[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 37-year-old gravida I with cyanotic heart disease presented for caesarean section in the 31st week of gestation. Caesarean section was performed uneventfully with the patient under epidural anaesthesia accompanied by invasive monitoring. Postoperative echocardiography showed no change in the shunt fraction, volumes or the ventricular function. Every patient with complex comorbidities has to be managed according to individual prerequisites and the experiences and preferences of the team. For such high risk pregnancies regional anaesthesia seems to be a possible option although no clear evidence can be found in the literature.
Der Anaesthesist 01/2011; 60(1):57-62. · 0.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary atresia, a rare and complex congenital heart disease, is characterized by the absence of the central pulmonary artery and by the presence of a ventricular septal defect and aortopulmonary collaterals. Pregnancy reports concerning maternal and offspring outcome after palliative operation or repaired pulmonary atresia are sparse. We report here on the outcome of pregnancy in a woman, aged 36, with complex pulmonary atresia in whom palliative operation had been performed at the age of 23. We review the medical literature on pregnancy course as well as maternal and foetal outcome in cases involving this maternal congenital heart disease.
European Journal of Heart Failure 02/2010; 12(2):202-7. · 5.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Up to as many as 38,000 people die in German hospitals each year as a result of preventable medical errors. Anesthetic procedures are generally safer than internal medical procedures and the mortality associated with anesthesia is estimated to be 3.3-5 cases per million. However, this is still 10 times higher than the risk associated with civilian aviation for example. Up to 80% of mistakes are attributable to inadequate execution of non-technical skills (NTS) such as communication, teamwork and organization of the working environment. Training in non-technical skills through Anesthesia Crisis Resource Management (ACRM) is an integral part of the Berlin Simulation Training (BeST) curriculum. The aim of this study was to describe the subjective evaluation of change in routine clinical behavior as a result of simulator training using latent outcome variables such as "subjective evaluation of learning outcome", with special emphasis on communication.
In total 235 doctors with varying levels of professional experience received BeST training between 2001 and 2004. An anonymous postal questionnaire was sent to 228 of these participants and the response rate was 64% The questionnaire contained 13 questions covering evaluation of the workshop and learning outcome with respect to communication in the operating room (OR), teamwork in the OR and medical knowledge. Following factor analysis 3 latent outcome variables (subjective evaluation of the learning outcome, workshop-related change in perception of the value of communication and general value and relevance) were generated. Logistic regression was used to determine whether there was any relationship between the latent outcome variables and a number of independent factors.
It was not possible to demonstrate any relationship between the level of professional training, age or date of the workshop and the variables selected to describe subjective evaluation of behavioral change as a result of the workshop. How realistic the candidates perceived the training scenarios to be (p<0.01) and the sex of the candidates (p=0.03) were both significantly related to evaluation and female candidates were more likely to positively evaluate the simulator training. From the candidates' perspective the training significantly altered their perception of the value of NTSs, and in particular communication, during the management of critical incidents in the OR.
Well-staged and realistic simulation is associated with better learning outcomes. It may be important to take gender aspects into account in ACRM training.
Der Anaesthesist 10/2009; 58(10):992-1004. · 0.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) haemodilution occurs. Hepatic dysfunction after CPB is a rare, but serious, complication. Clinical data have validated the plasma-disappearance rate of indocyanine green (PDR ICG) as a marker of hepatic function and perfusion. Primary objective of this analysis was to investigate the impact of haemodilutional anaemia on hepatic function and perfusion by the time course of PDR ICG and liver enzymes in elective CABG surgery. Secondary objective was to define predictors of prolonged ICU treatment like decreased PDR ICG after surgery.
60 Patients were subjected to normothermic CPB with predefined levels of haemodilution anaemia (haemotacrit (Hct) of 25% versus 20% during CPB). Hepatic function and perfusion was assessed by PDR ICG, plasma levels of aspartate aminotransferase (ASAT) and alpha-GST. Prolonged ICU treatment was defined as treatment >or= 48 hours.
Logistic regression analysis showed that all postoperative measurements of PDR ICG (P < 0.01), and the late postoperative ASAT (P < 0.01) measurement were independent risk factors for prolonged ICU treatment. The predictive capacity for prolonged ICU treatment was best of the PDR ICG one hour after admission to the ICU. Furthermore, the time course of PDR ICG as well as ASAT and alpha-GST did not differ between groups of haemodilutional anaemia.
Our study provides evidence that impaired PDR ICG as a marker of hepatic dysfunction and hypoperfusion may be a valid marker of prolonged ICU treatment. Additionally this study provides evidence that haemodilutional anaemia to a Hct of 20% does not impair hepatic function and perfusion.
Critical care (London, England) 09/2009; 13(5):R149. · 4.72 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alcohol screening and brief interventions have been shown to reduce alcohol-related morbidity in injured patients. Use of self-report questionnaires such as the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) is recommended as the optimum screening method. We hypothesized that the accuracy of screening is enhanced by combined use of the AUDIT and biomarkers of alcohol use in injured patients.
The study was conducted in the emergency department of a large, urban, university hospital. Patients were evaluated with the AUDIT, and blood sampled to determine carbohydrate-deficient transferrin, gamma-glutamyl-transferase, and mean corpuscular volume. Alcohol problems were defined as presence of ICD-10 criteria for dependence or harmful use, or high-risk drinking according to World Health Organization criteria (weekly intake >420 g in males, >280 g in females). Screening accuracy was determined using Receiver Operating Characteristic curves.
There were 787 males and 446 females in the study. Median age was 33 years. The accuracy of the AUDIT was good to excellent, whereas all biomarkers performed only fairly to poorly in males, and even worse in females. At a specificity >0.80, sensitivity for all biomarkers was <0.43, whereas sensitivity for the AUDIT was 0.76 for males and 0.81 for females. The addition of biomarkers added little additional discriminatory information compared to use of the AUDIT alone.
Screening properties of the AUDIT are superior to %CDT, MCV, and GGT for detection of alcohol problems in injured patients and are not clinically significantly enhanced by the use of biomarkers.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 03/2009; 33(6):970-6. · 3.42 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Simulation-based training of adverse events in the operation room was arranged to improve non-technical skills of cross-professional and interdisciplinary participants. The awareness of communication skills and teamwork for the management of critical incidents was improved by this high-fidelity simulation training. The readiness to call for help early was increased significantly after the training. The simulation training was highly accepted by the participants and has to be proven to reduce errors in the operating theatre in the future.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Within recent years patient safety has become increasingly important. Within US hospitals more than 98.000 deaths have been reported annually due to medical errors, more than 80 % due to preventable mistakes. To improve patient safety it is therefore important to develop training tools, which center on the complexity of preventable mistakes, analyze underlying factors and eventually train to deal with them. Since the Berlin Simulation training was founded in 1997 it focused on the internationally accepted "global approach" based on three phases of briefing, simulation and debriefing. It concentrates on the reasons of preventable mistakes and their interaction. Problem solving strategies and the application of NTS ( planing, management, teamwork and communication) and TS (sound scientific knowledge and abilities) are practiced under the supervision of experienced trainers. The goal is to provide insight into the cascades of error and terminate them, to ultimately increase patient safety and provider satisfaction.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Induction areas (IA) can lead to more efficient operating sessions through shortening the changeover time between patients. To date IAs have always required additional staff members, whose cost was only partly covered by improvements in productivity. The objective of this project was to demonstrate that a reduction in non-operative time through a newly introduced induction area can be achieved without a need for extra personnel.
Non-operative time in 5,963 ENT, orthopedic and cardiac surgical patients from 8 operating theatres were studied for 1 year before and 1 year after the introduction of an induction area. The non-operative time was defined as the time between the end of surgical procedures in one operation and the start of surgical procedures in the next, within regular working hours. Through reallocation of anesthetic nursing and medical staff it was possible to introduce the induction area without increasing staff numbers.
Non-operative time was significantly reduced from 20 min (range 10-30 min) to 14 min (5-25 min). Subgroup analysis showed significant reductions in all specialities: from 10 min (2.5-20 min) to 5 min (0-20 min) in 1,240 cardiac surgical patients, 25 min (20-35 min) to 15 min (5-25 min) in 2,433 ENT patients and 20 min (10-30 min) to 10 min (0-20 min) in 2,290 orthopedic patients. There were no critical incidents attributable to patient handover.
An induction area can be established and can reduce non-operative time and improve operation theatre throughput without the need for extra personnel. The efficiency of these measures will be increased when the relevant surgical organizational measures are taken to adjust to the faster anesthesiology workflow. The induction area does not lead to a higher rate of critical incidents. To what extent the induction area can be used for structured training of doctors and nurses, remains to be investigated.
Der Anaesthesist 09/2007; 56(8):812-9. · 0.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One-third of injured patients treated in the emergency department (ED) have an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Few are screened and receive counseling because ED staff have little time for additional tasks. We hypothesized that computer technology can screen and provide an intervention that reduces at-risk drinking (British Medical Association criteria) in injured ED patients.
In all, 3,026 subcritically injured patients admitted to an ED were screened for an AUD using a laptop computer that administered the AUD Identification Test (AUDIT) and assessed motivation to reduce drinking. Patients with a positive AUDIT (n = 1,139) were randomized to an intervention (n = 563) or control (n = 576) condition. The computer generated a customized printout based on the patient's own alcohol use pattern, level of motivation, and personal factors, which was provided in the form of feedback and advice.
Most patients (85%) used the computer with minimal assistance. At study entry, a similar proportion in each group met criteria for at-risk drinking (49.6% versus 46.8%, p = 0.355). At 6 months, 21.7% of intervention and 30.4% of control patients met criteria for at-risk drinking (p = 0.008). Intervention patients also had a 35.7% decrease in alcohol intake, compared with a 20.5% decrease in controls (p = 0.006). At 12 months, alcohol intake decreased by 22.8% in the intervention group versus 10.9% in controls (p = 0.023), but the proportion of at-risk drinkers did not significantly differ (37.3% versus 42.6%, p = 0.168).
The computer-generated intervention was associated with a significant decrease in alcohol use and at-risk drinking. Research is needed to further evaluate and adapt information technology to provide preventive clinical services in the ED.
The Journal of trauma 11/2006; 61(4):805-14. · 2.35 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Postoperative pneumonia is three to four times more frequent in patients with alcohol use disorders followed by prolonged intensive care unit (ICU) stay. Long-term alcohol use leads to an altered perioperative hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and immunity.
The aim of this study was to evaluate HPA intervention with low-dose ethanol, morphine, or ketoconazole on the neuroendocrine-immune axis and development of postoperative pneumonia in long-term alcoholic patients.
In this randomized, double-blind controlled study, 122 consecutive patients undergoing elective surgery for aerodigestive tract cancer were included. Long-term alcohol use was defined as consuming at least 60 g of ethanol daily and fulfilling the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV criteria for either alcohol abuse or dependence. Nonalcoholic patients were included but only as a descriptive control. Perioperative intervention with low-dose ethanol (0.5 g/kg body weight per day), morphine (15 mug/kg body weight per hour), ketoconazole (200 mg four times daily), and placebo was started on the morning before surgery and continued for 3 d after surgery. Blood samples to analyze the neuroendocrine-immune axis were obtained on the morning before intervention and on Days 1, 3, and 7 after surgery.
In long-term alcoholic patients, all interventions decreased postoperative hypercortisolism and prevented impairment of the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte type 1:type 2 ratio. All interventions decreased the pneumonia rate from 39% to a median of 5.7% and shortened intensive care unit stay by 9 d (median) compared with the placebo-treated long-term alcoholic patients.
Intervention at the level of the HPA axis altered the immune response to surgical stress. This resulted in decreased postoperative pneumonia rates and shortened intensive care unit stay in long-term alcoholic patients.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 09/2006; 174(4):408-14. · 11.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Normothermic, nonpulsatile cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) impairs systemic and splanchnic oxygen transport and increases gastrointestinal permeability. It is an important therapeutic goal to avoid splanchnic dysoxia during CPB. Small-dose prostacyclin therapy improves splanchnic oxygen transport and microcirculation in septic patients. In this study, we sought to determine if during cardiac surgery, the prostacyclin analog epoprostenol improves the balance of systemic and splanchnic oxygen transport. Eighteen patients undergoing cardiac valve replacement were randomized to receive either epoprostenol (3 ng x kg(-1) x min(-1)) or placebo during, and for 1 hour after, surgery. Systemic and splanchnic oxygen delivery, consumption, and extraction and arterial, mixed venous, and hepato-venous lactate concentrations were measured before, during, and after CPB. Gastrointestinal permeability was measured 1 day before and 1 day after surgery using the triple sugar permeability test. During CPB, the epoprostenol group had decreased systemic oxygen consumption and splanchnic oxygen extraction (P = 0.024). These effects were not present 1 hour after the end of epoprostenol infusion. The study was not adequately powered to determine whether epoprostenol altered the trend towards increased lactate metabolism and increased postoperative gastrointestinal permeability, nor could we demonstrate any differences between groups in clinically relevant end-points. In conclusion, these findings suggest that during normothermic CPB, small-dose epoprostenol therapy may reduce systemic oxygen consumption and splanchnic oxygen extraction.
Anesthesia and analgesia 02/2006; 102(1):17-24. · 3.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We used quantitative analysis of the electroencephalogram (EEG) during routine clinical practice to assess the effect of tracheal intubation following induction of anesthesia with propofol and fentanyl.
The topographic EEG was recorded from eight bipolar electrode derivations in 25 patients. Z-scores relative to age expected normative data were computed for relative power in the delta, theta, alpha and beta frequency bands. Multivariate statistics (Hotellings' t-sqare) were used to evaluate changes in regional brain electrical activity.
Tracheal intubation induced an increase in alpha and beta frequencies, while delta power was reduced (F-values: Delta: 7.68, p = 0.011; Alpha 31.93; p < 0.001; Beta 12.85, p = 0.001). The most pronounced regional effect was seen for the alpha frequency band with the largest increase in both fronto-temporal regions (F-value 33.89, p < 0.001). During clinical practice the patients received propofol 2.7 (+/- 1.2; minimum: 0.5, maximum 6.9) mg kg (- 1) and fentanyl 2 (+/- 1; minimum 1, maximum 4) microg kg (- 1). Vital parameters did not change during intubation.
Individual titration of the dose of propofol and fentanyl as done during routine clinical practice is not sufficient to block the strong noxious stimulation of intubation. Tracheal intubation resulted in "classical" cortical arousal. It remains open whether this cortical wake-up phenomenon has a clinical impact.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Analysis of safety and efficacy of recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) used as the last resort for refractory bleeding after cardiac surgery.
Retrospective cohort analysis and matched pairs analysis with historic controls were performed. In the rFVIIa group, which also received conventional hemostatic therapy, data were collected for a median of 14 hrs from admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) to the administration of rFVIIa and for the following 24 hrs. In the control group, which received only conventional hemostatic therapy, data were collected for 14 and then for 24 hrs after admission to the ICU.
Twenty-four patients matched with historic controls.
No thromboembolic complications were observed in the rFVIIa group. Blood loss and transfusion requirements were significantly reduced in the period after the administration of rFVIIa. However, in the 24-hr period after rFVIIa administration, blood loss (p = .140) and transfusion of packed red blood cells (p = .442) and fresh frozen plasma (p = .063) were not different between the rFVIIa and control groups. Platelet concentrates (p = .004) were transfused less in the control group. Mortality and 6-month survival rates were not different between the groups.
When used as a last resort, rFVIIa was safe but not incrementally efficacious over conventional hemostatic therapy.
Critical Care Medicine 11/2005; 33(10):2241-6. · 6.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) has been recommended as a screening tool to detect patients who are appropriate candidates for brief, preventive alcohol interventions. Lower AUDIT cutoff scores have been proposed for women; however, the appropriate value remains unknown. The primary purpose of this study was to determine the optimal AUDIT cutpoint for detecting alcohol problems in subcritically injured male and female patients who are treated in the emergency department (ED). An additional purpose of the study was to determine whether computerized screening for alcohol problems is feasible in this setting.
The study was performed in the ED of a large, urban university teaching hospital. During an 8-month period, 1205 male and 722 female injured patients were screened using an interactive computerized lifestyle assessment that included the AUDIT as an embedded component. World Health Organization criteria were used to define alcohol dependence and harmful drinking. World Health Organization criteria for excessive consumption were used to define high-risk drinking. The ability of the AUDIT to classify appropriately male and female patients as having one of these three conditions was the primary outcome measure.
Criteria for any alcohol use disorder were present in 17.5% of men and 6.8% of women. The overall accuracy of the AUDIT was good to excellent. At a specificity >0.80, sensitivity was 0.75 for men using a cutoff of 8 points and 0.84 for women using a cutoff of 5 points. Eighty-five percent of patients completed computerized screening without the need for additional help.
Different AUDIT scoring thresholds for men and women are required to achieve comparable sensitivity and specificity when using the AUDIT to screen injured patients in the ED. Computerized AUDIT administration is feasible and may help to overcome time limitations that may compromise screening in this busy clinical environment.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 11/2004; 28(11):1693-701. · 3.42 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a case of death after first manifestation of generalised convulsive status epilepticus in a young man. A previously healthy 23-year-old man was admitted to our emergency department by ambulance service with approximately 20 min of generalised convulsive seizures. First line treatment in the emergency ward with benzodiazepines failed. The patient was cardiopulmonary stable until, after more than 30 min of status epilepticus, he developed tachycardia and became bradypnoeic. Intubation and ventilation was performed and anticonvulsive treatment was escalated with thiopental. Fifteen minutes later he developed ventricular fibrillation. CPR was started. The patient became asystolic after 90 min CPR following the ILCOR (International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation) Instructions. CPR was continued for another 30 min without success. The patient died after 120 min of maximal efforts. Autopsy and toxicology were performed, neuropathologic examination showed general brain edema and neuronal cell loss in purkinje cell layers of the cerebellum and olive knots which may be the consequence of generalised convulsive status epilepticus. We conclude: status epilepticus becomes refractory in approximately 30 % of cases. Until now, there are no randomised trials on the optimal treatment of refractory status epilepticus. Better treatment algorithms are urgently needed.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effect of non-pulsatile, normothermic cardiopulmonary-bypass (CPB) on the splanchnic blood-flow and oxygen-transport, the hepatic function and the gastrointestinal barrier were observed in a prospective observational study in 31 adults undergoing cardiac valve replacement surgery.
The splanchnic (i.e. hepatic) blood-flow (HBF) was measured by the constant infusion of indocyanine-green (ICG) using a hepatic-venous catheter. Liver function was examined by calculation of lactate uptake, ICG extraction and the monoethylglycinexylidide (MEGX) test. A day before and after surgery the gastrioduodenal and intestinal permeability was measured by determination of sucrose and lactulose/mannitol excretion.
Splanchnic blood flow and oxygen delivery did not decrease during and after surgery while splanchnic oxygen consumption (P < 0.0125) and arterial lactate concentrations increased. The splanchnic lactate uptake paralleled the lactate concentration. After but not during CPB an increase of systemic oxygen consumption was observed. The MEGX test values decreased on the first day after surgery. The ICG extraction was attenuated during the operation. The gastroduodenal and the intestinal permeability increased significantly postoperatively (P < 0.002, respectively, P < 0.001). There was no correlation between these findings and the duration of CPB. There was a significant correlation of the intestinal permeability but not of the gastroduodenal permeability between the prior and after surgery values (P < 0.001).
Increased oxygen consumption during CPB may indicate an inflammatory reaction due to the pump beginning in the splanchnic area or a redistribution of the splanchinc blood flow during the CPB. Normothermic CPB does not lead to a significant or prolonged reduction of liver function. Normothermic CPB causes an increase of gastrointestinal permeability. The intestinal barrier function prior to surgery was accountable for the degree of loss of intestinal barrier function following surgery.