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We examined the effect of an antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP), procalcitonin testing and rapid blood-culture identification on hospital mortality in a prospective quality improvement project in critically ill septic adults. Secondarily, we have reported antimicrobial guideline concordance, acceptance of ASP interventions, and antimicrobial and health-resource utilization.
There is international variability in whether neurological determination of death (NDD) is conceptually defined based on permanent loss of brainstem function or “whole brain death.” Canadian guidelines are not definitive. Patients with infratentorial stroke may meet clinical criteria for NDD despite persistent cerebral blood flow (CBF) and relative absence of supratentorial injury.
We performed a multicenter cohort study involving patients that died from ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke in Alberta intensive care units from 2013 to 2019, focusing on those with infratentorial involvement. Medical records were reviewed to determine the incidence and proportion of patients that met clinical criteria for NDD; whether ancillary testing was performed; and if so, whether this demonstrated the absence of CBF.
There were 95 (27%) deaths from infratentorial and 263 (73%) from supratentorial stroke. Sixteen patients (17%) with infratentorial stroke had neurological examination consistent with NDD (0.55 cases per million per year). Among patients that underwent confirmatory evaluation for NDD with an apnea test, ancillary test (radionuclide scan), or both, ancillary testing was more common with infratentorial compared with supratentorial stroke (10/12 (85%) vs. 25/47 (53%), p = 0.04). Persistent CBF was detected in 6/10 (60%) patients with infratentorial compared with 0/25 with supratentorial stroke (p = 0.0001).
Infratentorial stroke leading to clinical criteria for NDD occurs with an annual incidence of about 0.55 per million. There is variability in clinicians’ use of ancillary testing. Persistent CBF was detected in more than half of patients that underwent radionuclide scans. Canadian consensus is needed to guide clinical practice.
Cases of liraglutide overdose are rare in the literature. Prior reports have not found hypoglycemia related to the medication overdose. We describe a case of a non-diabetic patient who intentionally overdosed on liraglutide leading to severe hypoglycemia. The patient required admission to the intensive care unit for a dextrose infusion and close monitoring. Glucagon-like protein-1 agonists are recognized for their safety and rarely causing hypoglycemia in diabetic patients. However, in this case the patient’s non-diabetic status may have put him at risk for hypoglycemia in contrast to prior cases showing no hypoglycemia in diabetic patients. The case highlights the possible dangers of liraglutide overdose and need for blood glucose monitoring in the acute presentation.
Severe longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM) can cause quadriplegia, marked sensory dysfunction, and respiratory failure. Some patients are unresponsive to conventional immune therapy. We report two cases of severe immune-mediated LETM requiring intensive care admission that failed to respond to high-dose corticosteroids, plasma exchange, intravenous immunoglobulin, and rituximab. Disease cessation and significant recovery was achieved after cyclophosphamide induction. In patients with severe acute immune-mediated LETM who fail to respond to corticosteroids and plasma exchange, cyclophosphamide induction should be considered. This agent and regimen provides a robust immunosuppressive response and can be induced rapidly. Cyclophosphamide effects and supportive evidence are discussed.
Although severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI) is a devastating condition with tremendous public health implications, the epidemiology of this disease has not previously been described in Canada. We sought to define the incidence, risk factors and outcome of patients suffering sTBI in a large Canadian region.
A population-based surveillance cohort design was utilized to identify all Calgary Heath Region residents who were victims of trauma with an injury severity score ³12. Subsequent application of a specific sTBI case definition defined the final cohort.
The annual incidence of sTBI was 11.4 per 100,000 population. The incidence of sTBI was significantly higher for males as compared to females [17.1 vs. 5.9 per 100,000; relative risk (RR) = 2.91, 95% confidence interval; 2.17, 3.94; p<0.0001]. There was a striking increase in the annual age specific population incidence of sTBI observed among those older than 74 years of age. The relative risk among the highest risk group of elderly (>85 years) males as compared to the lowest risk female group (50-64 years) was 19.78 (95% CI; 6.27, 62.3; p<0.0001). One hundred and eight patients died prior to hospital discharge for a mortality rate of 5.1 per 100,000 per year.
Severe traumatic brain injury is common among residents of the Calgary Health Region and is associated with a high mortality rate. Males and the elderly are at the highest risk for acquiring sTBI and may represent target groups for preventive efforts.
Les lÉsions cÉrÉbrales par traumatisme crânien sÉvère sont frÉquentes parmi les rÉsidents de la rÉgion sanitaire de Calgary et sont associÉes à une mortalitÉ ÉlevÉe. Les hommes et les personnes âgÉes sont les groupes les plus à risque et constituent des groupes cibles pour les interventions à visÉe prÉventive.
Severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI) is a relatively common problem with few therapies proven effective. Despite its use for over 50 years, therapeutic hypothermia has not gained widespread acceptance in the treatment of sTBI due to conflicting results from clinical trials. This review will summarize the current evidence from animal, mechanistic and clinical studies supporting the use of therapeutic hypothermia. In addition, issues of rewarming and optimal temperature will be discussed. Finally, the future of hypothermia in sTBI will be addressed.
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