Archive for September, 2009|Monthly archive page

Special K – time for a reappraisal ?

2 recent articles highlight the potential benefit of an often overlooked induction agent in critically ill patients.

Etomidate versus ketamine for rapid sequence intubation in acutely ill patients: a multicentre randomised controlled trial. Jabre, P. et al. Lancet. Volume 374, Issue 9686, Pages 293 – 300, 25 July 2009.

This multicentre, randomised, blinded trial in 65 french ICUs & 12 field teams enrolled 655 patients to either etomidate or ketamine for emergent intubation for critical illness. Patients were analysed only if they remained in ICU after day 3 (469). Adequate and reasonable power calculation, including predetermined septic & trauma subgroups. Primary end point was maximal SOFA score within 3 days (chosen as etomidate’s effects on adrenocortical axis thought to last <48 hrs). Secondary end points included intubation conditions, and 28 day ICU stay, catecholamine requirement, mortality & adrenocortical insufficiency. Continue reading

Derby’s Finest

Two excellent recent articles from local clinicians that had to be featured on Critical Insight. An upcoming post will include a review article on Ketamine in ICU, but first…

Should we really be more “balanced” in our fluid prescribing ? Morris, C. Boyd, A. Reynolds, N. Anaesthesia, 2009 Jul;64(7):703.

A very good editorial questioning the rush away from hypercholreamic solutions despite the lack of clear evidence of benefit. They’re making a habit of insightful editorials. Without stealing their thunder, they make some excellent points regarding the potential physiological impact of negative anions (such as lactate and acetate) in situations of poor organ perfusion. A question the editorial doesn’t ask which springs to mind – how are we to assess the risk of fluid regimens without having to repeat the SAFE study for every potential option? At the same time can we tolerate the introduction of new fluids into the critically ill with very little evidence base ?

Steroids for Post Intubation Stridor

A recent Cochrane review of the use of steroids to prevent post extubation stridor in adults and children has been comprehensively reviewed by the McMaster EBM unit for BMJ Evidence. The text below is from their site, which is free access.

BACKGROUND: Post-extubation stridor may prolong length of stay in the intensive care unit, particularly if airway obstruction is severe and re-intubation proves necessary. Some clinicians use corticosteroids to prevent or treat post-extubation stridor, but corticosteroids may be associated with adverse effects ranging from hypertension to hyperglycaemia, so a systematic assessment of the efficacy of this therapy is indicated.

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