to write for additional doses of antibiotics in your boarding patients with sepsis.

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Ventilator Settings for the Post-Arrest Patient

  • The majority of patients with ROSC from OHCA require intubation and mechanical ventilation.
  • Correctly managing the ventilator in the post-arrest patient is critical for improving outcomes.
  • As patients are at high risk for ARDS, use lung-protective ventilation with tidal volumes between 6 to 8 ml/kg of ideal body weight and PEEP of 5 to 8 cm H2O.
  • There is a U-shaped relationship between neurologic outcomes and both PaO2 and PaCO2.
    • Target normoxia (SpO2 94% to 96%) and avoid hyperoxia and hypoxia.
    • Target normocapnia (PaCO2 40 to 50 mm Hg) and avoid hypercapnia and hypocapnia.
  • Use an analgosedation approach with short-acting analgesics and sedatives, such as fentanyl and propofol.

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Ketamine is Not Without Risk

Posted: 3/28/2017 by Mike Winters, MD (Updated: 4/13/2024)
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DSI, Ketamine, and Apnea

  • In recent years, delayed sequence intubation (DSI) with ketamine has been used in select patients to maximize preoxygenation and dinitrogenation. 
  • Importantly, DSI is not well studied. In the only prospective trial of DSI, patients received approximately 1.4 mg/kg of ketamine.
  • Driver, et al. report the abrupt onset of apnea in a patient who received a much lower dose of ketamine (25 mg) for DSI.
  • Take Home Point: If DSI is a part of your preoxygenation armamentarium, apnea can occur even at low doses of ketamine.  Stand at the patient's bedside and be ready to immediately intubate the patient.

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Preoxygenation in Critically Ill Patients

  • Achieving adequate preoxygenation and denitrogenation prior to intubating critically ill patients can be challenging.
  • Critically ill patients have physiologic alterations (i.e., derangements in oxygen consumption, anemia, reduced cardiac output, air space disease) that can markedly reduce safe apnea time.
  • For patients with significant air space disease and shunt physiology, noninvasive ventilation (NIV) can decrease shunt fraction, increase functional residual capacity, improve PaO2, and lengthen safe apnea time.
  • Importantly, NIV should be used for at least 3 minutes to achieve improvements in alveolar recruitment.
  • It is also important to remove NIV just prior to larygnoscopy, as alveoli will begin to derecruit when NIV is removed.

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Sepsis Mimics

Posted: 2/14/2017 by Mike Winters, MD (Updated: 4/13/2024)
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Sepsis Mimics

  • Emergency physicians are well versed in the resuscitation of patients with sepsis and septic shock.
  • With the recent publication of the 2016 SSC Guidelines and the emphasis in meeting various quality measures, sepsis is routinely included in the differential diagnosis of critically ill patients.
  • Notwithstanding, it is important to consider other disease states that can present similarly to sepsis or septic shock.  Some of these include:
    • Anaphylaxis
    • Adrenal insufficiency
    • DKA
    • Thyroid storm
    • Toxic ingestion or withdrawal

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Epinephrine in Anaphylaxis

  • Delayed administration of epinephrine for patients witih anaphylaxis is associated with increased morbidity and mortality.
  • Providers are often hesitant to administered epinephrine to older patients with anaphylaxis for fear of precipitating an adverse cardiovascular event.
  • A recent retrospective study of almost 500 patients demonstrated that older patients were significantly less likely to receive epinephrine, despite meeting the definition for anaphylaxis.
  • Furthermore, cardiovascular complications occurred in just 9 patients, 6 of which received an excessive dose via the IV route.
  • Take Home Point: There are no absolute contraindications (including age) for epinephrine in patients with anaphylaxis.  Give the initial dose IM into the anterolateral thigh.

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PaCO2 and the Post-Arrest Patient

  • Alterations in PaCO2 are common during the post-arrest period and have been associated with worse patient centered outcomes.
  • Hypercarbia can dilate cerebral vessels, increase cerebral blood flow, and may increase intracranial pressure.
  • Conversely, hypocarbia can constrict cerebral vessels and may reduce cerebral blood flow.
  • Though the current evidence is primarily limited to observational trials, a recent meta-analysis found that "normocarbia" was associated with improved hospital survival and neurologic outcome. 
  • Take Home: Adjust mechanical ventilation to target normocarbia (PaCO2 or ETCO2) in the post-arrest patient.

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Mechanical Ventilation in the Obese Patient

  • Obesity can result in decreased lung volumes, decreased lung and chest wall compliance, and increased work of breathing.
  • Unfortunately, there is very little literature to guide the emergency physician on mechanical ventilation in obese patients.
  • A recent study of intubated ED patients by Goyal, et al found that over 1 in 5 patients were ventilated with potentially injurious tidal volumes.
  • Importantly, obesity increased the odds of inappropriate ventilator settings.
  • In the intubated obese patient, be sure to set tidal volume based on ideal body weight and consider starting with a higher PEEP setting (i.e., 10 to 15 cm H2O).

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Cardiac Arrest - What Matters?

Posted: 11/22/2016 by Mike Winters, MD (Updated: 4/13/2024)
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What Matters in Cardiac Arrest?

  • Approximately 500,000 adults suffer sudden cardiac arrest each year in the United States.
  • The most important components of cardiac arrest care that have been shown to improve outcomes are:
    1. High-quality CPR with little to no interruptions
    2. Defibrillation for ventricular arrhythmias
    3. Optimal post-arrest care
      • Target an SpO2 of 94-98%
      • Target an ETCO2 of 35-40 mm Hg (PaCO2 of 40-45 mm Hg)
      • Targeted temperature management
      • Early cardiac catheterization

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Dynamic LVOT Obstruction

  • Recent literature has indicated that dynamic LVOT obstruction can occur in critically ill patients without hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In fact, a recent study found that this condition may be present in many patients with septic shock.
  • Risk factors for  LVOT obstruction include any condition that decreases afterload, decreases preload, or increases heart rate.
  • Consider LVOT obstruction when your ultrasound demonstrates close approximation of the lateral wall and septum plus systolic anterior motion of the anterior mitral leaflet.
  • The treatment of patients with dynamic LVOT obstruction includes:
    • Increasing preload with aggressive IVFs
    • Increasing afterload (phenylephrine may be a good choice)
    • Avoiding inotropes
    • Decreasing heart rate (often with esmolol)

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Oxygen-ICU

Posted: 10/11/2016 by Mike Winters, MD (Updated: 4/13/2024)
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Question

Oxygen-ICU Trial

  • Recent observational trials have demonstrated an association between hyperoxia and worse outcomes in select critically ill patient populations.
  • The Oxygen-ICU Trial was just published online in JAMA, and was an RCT to assess whether a conservative protocol for oxygen supplementation could improve outcomes in critically ill ICU patients compared with usual care.
  • A total of 236 patients were randomized to the conservative oxgyen group (PaO2 target 70-100 mm Hg, SpO2 94-98%), whereas 244 were randomized to the usual care group (PaO2 up to 150 mm Hg, SpO2 97-100%).
  • The results demonstrated that ICU mortality was lower in patients treated witih a conservative oxygen strategy, with an absolute risk reduction of 8.6%.
  • Take Home Point: Be careful with the tiration of oxygen therapy and avoid hyperoxia in many of your critically ill patients.

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Passive Leg Raise

Keywords: passive leg raise, arterial pressure, pulse pressure variation, volume responsiveness, fluid resuscitation (PubMed Search)

Posted: 9/20/2016 by Mike Winters, MD
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Pitfalls with PLR

  • The passive leg raise (PLR) test has become a popular method to assess volume responsiveness in critically ill patients.
  • PLR mobilizes a volume of approximately 150-300 mL and can be used in spontaneously breathing patients, those receiving positive pressure ventilation, or those with various arrhythmias. 
  • In order to properly perform the PLR, you must have a method to monitor cardiac output. (See previously pearl on 7/26/16).
  • Pitfall: Simply monitoring arterial blood pressure alone is not a sufficient method to assess a positive PLR.
  • Pitfalls:Risks of performing a PLR include increased intracranial pressure, reduced cerebral blood flow, and decreased pulmonary compliance.

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Refractory Status Epilepticus

Keywords: refractory status epilepticus, ketamine, propofol, siezure, midazolam (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/30/2016 by Mike Winters, MD
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Ketamine for RSE?

  • Up to 43% of patients with status epilepticus may progress to refractory status epilepticus (RSE).
  • Propofol, midazolam, and barbituates are often recommended for patients with RSE.
  • Importantly, all of these medications may be limited by hypotension and respiratory depression.
  • Ketamine is emerging as adjuvant therapy for patients with RSE.
  • The loading dose of ketamine ranges from 0.5 to 3 mg/kg, followed by a maintenance infusion of 0.3 to 4 mg/kg/h.

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Category: Critical Care

Title: A Warning to Critical Care Physicians

Keywords: Zika Virus, Guillain-Barre (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/9/2016 by Mike Winters, MD
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Zika Virus-associated GBS

  • Zika virus has been shown to trigger Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) at a rate similar to Campylobacter jejuni infections.
  • In patients with Zika virus-associated GBS, neurologic deterioration has been rapid, with approximately 33% of patients developing respiratory distress.
  • For patients who have required intubation, the duration of mechanical ventilation and length of ICU stay has been very long.
  • Consider Zika virus-associated GBS in patients with muscle weakness, facial palsy, or paresthesias in the setting of a travel or exposure history to the virus.

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Predicting Fluid Responsiveness with ETCO2

  • It is well known that almost 50% of critically ill patients do not respond to fluid resuscitaiton. For those that do not respond, indiscriminate fluid administration may be harmful.
  • There is increasing emphasis on the use of dynamic markers of fluid responsiveness, namely passive leg raise (PLR), pulse pressure variation, respirophasic changes in the IVC, and many others.
  • ETCO2 can also be used to assess fluid responsiveness in mechanically ventilated patients with no spontaneous respiratory effort.
  • An increase in ETCO2 of at least 5% with a PLR has been shown to outperform arterial pulse pressure as a measure of fluid responsiveness.

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Fentanyl and the Neurologically Injured Patient
  • Emergency providers routinely care for neurologically injured patients, such as those with a SAH or TBI.
  • Many of these patients will require airway management. In these patients, it is important to minimize any increase in ICP, as this can adversely effect cerebral perfusion pressure.
  • When intubating the neurocritical care patient, consider a dose of fentanyl (2 to 5 mcg/kg) prior to intubation. This has been shown to decrease the sympathomimetic response to laryngoscopy.

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LVADs and RV Failure

  • Acute RV failure can be seen in up to 10% of patients after LVAD implantation.
  • The treatment of RV failure in the LVAD patient consists of the following:
    • Fluids: avoid aggressive fluid administration, as this can displace the septum and impair LVAD function
    • Inotropes: consider early initiation of dobutamine, milrinone, or epinephrine to augment RV function
    • Vasopressors: target a MAP higher than 60 to 70 mmHg to maintain RV perfusion pressure
  • If intubated, avoid hypoxia, hypercarbia, high PEEP, and high ventilator pressures.  These can increase pulmonary vascular resistance and further worsen RV function.

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Heat Stroke

  • Heat stroke is critical illness defined as a core body temperature greater than or equal to 40oC and altered level of consciousness.
  • Mortality from heat stroke can be as high as 30%.
  • Numerous methods exist to rapidly cool patients below 39oC.
  • Of these methods, ice-water immersion cools patients the fastest and is highly effective in young patients with exertional heat stroke.
  • There is currently insufficient evidence to routinely recommend antipyretic agents, intravascular cooling devices, body cavity lavage, or the use of ice packs in the groin/axilla/neck. In addition, dantrolene is not recommended in the treatment of heat stroke.

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Situations Where ECMO Will Likely Fail

  • As many EDs and ICUs begin to develop protocols for the use of ECMO, it is important to note select conditions when this therapy is unlikely to be succesful.
    • Chronic respiratory or cardiac disease with no hope of recovery
    • OHCA with prolonged no blood flow
    • Severe aortic regurgitation
    • Type A aortic dissection
    • Refractoroy septic shock with preserved LV function
    • Stem cell transplant patients
    • Advanced age with ARDS
    • Prolonged pre-ECMO mechanical ventilation (> 7 days)
    • Center inexperienced with ECMO

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