Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

Published by Medknow Publications
Online ISSN: 1998-359X
Print ISSN: 0972-5229
Publications
Aggressive therapy aimed at desired end-points of Early Goal Directed Therapy (EGDT) is the cornerstone of septic shock management. A key endpoint that improves outcomes is achieving central venous saturation (ScvO2) >70%. The gold standard to measure ScvO2 is by a co-oximeter (co-ox). This prospective, observational study from a multidisciplinary pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) was conducted to assess the validity of ScvO2 levels by standard ABG (stand ABG) machine in comparison with co-ox in conditions that shifted the oxygen dissociation curve (ODC) to the right or left in sick children and controls. Data from paired samples was tested for correlation coefficient for pH, paCO2, paO2, and ScvO2. Tests for correlation (Pearson's coefficient) and agreement (Bland-Altman analysis) were performed on ScvO2 values obtained in various subgroups. Sensitivity and specificity for ScvO2 values determined by standard ABG machine versus co-ox were calculated in reference to EGDT endpoints. A total of 141 paired samples were collected from 82 children. Despite a statistically significant difference in the pH and ScvO2, there was good linear correlation between these parameters. Limits of agreement between ScvO2 measured by standard ABG machine and co-ox by Bland-Altman gave 2.3% bias with 95% CI of -24.2% to 19.5%. Sensitivity and specificity of standard ABG machine in detecting low ScvO2 in shock was 84.21% and 93.18% respectively, while it was false positive in 4 samples. The less expensive standard ABG machine showed satisfactory correlation with gold standard co-ox over a range of patient conditions; however, the wide range for agreement was of concern and it performed particularly poorly in anemic patients.
 
To study the clinical characteristics and outcome of admitted patients of H1N1 (hemagglutinin -H neuraminidase -N) influenza in a tertiary level hospital, from Oct 2009 to Dec 2010. A retrospective analysis of 77 confirmed patients admitted in this unit with H1N1 infection. Of the 77 patients studied, 33 (42.8%) were female. Mean age was 40.88 ± 13.45 years, majority (70.13%) being less than 50 years. Thirty eight (49.3%) patients had at least one co-morbidity, diabetes mellitus being the most common (n = 15, 19.5%). The most common presenting symptom was fever in 75 (97.4%) patients, cough in 67 (87%) and dyspnoea in 59 (76.6%) patients. At admission, mean PaO2/FiO2 ratio was 213.16 ± 132.75 mmHg (n = 60) while mean PaCO2 was 40.14 ± 14.86 mmHg. One or more organ failure was present in 45 (58.4%) patients. Nineteen (24.60%) patients required invasive mechanical ventilation. Circulatory failure was observed in 10 (13%) patients while 2 patients required hemodialysis. Overall, 13% mortality (n = 10) was observed. PaCO2 level at admission (OR 1.093; 95% confidence interval: 1.002-1.193; P = 0.044) and number of organ failure (OR 8.089; 95% confidence interval: 1.133-57.778; P = 0.037) were identified as independent risk- factors for mortality. Increased duration of dyspnoea prior to admission, pneumonia, low PaO2/FiO2 ratio at admission and 24 hours later, higher PaCO2 values on admission, higher O2 requirement, number of organ failures and use of corticosteroids and delay in specialized treatment were associated with a poorer outcome.
 
This case series details our experience with seven patients with pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza from an intensive care unit in India.All the patients had respiratory failure requiring ventilation except one;two patients developed pneumothorax. Of the seven patients, two died (28.5%) and five recovered. Four patients had co-morbid conditions and one was morbidly obese; all the five patients were discharged alive.
 
India reported its first case of 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus infection in May 2009 and in Saurashtra region in August 2009. We describe the epidemiology and factors associated with severe and non-severe cases of 2009 influenza A (H1N1) infection reported in Saurashtra region. From September 2009 to February 2010, we observed 274 patients who were infected with 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus and admitted in different hospitals in Rajkot city. Real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing was used to confirm infection. Factors associated with severe disease were determined by comparing with non-severe cases. Out of 274 patients, 87 had severe disease (requiring intensive care or died) and 187 had non-severe diseases (admitted in wards and survived). The median age of severe disease patients was 30 years; the median time was 5 days from the onset of illness to diagnosis, and 4 days median time was reported for hospital stay. More than half of the patients (56.3%) were females, and 58.6% patients were residing in urban area (OR = 1.65, CI = 0.97-2.8), among severe disease patients. Significant association (P < 0.01) was reported among severe disease patients for delayed referral from general practitioner/physician after initial treatment. All patients received antiviral drug, but only 19.5% received the same within 2 days of illness. Presence of coexisting condition [odds ratio (OR) = 0.53, confidence interval (CI) = 0.31-0.90], mainly pregnancy (OR = 0.22, CI = 0.06-0.76), was strongly associated with severe disease. Delayed referral from general practitioner/physician, duration of antiviral treatment, and presence of coexisting condition (especially pregnancy) were responsible for intensive care or mortality in patients of severe influenza A (H1N1) illness.
 
Patient characteristics, laboratory parameters 
Risk factors 
Ventilation characteristics 
Comparison -survivors vs. non-survivors 
The 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) has taken its toll across most parts of India. We aimed to study its epidemiology, clinical characteristics and outcomes from an Indian multidisciplinary intensive care unit (ICU). All patients admitted to our ICU with a flu-like illness and who tested positive for the 2009 H1N1 by reverse -transcriptase polymerase- chain -reaction assay during a 3 month period were prospectively studied. Thirty one patients were admitted to the ICU during the study period. Patients were in the younger age group with a median age of 35 years (IQR: 28.2-42.8). Obesity was the commonest risk factor. Twenty six patients (83.9%) required ventilator support; the median duration of ventilator support was 10 days (IQR: 4-22). Severe hypoxemia was the predominant feature in all patients. Circulatory failure requiring vasopressors occurred in 18 (58.1%) patients and acute kidney injury in 6 (3.2%) patients. Twenty six patients were alive at the end of 28 days; subsequently all except one were discharged. The median duration of hospital stay was 15 (IQR: 8-22.5) days. Increasing APACHE II scores were associated with an increased risk of death (Hazard Ratio: 1.1; CI: 1.08 -1.2; P = 0.04). Mean tidal volumes in non-survivors were significantly lower; this was related to poor lung compliance in this group. 2009 H1N1 infection caused severe disease in relatively young patients without significant co-morbidities, characterized by severe hypoxemia and the requirement for prolonged mechanical ventilation. Extra-pulmonary organ failure included circulatory and renal failure.
 
Patient profile 
The objective of the present study was to assess the impact of neurological consultation and intervention upon patient outcome in intensive care unit (ICU). A retrospective observational study was conducted in the 24-bedded multispecialty ICU of a 350 bedded tertiary care hospital over 8 months period, from January 2011 to August 2011. Critically, ill-patients with varied neurological symptomatology affecting the course of illness and ICU discharge were included. Neurological consult sought for, investigations ordered by the neurologist, interventions carried out, treatment started and the impact of such treatment on the outcome of patients were noted. The length of ICU stay was also noted. Over a period of 8 months, there were 864 ICU admissions. On neurological consult, 23 patients had a positive finding affecting the outcome: 5 patients were diagnosed to have parkinson's disease, 4 patients had neuromuscular disease, 9 patients had high creatinine phosphokinase levels, 2 patients had restless legs syndrome and 3 patients were diagnosed to have seizure disorder. On being examined and investigated by neurologist, a variety of co-existing neurological disorders could be diagnosed and if managed early, patients had a faster recovery, rapid weaning and early discharge from the ICU.
 
Adequate nutritional support is crucial in prevention and treatment of malnutrition in critically ill-patients. Despite the intention to provide appropriate enteral nutrition (EN), meeting the full nutritional requirements can be a challenge due to interruptions. This study was undertaken to determine the cause and duration of interruptions in EN. Patients admitted to a multidisciplinary critical care unit (CCU) of a tertiary care hospital from September 2010 to January 2011 and who received EN for a period >24 h were included in this observational, prospective study. A total of 327 patients were included, for a total of 857 patient-days. Reasons and duration of EN interruptions were recorded and categorized under four groups-procedures inside CCU, procedures outside CCU, gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and others. Procedure inside CCU accounted for 55.9% of the interruptions while GI symptoms for 24.2%. Although it is commonly perceived that procedures outside CCU are the most common reason for interruption, this contributed only to 18.4% individually; ventilation-related procedures were the most frequent cause (40.25%), followed by nasogastric tube aspirations (15.28%). Although GI bleed is often considered a reason to hold enteral feed, it was one of the least common reasons (1%) in our study. Interruption of 2-6 h was more frequent (43%) and most of this (67.1%) was related to "procedures inside CCU". Awareness of reasons for EN interruptions will aid to modify protocol and minimize interruptions during procedures in CCU to reach nutrition goals.
 
Percutaneous tracheostomy (PCT) is being increasingly done by intensivists for critical care unit patients requiring either prolonged ventilation and/or for airway protection.[1] Bronchoscopic guidance considered a gold standard,[23] is not always possible due to logistic reasons and ventilation issues. We share our experience of Griggs PCT technique without bronchoscopic guidance with simple modifications to ensure safe execution of the procedure. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety issues and complications of PCT without bronchoscopic guidance in a multi-disciplinary tertiary Intensive Care Unit (ICU). A retrospective review of consecutive PCTs performed in our ICU between August 2010 and December 2013 by Griggs guide wire dilating forceps technique without bronchoscopic guidance is being presented. It is done by withdrawing endotracheal tube with inflated cuff while monitoring expired tidal volume on ventilator and ensuring the free mobility of guide wire during each step of the procedure, thereby ensuring a safe placement of the tracheostomy tube (TT) in trachea. Analysis of 300 PCTs showed 26 patients (8.6%) had complications including 2 (0.6%) patients deteriorated neurologically and 2 (0.6%) deaths observed within 24 h following procedure. The median operating time was 3.5 min (range, 2.5-8 min). There were no TT placement problems in any case. Percutaneous tracheostomy can be safely performed without bronchoscopic guidance by adhering to simple steps as described.
 
Primers and conditions to be used for PCR of virulence genes 
Sources of GAS and their clinical significance 
Group A Streptococcus (GAS) can cause illnesses ranging from self-limited to severe, life-threatening, invasive infections. The objective of the following study was to investigate a suspected Streptococcus pyogenes outbreak in a high dependency unit (HDU) of our trauma center. All the isolates of beta hemolytic Streptococci were identified by standard microbiological methods, Vitek 2 system and latex agglutination tests. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed as recommended by Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute. Exotoxin genes, including speA, speB, speC, speF, smeZ, ssa, speG, speH, speJ, speL, speM and speI were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The emm types of isolates of S. pyogenes were determined by sequencing the variable 5' end of emm gene after amplification by PCR. In a 28 bedded poly-trauma ward with a four bedded HDU three out of four patients developed S. pyogenes emm type 58 infection. The strain was macrolide and tetracycline resistant and produced the Streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxins speB, speC, speG, speF and smeZ. Surveillance sampling was done for investigation from patients, health-care workers and environmental samples. An outbreak of GAS infections was established caused by the uncommonly reported emm type 58. The outbreak was controlled by prompt treatment, intensive surveillance, feedback and training.
 
Univariate analysis of prognostic factors predicting mortality 
Aim of study: Abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) is a distinct clinical entity in the critically ill-patient, which leads to end-organ dysfunction. However, data on the incidence of ACS is scarce, and this is also likely contributed by under-diagnosis of this clinical condition. This study reports all cases of ACS in a tertiary institution in Singapore over 10 years, and evaluates prognostic factors affecting survival. Materials and methods: This retrospective clinical study included 17 patients with ACS, of which 13 underwent decompressive laparotomy, over a 10 years period. Univariate and multivariate analyses of prognostic factors predicting mortality was performed using Chi-square or Fisher-exact test as appropriate. Results: Mean arterial pressure was significantly improved postoperatively, and intra-abdominal pressure and positive end-expiratory pressure significantly decreased. Overall mortality was 47.1%. Advanced age of more than 65 years, gender, large volume resuscitation of more than 3.5 L over 24 h, three or more co-morbidities, requirement of inotropes, usage of mechanical ventilation, and the presence of concurrent lung and renal dysfunction were not adverse prognostic indicators of poorer outcome. The occurrence of multiple relook laparotomies was shown to be the only independent prognostic factor predicting a favorable outcome among these patients on univariate and multivariate analyses. The incidence of ACS accounts for only 0.1% of all Intensive Care Unit admissions during the study period of 10 years, likely due to under-diagnosis. Conclusion: We believe that a protocol for a focused measurement in high-risk groups will increase the diagnostic yield of this condition. Multiple laparotomies for abdominal decompression can lead to improved survival.
 
Laboratory data and major clinical events and interventions during the course of the hospitalization
The triggers of secondary thrombotic thrombopcytopenic purpura (TTP) include drug toxicity, radiation and high-dose chemotherapy, angioinvasive infections, surgery and acute graft versus host disease. TTP secondary to surgery have been reported in a number of cases. Most of the cases have been occurred after open heart surgery. Extensive endothelial damage is held responsible as the initiating mechanism in postoperative TTP cases. However, there is no report of secondary TTP describing development owing to ABO incompatible blood transfusion. Here, we describe a patient who developed TTP after transfusion of ABO incompatible blood during hospitalization for bypass surgery. We also propose a hypothesis which may account for the possible underlying mechanism.
 
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), as a complication of asthma, is rare in children. The persistent and poorly-controlled asthma leading to cor pulmonale is not uncommon in adults but rarely described in the pediatric age group. Here, we report a case of asthma and ABPA complicated by pulmonary thrombo-embolism and cor pulmonale. To the best of our knowledge, such association has never been reported in the pediatric age group.
 
Investigations
Hyperkalemia is a potentially life-threatening condition, which may occur in many clinical settings. Heparin-induced hyperkalemia is less well-recognized than other side effects of heparin therapy. Even lesser known is heparin abuse amongst drug addicts. We report a case of fatal hyperkalemia related to long-term heparin abuse, which was refractory to anti-hyperkalemia therapy including hemodialysis. The objective is to alert the clinicians to possible abuse of heparin in drug addicts, which can be a cause for refractory hyperkalemia. We also briefly review the available literature on heparin-induced hyperkalemia.
 
Central venous catheter placement is an important procedure for ICU (Intensive Care Unit) patients. We studied the usefulness of ultrasonography for placement of central venous catheter by in-experienced anesthetists. A prospective observational study of 32 patients requiring central venous access (CVA) in surgical ICU (SICU). Data collected were patient's demographics, indication, type of catheter, success rate, attempts, complication rate and access time were recorded and compared with other studies. The overall success rate was 89.5% in the IJV (Internal Jugular Vein) and 92.3% for SCV (Subclavian Vein) group. The success rates for insertion at first, second, and third attempt were 52.6%, 31.6%, and 5.2% for IJV and 46.2% and 53.8% for SCV. Average number of attempts made for IJV cannulation was 1.74 +/- 1.04 and 1.54 +/- 0.51 for SCV. The total time taken for IJV access was 858.78 +/- 381.9 sec, whereas in the SCV group, it was 984 +/- 328.98 seconds. In our study, overall rate of complication was 21.05% (4/19 patients) for IJV and 23.07% (3/13 patients) for SCV insertion. Incidence of various complications like arterial puncture, misplacement of CVC, hematoma, pneumothorax, and hemothorax were also noted. This study concludes that real time ultrasound guidance during IJV and SCV cannulation can achieve higher success rate, fewer complications, number of attempts, and failure rate among inexperienced anesthetists.
 
Selected agents capable of inducing methemoglobinemia[2]
Lacquer thinner, commonly used for removing household paints, is known to contain a mixture of various aromatic hydrocarbons, halogenated hydrocarbons and naptha; if ingested, it may cause methemoglobinemia. We report two cases who presented to us with a history of accidental ingestion of paint thinner. Both the patients had very high levels of methemoglobin and were treated with methylene blue (MB), but did not respond to the MB therapy. One of them received an exchange transfusion followed again by MB and survived. Unfortunately the other patient succumbed to the poisoning.
 
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, nonirritating, but significantly toxic gas. It is a product of combustion of organic matter in presence of insufficient oxygen supply. Symptoms of mild poisoning include headaches, vertigo and flu like effects, whereas larger exposures can lead to significant toxicity of the central nervous system (CNS), heart, and even death. We are reporting two cases that presented to us in the winter months of December to January with history, sign, symptoms, and radiological evidence of suspected CO poisoning.
 
Comfort levels and confidence in performing the following maneuvers in the ED
ACCM/PALS protocol for the management of septic shock in the ED
To determine whether physicians were aware of and had the skills to implement the American College of Critical Care Medicine/Pediatric Advanced Life Support Course septic shock protocol. A cross-sectional questionnaire survey. Four academic institutions in Chennai, Manipal, Mangalore, and Trivandrum - cities representing the three southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala, respectively, between February and April 2006. Pre and post lecture questions. They were evaluated using 11 questions testing knowledge and 10 questions testing their comfort level in performing interventions related to the initial resuscitation in septic shock. MEASUREMENT AND MAIN RESULT: The ACCM/PALS sepsis guidelines were taught during the PALS course conducted in the four academic institutions. A total of 118 delegates participated, of whom 114 (97%) were pediatricians and four (3%) were anaesthetists. The overall mean number of correct responses for the 11 questions testing knowledge before and after the lecture was 2.1 and 4.07, respectively P=0.001(paired t test). Although, 42% of the respondents (n=50) were aware of the ACCM guidelines, 88% (n=104) did not adhere to it in their practice. A total of 86% (n=101) and 66% (n=78) did not feel comfortable titrating inotropes or intubating in the ED; 78% (n=92) and 67% (n=78), respectively felt that central venous access (CVA) and arterial pressure (AP) monitoring were unimportant in the management of fluid refractory shock. Of the physicians, 20% (n=24) had never intubated a patient, 78% (n=92) had not introduced a central venous catheter, and 76% (n=90) had never introduced an intra-arterial catheter. In view of the lack of skills and suboptimal knowledge, the ACCM/PALS sepsis guidelines may be inappropriate in its current format in the Indian setting. More emphasis needs to be placed on educating community pediatricians with a simpler clinical protocol, which has the potential to save many more children.
 
Aim: We are using multimodal technique to improve hand hygiene (HH) compliance among all health care staff for the past 1-year. This cross-sectional observational study was conducted in the surgical ICU to assess adherence to HH among nurses and allied healthcare workers, at the end of the training year. Materials and methods: This was a cross-sectional observational study using direct observation technique. A single observer collected all HH data. During this analysis, 1500 HH opportunities were observed. HH compliance was tested for all 5 moments as per WHO guidelines. Results: Overall compliance as per WHO Guidelines was 78%. Nurses had an adherence rate of 63%; allied staff adherence was 86.5%. Compliance was 93% after patient contact versus 63% before patient contact. Nurses'compliance before aseptic procedures was lowest at 39%. 92% staff was aware of the facts viz. Diseases prevented by hand washing, ideal duration of HH, reduction of health care associated infections, etc. Conclusion: After 1-year of aggressive multimodal intervention in improving HH compliance, we have an overall compliance of 78%. It implies that sustained performance and compliance to HH can be ensured by ongoing training. Direct observation remains a widely used, easily reproducible method for monitoring compliance.
 
Bland and Altman plot of 24 hrs Cr Cl and predicted Cr Cl by CG (Differences)
Bland and Altman plot of 24 hrs Cr Cl and Cr Cl 1hour (Difference)
Bland and Altman plot of 24 hrs Cr Cl and predicted Cr Cl by MDRD (Differences)
Epidemiological data
Bias, precision and correlation coefficient of CG, MDRD and 1 hour vs 24 hour urine creatinine clearance
Cockroft-Gault (CG) and Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) formulae have not been validated in critically ill Indian patients. We sought to quantify the discrepancy, if any, in Glomerular Filteration Rate (GFR) estimated by CG and MDRD formulae with 24 hrs urine Creatinine Clearance (Cr Cl). Prospective cohort study in 50 adult patients in a mixed medical-surgical intensive care unit. Inclusion criteria: Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) stay >48 hrs and indwelling urinary catheter. Exclusion criteria: Age <18 years, pregnancy, dialysis, urine output <400 ml/day and patients receiving ranitidine, cefoxitin, trimethoprim or diuretics. We estimated Creatinine Clearance by CG and MDRD formula and measured GFR by 24 hrs urine creatinine clearance. Bland Altman plot was used to find the difference between the paired observations. The association between the methods was measured by the product moment correlation coefficient. The mean GFR as calculated by Creatinine Clearance was 79.76 ml/min/1.73 m(2) [95% Confidence Interval (CI) 65.79 to 93.72], that by CG formula was 90.05 ml/min/1.73 m(2) [95% CI: 74.50 to 105.60], by MDRD was 85.92 ml/min/1.73 m(2) [95% CI: 71.25 to 100.59]. The Bias and Precision between CG and Cr Cl were -4.5 and 140.24 respectively, between MDRD and Cr Cl was -6.1 and 122.52. The Correlation coefficient of CG formula as a measure of GFR was 0.65 (P < 0.0001), that of MDRD was 0.70 (P < 0.0001). We conclude that CG and MDRD formulae have a strong correlation with measured GFR but are not a reliable measure and overestimate GFR in critically ill Indian patients.
 
Although, N-acetylcystein (NAC) has shown benefit in non-acetaminophen related liver failure, it was not well studies in dengue associated severe hepatitis. We report a case of dengue hemorrhagic fever associated severe hepatitis (encephalopathy grade 2-drowsy and intermittent disorientation) treated with NAC resulted in good outcome without hepatic transplantation.
 
Introduction: The primary objective of this study was to determine the serum level of antioxidant enzymes and to correlate them with outcome in patients of aluminum phosphide (ALP) poisoning and, secondly, to evaluate the effect of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) given along with supportive treatment of ALP poisoning. Design: We conducted a cohort study in patients of ALP poisoning hospitalized at a tertiary care center of North India. The treatment group and control group were enrolled during the study period of 1 year from May 2011 to April 2012. Interventions: Oxidative stress was evaluated in each subject by estimating the serum levels of the enzymes, viz. catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione reductase (GR). The treatment group comprised of patients who were given NAC in addition to supportive treatment (magnesium sulfate and vasopressors, if required), while in the control group, only supportive treatment was instituted. The primary endpoint of the study was the survival of the patients. Measurements and results: The baseline catalase (P = 0.008) and SOD (P < 0.01) levels were higher among survivors than non-survivors. Of the total patients in the study, 31 (67.4%) expired and 15 (32.6%) survived. Among those who expired, the mean duration of survival was 2.92 ± 0.40 days in the test group and 1.82 ± 0.33 days in the control group (P = 0.043). Conclusions: This study suggests that the baseline level of catalase and SOD have reduced in ALP poisoning, but baseline GR level has not suppressed but is rather increasing with due time, and more so in the treatment group. NAC along with supportive treatment may have improved survival in ALP poisoning.
 
Methylmalonic acidemia (MMA) is most common inherited type of organic acidemia. It has diverse presentation in older infants without any initial apparent symptoms. MMA sometimes present with sudden metabolic decompensation, which may mimics common emergencies like septic shock and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) without early recognition can be fatal. In born error of metabolism especially organic acidemia should be suspected in any infant presented with severe high anion gap metabolic acidosis. We report two cases of MMA in infants presented acutely mimicking DKA and septic shock.
 
Demographic data
Heart rate per minute
Mean arterial pressure
Respiratory rate
Base Excess
Forty patients of aluminum phosphide poisoning who were admitted to the ICU of Sir Sunder Lal Hospital, Banaras Hindu University, were studied. Restlessness, excessive thirst, shock, arrhythmias, tachypnoea, and severe metabolic acidosis were the common clinical findings. Only repeated and full correction with intravenous sodium bicarbonate was able to cope up with the severity and rapidity of acidosis. There was no significant change in blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiratory rate after full correction but gradually pulse and systolic blood pressure settled after ionotropic support in the survivors. There was significant improvement from 30.36% in the case when only half correction was done, as has been the common practice, to 57.5%, when full correction of metabolic acidosis was done.
 
Ganciclovir is widely prescribed in renal transplant patients for the prevention or treatment of herpes and cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections. Side-effects are usually represented by hematological disorders, and particularly leucopenia. We report a case of severe and fatal lactic acidosis developing in a 76-year-old renal transplant woman, a few days after ganciclovir has been introduced to treat CMV pneumonia. Usual etiologies of lactic acidosis were ruled out. A high lactate/pyruvate molecular ratio was suggestive of a respiratory chain dysfunction. With the analogy to nucleoside analogues-related lactic acidosis, we suggest that ganciclovir may exceptionally be responsible for respiratory chain dysfunction and subsequent lactic acidosis, and we discuss potential risk factors in our patient.
 
Baseline patient values
Trend line showing significant difference (P < 0.0004) in oxygenation (P a O 2 /FiO 2 ratio) between the intervention and control group at day 14.  
Outcome variables
Outcome variables at 28 days
To determine the effects of parenteral omega 3 fatty acids (10% fatty acids) on respiratory parameters and outcome in ventilated patients with acute lung injury. Patients were randomized into two groups - one receiving standard isonitrogenous isocaloric enteral diet and the second receiving standard diet supplemented with parenteral omega 3 fatty acids (Omegaven, Fresenius Kabi) for 14 days. Patients demographics, APACHE IV, Nutritional assessment and admission category was noted at the time of admission. No significant difference was found in nutritional variables (BMI, Albumin). Compared with baseline PaO(2)/FiO(2) ratio (control vs. drug group: 199 ± 124 vs. 145 ± 100; P = 0.06), by days 4, 7, and 14, patients receiving the drug did not show a significant improvement in oxygenation (PaO(2)/FiO(2): 151.83 ± 80.19 vs. 177.19 ± 94.05; P = 0.26, 145.20 ± 109.5 vs. 159.48 ± 109.89; P = 0.61 and 95.97 ± 141.72 vs. 128.97 ± 140.35; P = 0.36). However, the change in oxygenation from baseline to day 14 was significantly better in the intervention as compared to control group (145/129 vs. 199/95; P < 0.0004). There was no significant difference in the length of ventilation (LOV) and length of ICU stay (LOS). There was no difference in survival at 28 days. Also, there was no significant difference in the length of ventilation and ICU stay in the survivors group as compared to the non survivors group. In ventilated patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome, intravenous Omega 3 fatty acids alone do not improve ventilation, length of ICU stay, or survival.
 
(L-R) 1st tube Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus ATCC-25923 (negative control), 2nd
Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC-27853 (positive control), Tubes 3, 4, 5 test isolates
Resistance pattern of biofilm producing and nonproducing Acinetobacter baumannii
Resistance pattern of biofilm producing and nonproducing Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Number of isolates taken for study as per the site of isolation
Biofilm positivity with respect to the specimens
Given choice, bacteria prefer a community-based, surface-bound colony to an individual existence. The inclination for bacteria to become surface bound is so ubiquitous in diverse ecosystems that it suggests a strong survival strategy and selective advantage for surface dwellers over their free-ranging counterparts. Virtually any surface, biotic or abiotic (animal, mineral, or vegetable) is suitable for bacterial colonization and biofilm formation. Thus, a biofilm is "a functional consortium of microorganisms organized within an extensive exopolymeric matrix." The present study was undertaken to detect biofilm production from the repertoire stocks of Acinetobacter baumannii (A. baumannii) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) obtained from clinical specimens. The tube method was performed to qualitatively detect biofilm production. A total of 109 isolates of both organisms were included in the study, out of which 42% (46/109) isolates showed biofilm detection. Among the biofilm producers, 57% of P. aeruginosa and 73% of A. baumannii showed multidrug resistance (MDR) pattern which was statistically significant in comparison to nonbiofilm producers (P < 0.001). To the best of our knowledge, this is the only study to have tested the biofilm production in both P. aeruginosa and A. baumannii in a single study. Biofilm production and MDR pattern were found to be significantly higher in A. baumannii than P. aeruginosa. Antibiotic resistance was significantly higher among biofilm producing P. aeruginosa than non producers. Similarly, antibiotic resistance was significantly higher among biofilm producing A. baumannii than non producers.
 
Clinical characteristics and course of patients with carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter ventilator-associated pneumonia
Microbiological and antibiotics data among patients with carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter ventilator-associated pneumonia
Predictors of 28-days mortality on multivariate analysis in patients with CRA-VAP
To study the clinical characteristics and 28-days mortality in patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) due to carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter (CRA). Retrospective, observational, cohort study. Intensive care unit (ICU) of a university hospital. Microbiologically confirmed VAP due to CRA infection. None. Out of 87 patients with VAP due to CRA, 60 (69%) were male; whose median age was 51 years; 73 (84%) patients were medical; 26 (30%) had history of hospitalization in last 3 months; median acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE) II was 15 and median SOFA 9 at admission; primary reason for ICU admission was respiratory failure (34%); 46 (53%) patients had more than 2 organ failure at ICU admission; median length of ICU stay was 19 days; 66 (76%) patients need vasoactive agents during ICU stay, whereas 55 (63%) patients had renal failure; median duration of mechanical ventilation was 17 days; 22 (25%) patients had acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) during ICU stay; 72 (83%) patients had exposure to carbapenem before inclusion in the study; 33 (38%) patients had same organism at other sites. In the follow-up, 47 (54%) patient survived at 28 days after having VAP; whereas only 40 (46%) patients were discharged from the hospital. CRA-VAP has high crude mortality. Advanced age; severity of illness and presence of pneumonia at ICU admission; and presence of shock, ARDS and renal failure have impact on outcome in these patients.
 
A total of 39 non-duplicate isolates of carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter species isolated from blood and endotracheal secretions were tested for metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) production by modified-EDTA disc synergy and double disc synergy tests. The prevalence of MBLs was 33.33% by both the above tests. All patients with MBL-positive isolates were multidrug resistant and had multiple risk factors like > 8 days hospital stay, catheterization, IV lines, previous antibiotic use, etc. These were risk factors for imipenem resistance also. The overall mortality in MBL-positive patients was 46.15%.
 
Hospital-acquired hypernatremia (HAH) is a frequent concern in critical care, which carries high mortality. To study the risk factors for HAH in settings that practice a preventive protocol. Two tertiary-care hospitals. Prospective observational study design. Patients aged >18 years admitted for an acute medical illness with normal serum sodium and need for intensive care >48 h formed the study population. Details of the basic panel of investigations on admission, daily electrolytes and renal function test, sodium content of all intake, free water intake (oral, enteral and intravenous) and fluid balance every 24 h were recorded. Individuals with serum Na 140-142 meq/l received 500 ml of free water every 24 h, and those with 143-145 meq/l received 1000 ml free water every 24 h. Risk factors associated with HAH was analysed by multiple logistic regression. Among 670 study participants, 64 (9.5%) developed HAH. The median duration of hypernatremia was 3 days. A total 60 of 64 participants with HAH had features of renal concentrating defect during hypernatremia. Age >60 years (P = 0.02), acute kidney injury (AKI) on admission (P = 0.01), mechanical ventilation (P = 0.01), need for ionotropes (P = 0.03), worsening Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score after admission (P < 0.001), enteral tube feeds (P = 0.002), negative fluid balance (P = 0.02) and mannitol use (P < 0.001) were the risk factors for HAH. Mortality rate was 34.3% among hypernatremic patients. The study suggests that administration of free water to prevent HAH should be more meticulously complied with in patients who are elderly, present with AKI, suffer multi-organ dysfunction, require mechanical ventilation, receive enteral feeds and drugs like mannitol or ionotropes.
 
Development of autoantibodies against coagulation factor VIII (FVIII) leads to a rare condition defined as acquired hemophilia (AH). If not diagnosed and treated early, AH may be associated with high mortality and morbidity. A 65-year-old woman presented with history of macrohematuria, acute renal failure, cardiogenic shock, and acute respiratory failure. Blood investigation revealed azotemia, prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), coagulation FVIII level of <1%, and presence of FVIII inhibitor. Echocardiography showed global hypokinesia and ultrasonography and computed tomography (CT) revealed bilateral hydroureteronephrosis. The final diagnosis was acquired hemophilia A, complicated by acute obstructive renal failure and cardiorenal syndrome (CRS) type 3. Patient was managed with mechanical ventilation, heparin-free hemodialysis, negative fluid balance, recombinant activated factor VII, and prednisolone. Hematuria was relieved, renal function improved, and cardiac function showed improvement on repeat echocardiography. Patient was discharged on prednisolone with subsequent follow ups.
 
Pathophysiology of critical illness polyneuropathy/critical illness myopathy. Proposed pathophysiological mechanisms and their interactions involved in the development of critical illness polyneuropathy/critical illness myopathy. Adapted with permission from Hermans et al.[35] (CS: Corticosteroids; NMBA: Neuromuscular blocking agent; ROS: Reactive oxygen species; SR: Sarcoplasmatic reticulum)
Mnemonic used for differential diagnosis of generalized weakness in the intensive care unit
Intensive care unit acquired weakness (ICUAW) is a common occurrence in patients who are critically ill. It is most often due to critical illness polyneuropathy (CIP) or to critical illness myopathy (CIM). ICUAW is increasingly being recognized partly as a consequence of improved survival in patients with severe sepsis and multi-organ failure, partly related to commonly used agents such as steroids and muscle relaxants. There have been occasional reports of CIP and CIM in children, but little is known about their prevalence or clinical impact in the pediatric population. This review summarizes the current understanding of pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis and treatment of CIP and CIM in general with special reference to published literature in the pediatric age group. Studies were identified through MedLine and Embase using relevant MeSH and Key words. Both adult and pediatric studies were included. ICUAW in children is a poorly described entity with unknown incidence, etiology and unclear long-term prognosis. Critical illness polyneuropathy and myopathy is relatively rare, but clinically significant sequelae of multifactorial origin affecting morbidity, length of intensive care unit (ICU) stay and possibly mortality in critically ill children admitted to pediatric ICU.
 
Monitoring of Infection Control Areas of infection control Parameters Incidence of nosocomial infections VAP, CRBSI, UTI, SSI, etc. 
These guidelines, written for clinicians, contains evidence-based recommendations for the prevention of hospital acquired infections Hospital acquired infections are a major cause of mortality and morbidity and provide challenge to clinicians. Measures of infection control include identifying patients at risk of nosocomial infections, observing hand hygiene, following standard precautions to reduce transmission and strategies to reduce VAP, CR-BSI, CAUTI. Environmental factors and architectural lay out also need to be emphasized upon. Infection prevention in special subsets of patients - burns patients, include identifying sources of organism, identification of organisms, isolation if required, antibiotic prophylaxis to be used selectively, early removal of necrotic tissue, prevention of tetanus, early nutrition and surveillance. Immunodeficient and Transplant recipients are at a higher risk of opportunistic infections. The post tranplant timetable is divided into three time periods for determining risk of infections. Room ventilation, cleaning and decontamination, protective clothing with care regarding food requires special consideration. Monitoring and Surveillance are prioritized depending upon the needs. Designated infection control teams should supervise the process and help in collection and compilation of data. Antibiotic Stewardship Recommendations include constituting a team, close coordination between teams, audit, formulary restriction, de-escalation, optimizing dosing, active use of information technology among other measure. The recommendations in these guidelines are intended to support, and not replace, good clinical judgment. The recommendations are rated by a letter that indicates the strength of the recommendation and a Roman numeral that indicates the quality of evidence supporting the recommendation, so that readers can ascertain how best to apply the recommendations in their practice environments.
 
Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition resulting from an overwhelming immunological response to an exotoxin released by Staphylococcus aureus and group A streptococci. High index of suspicion, early diagnosis and aggressive therapeutic measures must be instituted in view of high mortality of the TSS. In recent years, new agents have been tested to reduce morbidity and mortality in patients with severe sepsis, in addition to standard supportive measures. Among them, recombinant human activated protein C (rhAPC) has been reported to significantly reduce mortality and morbidity in patients with severe sepsis and two or more acute organ failures. We describe our experience with this drug in the early reversal of septic shock from TSS.
 
Electrocardiograph showing S wave in lead I, Q wave in lead III and T wave inversion in lead III (S1Q3T3 pattern)
CT pulmonary angiography scan showing the filling defects (marked by arrows) in the right lower lobe segmental artery, which is suggestive of pulmonary embolism
Results of the PROWESS trial suggested that heparin may reduce the efficacy of recombinant human activated protein C (rhAPC) and the XPRESS study also showed increased bleeding complications in patients receiving heparin with rhAPC. Although it has been shown that heparin prophylaxis may be used along with rhAPC, no study has shown the interaction between continuous heparin infusion and rhAPC. Here, we report a case of severe sepsis with pulmonary embolism who was concurrently administered heparin and rhAPC infusions, with positive results and no bleeding complications.
 
Acute exacerbations and complications are common in patients of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) despite of adequate long-term therapy with immunosuppressive drugs. So other options like therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) can be considered as part of management. Here, we share our experience of two patients of SLE with acute complications who were successfully managed with TPE.
 
Electrocardiogram on day 1 showing tall T wave in anterior and lateral leads 
Electrocardiogram on day 2 showing resolution of tall T wave in anterior and lateral leads 
Acute flaccid quadriparesis secondary to hyperkalemia is a very rare and serious but reversible medical emergency. We present a case of a 73-year-old female who was admitted with rapidly progressive ascending paraparesis progressing to quadriparesis in about 10 h due to hyperkalemia. Patient was treated with antihyperkalemic measures. Her power improved dramatically as potassium levels normalized and she had an uneventful recovery.
 
Top-cited authors
Deepak Govil
  • Medanta The Medicity
Sachin Gupta
Subhash Todi
  • AMRI Hospitals
Ritu Aggarwal
  • Maharishi Markandeshwar University, Mullana
Nidhi Goel