Continuing chronic beta-blockade in the acute phase of severe sepsis and septic shock is associated with decreased mortality rates up to 90 days


Background. There is growing evidence that beta-blockade may reduce mortality in selected patients with sepsis. However, it is unclear if a pre-existing, chronic oral beta-blocker therapy should be continued or discontinued during the acute phase of severe sepsis and septic shock.Methods. The present secondary analysis of a prospective observational single centre trial compared patient and treatment characteristics, length of stay and mortality rates between adult patients with severe sepsis or septic shock, in whom chronic beta-blocker therapy was continued or discontinued, respectively. The acute phase was defined as the period ranging from two days before to three days after disease onset. Multivariable Cox regression analysis was performed to compare survival outcomes in patients with pre-existing chronic beta-blockade.Results. A total of 296 patients with severe sepsis or septic shock and pre-existing, chronic oral beta-blocker therapy were included. Chronic beta-blocker medication was discontinued during the acute phase of sepsis in 129 patients and continued in 167 patients. Continuation of beta-blocker therapy was significantly associated with decreased hospital (P=0.03), 28-day (P=0.04) and 90-day mortality rates (40.7% vs 52.7%; P=0.046) in contrast to beta-blocker cessation. The differences in survival functions were validated by a Log-rank test (P=0.01). Multivariable analysis identified the continuation of chronic beta-blocker therapy as an independent predictor of improved survival rates (HR = 0.67, 95%-CI (0.48, 0.95), P=0.03).Conclusions. Continuing pre-existing chronic beta-blockade might be associated with decreased mortality rates up to 90 days in septic patients.

Epidemiology of sepsis and septic shock in critical care units: comparison between sepsis-2 and sepsis-3 populations using a national critical care database


Background: New sepsis and septic shock definitions could change the epidemiology of sepsis because of differences in criteria. We therefore compared the sepsis populations identified by the old and new definitions.Methods: We used a high-quality, national, intensive care unit (ICU) database of 654 918 consecutive admissions to 189 adult ICUs in England, from January 2011 to December 2015. Primary outcome was acute hospital mortality. We compared old (Sepsis-2) and new (Sepsis-3) incidence, outcomes, trends in outcomes, and predictive validity of sepsis and septic shock populations.Results: From among 197 724 Sepsis-2 severe sepsis and 197 142 Sepsis-3 sepsis cases, we identified 153 257 Sepsis-2 septic shock and 39 262 Sepsis-3 septic shock cases. The extrapolated population incidence of Sepsis-3 sepsis and Sepsis-3 septic shock was 101.8 and 19.3 per 100 000 person-years, respectively, in 2015. Sepsis-2 severe sepsis and Sepsis-3 sepsis had similar incidence, similar mortality and showed significant risk-adjusted improvements in mortality over time. Sepsis-3 septic shock had a much higher Acute Physiology And Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score, greater mortality and no risk-adjusted trends in mortality improvement compared with Sepsis-2 septic shock. ICU admissions identified either as Sepsis-3 sepsis or septic shock and as Sepsis-2 severe sepsis or septic shock had significantly greater risk-adjusted odds of death compared with non-sepsis admissions (P<0.001). The predictive validity was greatest for Sepsis-3 septic shock.Conclusions: In an ICU database, compared with Sepsis-2, Sepsis-3 identifies a similar sepsis population with 92% overlap and much smaller septic shock population with improved predictive validity.

Frontal alpha-delta EEG does not preclude volitional response during anaesthesia: prospective cohort study of the isolated forearm technique


Background: The isolated forearm test (IFT) is the gold standard test of connected consciousness (awareness of the environment) during anaesthesia. The frontal alpha-delta EEG pattern (seen in slow wave sleep) is widely held to indicate anaesthetic-induced unconsciousness. A priori we proposed that one responder with the frontal alpha-delta EEG pattern would falsify this concept.Methods: Frontal EEG was recorded in a subset of patients from three centres participating in an international multicentre study of IFT responsiveness following tracheal intubation. Raw EEG waveforms were analysed for power–frequency spectra, depth-of-anaesthesia indices, permutation entropy, slow wave activity saturation and alpha-delta amplitude-phase coupling.Results: Volitional responses to verbal command occurred in six out of 90 patients. Three responses occurred immediately following intubation in patients (from Sites 1 and 2) exhibiting an alpha-delta dominant (delta power >20 dB, alpha power >10 dB) EEG pattern. The power–frequency spectra obtained during these responses were similar to those of non-responders (P>0.05) at those sites. A further three responses occurred in (Site 3) patients not exhibiting the classic alpha-delta EEG pattern; these responses occurred later relative to intubation, and in patients had been co-administered ketamine and less volatile anaesthetic compared with Site 1 and 2 patients. None of the derived depth-of-anaesthesia indices could robustly discrimate IFT responders and non-responders.Conclusions: Connected consciousness can occur in the presence of the frontal alpha-delta EEG pattern during anaesthesia. Frontal EEG parameters do not readily discriminate volitional responsiveness (a marker of connected consciousness) and unresponsiveness during anaesthesia.Clinical trial registration: NCT02248623

A Narrative Review of Adherence to Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Guidelines.

Over the past 2 decades, a large number of guidelines for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) management have been proposed. The primary aim of these “evidence-based” guidelines is to improve the care of aSAH patients by summarizing and making current knowledge readily available to clinicians. However, an investigation into aSAH guidelines, their changes along time and their successful translation into clinical practice is still lacking.

We performed a literature search of historical events and subarachnoid hemorrhage guidelines using the Entrez PubMed NIH, Embase, and Cochrane databases for articles published up to November of 2016. Data were summarized for guidelines on aSAH management and cross-sectional studies of their application. A total of 11 guidelines and 10 cross-sectional studies on aSAH management were analyzed. The use of nimodipine for the treatment of SAH is the only recommendation that remained consistent across guidelines over time (r=0.82; P

Cerebral Oxygen Saturation During Electroconvulsive Therapy: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Crossover Trial.

Background: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) causes acute changes in cerebral perfusion and oxygenation. Near-infrared spectroscopy is a novel, noninvasive technique to assess cerebral oxygen saturation (cSO2). We hypothesized that cSO2 increases during ECT and more so with atropine premedication and decreases when systemic desaturation (peripheral oxygen saturation 60% at any measured time point, even in those with systemic desaturation.

Conclusions: ECT increased cSO2 irrespective of atropine premedication. cSO2 was lower when systemic desaturation occurred. Future studies should explore the effect of cerebral oxygenation changes during ECT on outcome of psychiatric conditions.

Copyright (C) 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved

The Shikani Optical Stylet as an Alternative to Awake Fiberoptic Intubation in Patients at Risk of Secondary Cervical Spine Injury: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Background: Conventional intubation of the trachea and consequent prone positioning of anesthetized patients with cervical spine instability may result in secondary neurological injury. Historically, flexible fiberoptics used to be the chief choice for patients presenting with cervical spine instability surgery with difficult airway. Recently, the rigid optical stylets have shown promise in assisting difficult intubations.

Purpose: The aim of the present study was to compare the efficacy of Shikani optical stylet (SOS) with the flexible fiberscope for awake intubation in patients with cervical spine instability.

Patients and Methods: In total, 60 adult patients diagnosed with cervical instability or at risk of secondary cervical injury, who were planned for awake intubation and/or self-positioning prone, were registered in this study and were randomly categorized into 2 equal groups (30 patients each), a fiberoptic group and an SOS group, followed by assessment of coughing and gagging during intubation, time to successful intubation, number of attempts for successful intubation, and hemodynamic parameters.

Results: As regards time to successful intubation, statistically significant differences were detected between the 2 studied groups, with the fiberoptic group having significantly longer intubation time than the Shikani group, whereas no statistically significant differences were recorded between the 2 groups with regard to the first-attempt success, the mean heart rate value, the mean arterial blood pressure, coughing, and occurrence of complications.

Conclusion: This study validates the efficacy of both SOS and flexible fiberoptic bronchoscope for awake oral intubation in patients with cervical spine instability. SOS has been found to be more effective in reducing time to intubation.

Copyright (C) 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved