The frequency of clinically diagnosed venous thromboembolism (VTE) including deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) in medical-surgical critically ill patients is unclear. The objectives of this study were to estimate the prevalence and incidence of radiologically confirmed DVT and PE in medical-surgical intensive care unit (ICU) patients and to determine the impact of prophylaxis on the frequency of these events.
In a retrospective observational cohort study in 12 adult ICUs, we identified prevalent cases (diagnosed in the 24 hours preceding ICU admission up to 48 hours post-ICU admission) and incident cases (diagnosed 48 hours or more after ICU admission and up to 8 weeks after ICU discharge) of upper or lower limb DVT or PE. Deep venous thrombosis was diagnosed by compression ultrasound or venogram. Each DVT was classified as clinically suspected or not clinically suspected in that the latter was diagnosed by scheduled screening ultrasonography. Pulmonary embolism was diagnosed by ventilation-perfusion lung scan, computed tomography pulmonary angiography, echocardiography, electrocardiography, or autopsy.
Among 12,338 patients, 252 (2.0%) patients had radiologically confirmed DVT or PE and another 47 (0.4%) had possible DVT or PE. Prevalent DVTs were diagnosed in 0.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.3%-0.5%) of patients and prevalent PEs were diagnosed in 0.4% (95% CI, 0.3%-0.6%). Incident DVTs were diagnosed in 1.0% (95% CI, 0.8%-1.2%) of patients, and incident PEs were diagnosed in 0.5% (95% CI, 0.4%-0.6%). Of patients with incident VTE, 65.8% of cases occurred despite receipt of thromboprophylaxis for at least 80% of their days in ICU. The median (interquartile range) ICU length of stay was similar for patients with DVT (7 [3-17]) and PE (5 [2-8]). For all patients with VTE, ICU mortality was 16.7% (95% CI, 12.0%-21.3%) and hospital mortality was 28.5% (95% CI, 22.8%-34.1%).
Venous thromboembolism appears to be an apparently infrequent, but likely underdiagnosed problem, occurring among patients receiving prophylaxis. Findings suggest the need for increased suspicion among clinicians, renewed efforts at thromboprophylaxis, and evaluation of superior prevention strategies.
Ventilator-associated pneumonia is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients. Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of ventilator-associated pneumonia may improve outcomes, but optimal methods to ensure implementation of guidelines in the intensive care unit are unclear. Hence, we determined the effect of educational sessions augmented with reminders, and led by local opinion leaders, as strategies to implement evidence-based ventilator-associated pneumonia guidelines on guideline concordance and ventilator-associated pneumonia rates.
Two-year prospective, multicenter, time-series study conducted between June 2007 and December 2009.
Eleven ICUs (ten in Canada, one in the United States); five academic and six community ICUs.
At each site, 30 adult patients mechanically ventilated >48 hrs were enrolled during four data collection periods (baseline, 6, 15, and 24 months).
Guideline recommendations for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of ventilator-associated pneumonia were implemented using a multifaceted intervention (education, reminders, local opinion leaders, and implementation teams) directed toward the entire multidisciplinary ICU team. Clinician exposure to the intervention was assessed at 6, 15, and 24 months after the introduction of this intervention.
The main outcome measure was aggregate concordance with the 14 ventilator-associated pneumonia guideline recommendations. One thousand three hundred twenty patients were enrolled (330 in each study period). Clinician exposure to the multifaceted intervention was high and increased during the study: 86.7%, 93.3%, 95.8%, (p
Comment In: Crit Care Med. 2013 Jan;41(1):329-3123269134
Although secondary infections are recognized as a cause of morbidity and mortality in seasonal influenza, their frequency, characteristics, and associated clinical outcomes in 2009 influenza A(H1N1) (A[H1N1])-related critical illness are unknown.
In a prospective cohort of adult patients admitted to Canadian ICUs with influenza A(H1N1) infection, the frequency and associated clinical outcomes of prevalent (culture taken within 72 h of ICU admission) and ICU-acquired (culture taken after 72 h from ICU admission) positive bacterial cultures were determined.
Among 681 patients, the mean age was 47.9 years (SD, 15.1), APACHE (Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Examination) II score was 21.0 (9.9), and 573 patients (84.0%) were invasively mechanically ventilated. Positive cultures were obtained in 259 patients (38.0%): 77 (29.7%) had prevalent, 115 (44.4%) had ICU-acquired, and 40 (15.4%) had both; culture date was unavailable in 27 (10.4%). The most common bacterial organisms isolated were coagulase-negative staphylococci, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas species, and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Antibiotics were prescribed in 661 (97.1%), with 3.8 (1.9) prescriptions per patient. Patients with any positive culture had longer days of mechanical ventilation (mean [SD], 15.2 [10.7] vs 10.7 [9.0]; P
Due to resource limitations, few critical care interventions have been rigorously evaluated with adequately powered randomized clinical trials (RCTs). There is a need to improve the efficiency of RCTs in critical care so that more definitive high quality RCTs can be completed with the available resources. The objective of this study was to validate and demonstrate the utility of a novel composite outcome measure, persistent organ dysfunction (POD) plus death, for clinical trials of critically ill patients.
We performed a secondary analysis of a dataset from a prospective randomized trial involving 38 intensive care units (ICUs) in Canada, Europe, and the United States. We define POD as the persistence of organ dysfunction requiring supportive technologies during the convalescent phase of critical illness and it is present when a patient has an ongoing requirement for vasopressors, dialysis, or mechanical ventilation at the outcome assessments time points. In 600 patients enrolled in a randomized trial of nutrition therapy and followed prospectively for six months, we evaluated the prevalence of POD and its association with outcome.
At 28 days, 2.3% of patients had circulatory failure, 13.7% had renal failure, 8.7% had respiratory failure, and 27.2% had died, for an overall prevalence of POD + death = 46.0%. Of survivors at Day 28, those with POD, compared to those without POD, had a higher mortality rate in the six-month follow-up period, had longer ICU and hospital stays, and a reduced quality of life at three months. Given these rates of POD + death and using a two-sided Chi-squared test at alpha = 0.05, we would require 616 patients per arm to detect a 25% relative risk reduction (RRR) in mortality, but only 286 per arm to detect the same RRR in POD + mortality.
POD + death may be a valid composite outcome measure and compared to mortality endpoints, may reduce the sample size requirements of clinical trials of critically ill patients. Further validation in larger clinical trials is required.
Cites: Crit Care Med. 1998 Nov;26(11):1793-8009824069
The aim of this study was to determine the safety of targeted antibiotic therapy (TT) in ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).
This was a secondary analysis from a multicenter trial of 740 patients with suspected VAP randomized to bronchoscopy or endotracheal aspirate cultures; all received empirical broad-spectrum antibiotics. Patients were grouped by whether they received TT, defined as tailoring or discontinuing antibiotics in response to enrolment culture results.
For patients with a positive culture (n = 412), baseline demographics, clinical progression of infection and multiple organ dysfunction scores (MODS), and mortality were similar for those on TT (n = 320) or those who did not receive TT (NoTT) (n = 92). The TT group had more days alive and off broad-spectrum antibiotics (14.5 vs 13.2, P = .04). In patients with a negative culture (n = 327), those on TT (n = 230) had similar baseline demographics, less frequent final adjudicated diagnosis of VAP (63.0% vs 76.3%, P = .02), and less severe clinical progression of infection and MODS compared with NoTT (n = 97). The TT group had more days alive and off broad-spectrum antibiotics (15.9 vs 13.1, P