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Shekar K.,Prince Charles Hospital | Shekar K.,University of Queensland | Roberts J.A.,Prince Charles Hospital | Roberts J.A.,University of Queensland | And 13 more authors.
Anaesthesia and Intensive Care | Year: 2012

Critically ill patients receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) are often noted to have increased sedation requirements. However, data related to sedation in this complex group of patients is limited. The aim of our study was to characterise the sedation requirements in adult patients receiving ECMO for cardiorespiratory failure. A retrospective chart review was performed to collect sedation data for 30 consecutive patients who received venovenous or venoarterial ECMO between April 2009 and March 2011. To test for a difference in doses over time we used a regression model. The dose of midazolam received on ECMO support increased by an average of 18 mg per day (95% confidence interval 8, 29 mg, P=0.001), while the dose of morphine increased by 29 mg per day (95% confidence interval 4, 53 mg, P=0.021) The venovenous group received a daily midazolam dose that was 157 mg higher than the venoarterial group (95% confidence interval 53, 261 mg, P=0.005). We did not observe any significant increase in fentanyl doses over time (95% confidence interval 1269, 4337 μg, P=0.94). There is a significant increase in dose requirement for morphine and midazolam during ECMO. Patients on venovenous ECMO received higher sedative doses as compared to patients on venoarterial ECMO. Future research should focus on mechanisms behind these changes and also identify drugs that are most suitable for sedation during ECMO.


Hammond N.E.,Prince Charles Hospital | Hammond N.E.,Critical Care Research Group | Corley A.,Prince Charles Hospital | Corley A.,Intensive Care Research Nurse | And 2 more authors.
Anaesthesia and Intensive Care | Year: 2011

Procalcitonin (PCT) has been reported to differentiate between bacterial and viral causes of respiratory tract infections. We aimed to assess its ability to discriminate between viral and bacterial infection during the H1N1 pandemic of 2009. The design of this study was a retrospective single centre case series review. Subjects were 17 adult patients admitted to the intensive care unit with suspected or confirmed isolated H1N1 influenza infection, from whom a PCT level was assessed within 24 hours of admission. All patients were admitted during the H1N1 pandemic in Queensland from 6 July 2009 to 2 August 2009. The relationship between PCT levels and H1N1 status was measured by a Wilcoxon rank sum test. Patients were proven to have isolated H1N1 infection as judged by Polymerase Chain Reaction, with no bacterial super-infection. Of this number, 37% had a PCT <1 μg/l, and 63% of patients had an indeterminate PCT between 1 and 10 μg/l. The demographics of all 17 patients were mean age 48.2 years (SD 13.6 years); 59% female; mean Acute Physiological and Chronic Health Evaluation II score 20.3 (SD 5.8); mean intensive care unit 477.5 hours (SD 330.0 hours); 82% of cases required mechanical ventilation; 24% of cases required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and 94% of cases were alive at intensive care unit discharge. PCT was neither sensitive nor specific in determining isolated H1N1 infection in this series of patients. The use of PCT to assist in isolation triage of patients suspected of infection with H1N1 influenza in the intensive care unit should be made with caution. A larger study may be required.


O'Conor E.,Prince Charles Hospital | O'Conor E.,St James Hospital | Fraser J.F.,Prince Charles Hospital | Fraser J.F.,Critical Care Research Group
Anaesthesia and Intensive Care | Year: 2012

Hyperlactataemia and lactic acidosis are commonly encountered during and after cardiac surgery. Perioperative lactate production increases in the myocardium, skeletal muscle, lungs and in the splanchnic circulation during cardiopulmonary bypass. Hyperlactataemia has a bimodal distribution in the perioperative period. An early increase in lactate levels, arising intraoperatively or soon after intensive care unit admission, is a familiar and concerning finding for most clinicians. It is highly suggestive of tissue ischaemia and is associated with a prolonged intensive care unit stay, a prolonged requirement for respiratory and cardiovascular support and increased postoperative mortality. Its presence should prompt a thorough search for potential causes of tissue hypoxia. In contrast, late-onset hyperlactataemia, a less well recognised complication, occurs 4 to 24 hours after completion of surgery and is typically associated with preserved cardiac output and oxygen delivery. Risk factors for late-onset hyperlactataemia include hyperglycaemia, long cardiopulmonary bypass time and elevated endogenous catecholamines. Although patients with this complication may have a longer duration of ventilation and intensive care unit length of stay than those with normolactataemia, an association with increased mortality has not been demonstrated. The discovery of late-onset hyperlactataemia should not delay the postoperative progress of an otherwise stable patient following cardiac surgery.

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