• Current challenges in the management of sepsis in icus in resource-poor settings and suggestions for the future

      Schultz, M.J.; Papali, A.; Dünser, M.W. (Springer International Publishing, 2019)
      Sepsis is a major cause of critical illness worldwide, especially in resource-poor settings. Intensive care units (ICUs) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) face many challenges that could affect patient outcome. The aim of this review is to describe differences between resource-poor and resource-rich settings regarding the epidemiology, pathophysiology, economics, and research aspects of sepsis. We restricted this manuscript to the ICU setting although we are aware that many sepsis patients in LMICs are treated outside an ICU. Although many bacterial pathogens causing sepsis in LMICs are similar to those in high-income countries, resistance patterns to antimicrobial drugs can be very different; in addition, causes of sepsis in LMICs often include tropical diseases in which direct damaging effects of pathogens and their products can be more important than the host response. There are differences in ICU capacities around the world; not surprisingly the lowest capacities are found in LMICs with important heterogeneity within individual LMICs. Although many aspects of sepsis management developed in resource-rich countries are applicable in LMICs, implementation requires strong consideration of cost implications and important differences in resources. Addressing both disease-specific and setting-specific factors is important to improve performance of ICUs in LMICs. Although critical care for sepsis is likely cost-effective in LMIC setting, more detailed evaluation at both a macro- and micro-economy level is necessary. Sepsis management in resource-limited settings is a largely unexplored frontier with important opportunities for research, training, and other initiatives for improvement.
    • Global Critical Care: Moving Forward in Resource-Limited Settings

      Diaz, J.V.; Riviello, E.D.; Papali, A. (Ubiquity Press, 2019)
      Caring for critically ill patients is challenging in resource-limited settings, where the burden of disease and mortality from potentially treatable illnesses is higher than in resource-rich areas. Barriers to delivering quality critical care in these settings include lack of epidemiologic data and context-specific evidence for medical decision-making, deficiencies in health systems organization and resources, and institutional obstacles to implementation of life-saving interventions. Potential solutions include the development of common definitions for intensive care unit (ICU), intensivist, and intensive care to create a universal ICU organization framework; development of educational programs for capacity building of health care professionals working in resource-limited settings; global prioritization of epidemiologic and clinical research in resource-limited settings to conduct timely and ethical studies in response to emerging threats; adaptation of international guidelines to promote implementation of evidence-based care; and strengthening of health systems that integrates these interventions. This manuscript reviews the field of global critical care, barriers to safe high-quality care, and potential solutions to existing challenges. We also suggest a roadmap for improving the treatment of critically ill patients in resource-limited settings. © 2019 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
    • Infrastructure and organization of adult intensive care units in resource-limited settings

      Papali, A.; Adhikari, N.K.J.; Diaz, J.V. (Springer International Publishing, 2019)
      In this chapter, we provide guidance on some basic structural requirements, focusing on organization, staffing, and infrastructure. We suggest a closed-format intensive care unit (ICU) with dedicated physicians and nurses, specifically trained in intensive care medicine whenever feasible. Regarding infrastructural components, a reliable electricity supply is essential, with adequate backup systems. Facilities for oxygen therapy are crucial, and the choice between oxygen concentrators, cylinders, and a centralized system depends on the setting. For use in mechanical ventilators, a centralized piped system is preferred. Facilities for proper hand hygiene are essential. Alcohol-based solutions are preferred, except in the context of Ebola virus disease (chloride-based solutions) and Clostridium difficile infection (soap and water). Availability of disposable gloves is important for self-protection; for invasive procedures masks, caps, sterile gowns, sterile drapes, and sterile gloves are recommended. Caring for patients with highly contagious infectious diseases requires access to personal protective equipment. Basic ICU equipment should include vital signs monitors and mechanical ventilators, which should also deliver noninvasive ventilator modes. We suggest that ICUs providing invasive ventilatory support have the ability to measure end-tidal carbon dioxide and if possible can perform blood gas analysis. We recommend availability of glucometers and capabilities for measuring blood lactate. We suggest implementation of bedside ultrasound as diagnostic tool. Finally, we recommend proper administration of patient data; suggest development of locally applicable bundles, protocols, and checklists for the management of sepsis; and implement systematic collection of quality and performance indicators to guide improvements in ICU performance.