The Normalization Fallacy: why much of “critical care” may be neither

By Scott Aberegg, MD, MPH Like many starry-eyed medical students, I was drawn to critical care because of the high stakes, its physiological underpinnings, and the apparent fact that you could take control of that physiology and make it serve your goals for the patient. On my first MICU rotation in 1997, I was so swept [... read more]

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Simple qSOFA score predicts sepsis as well as anything else

Sepsis is sneaky. Physicians, nurses, and epidemiologists struggle to accurately identify patients with sepsis in the emergency department, hospital ward, and data sets. The so-called SIRS criteria were abandoned as insensitive and nonspecific in the most recent iteration of sepsis care. Sepsis is instead now defined as "life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host [... read more]

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Oxygen saturation in critical illness: could low-normal be best?

Oxygen is essential for life, but by forming superoxides and free radicals, supplemental oxygen can also inflict damage on lung and other body tissues. The sweet spot for oxygen delivery in critically ill patients is unknown, but increasing evidence suggests that when it comes to blood oxygen saturation during critical illness, "normal" levels might actually [... read more]

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A Primer on the Perils of Intravenous Fluids – Part 2

Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] Read part 1 here Fluids and the Glycocaylx Critically-ill patients all likely have endothelial dysfunction to some degree.  This perturbation in microvascular physiology may be underpinned by abnormal glycocalyx structure and function.  Sepsis, trauma, surgery and ischemic insults are all known to disrupt the glycocalyx which will increase vascular fluid capacitance.  [... read more]

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A Primer on the Perils of Intravenous Fluids – Part 1

Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] “To every (wo)man is given the key to the gates of heaven. The same key opens the gates of hell.  And so it is with science.” -Richard Feynman A rich, frosty wind etherizes my face; this cool gust rips through the medieval, labyrinthine passageways of Old Stockholm like frayed edges of [... read more]

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