• The critical care literature 2020

      Winters, Michael E.; Hu, Kami; Martinez, Joseph P.; Mallemat, Haney; Brady, William J. (Elsevier Inc., 2021-09-29)
      Given the dramatic increase in critically ill patients who present to the emergency department for care, along with the persistence of boarding of critically ill patients, it is imperative for the emergency physician to be knowledgeable about recent developments in resuscitation and critical care medicine. This review summarizes important articles published in 2020 that pertain to the resuscitation and care of select critically ill patients. These articles have been selected based on the authors annual review of key critical care, emergency medicine and medicine journals and their opinion of the importance of study findings as it pertains to the care of critically ill ED patients. Several key findings from the studies discussed in this paper include the administration of dexamethasone to patients with COVID-19 infection who require mechanical ventilation or supplemental oxygen, the use of lower levels of positive end-expiratory pressure for patients without acute respiratory distress syndrome, and early initiation of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients with refractory ventricular fibrillation if resources are available. Furthermore, the emergency physician should not administer tranexamic acid to patients with acute gastrointestinal bleeding or administer the combination of vitamin C, thiamine, and hydrocortisone for patients with septic shock. Finally, the emergency physician should titrate vasopressor medications to more closely match a patient's chronic perfusion pressure rather than target a mean arterial blood pressure of 65 mmHg for all critically ill patients.
    • Mechanical ventilation and prone positioning in pregnant patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia: experience at a quaternary referral center

      Wong, M J; Bharadwaj, S; Lankford, A S; Galey, J L; Kodali, B S (Elsevier Inc., 2021-11-08)
      Background: We present the care of 17 consecutive pregnant patients who required mechanical ventilation for Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia at a quaternary referral center in the United States. We retrospectively describe the management of these patients, maternal and fetal outcomes, as well as the feasibility of prone positioning and delivery. Methods: Between March 2020 and June 2021, all pregnant and postpartum patients who were mechanically ventilated for COVID-19 pneumonia were identified. Details of their management including prone positioning, maternal and neonatal outcomes, and complications were noted. Results: Seventeen pregnant patients required mechanical ventilation for COVID-19. Thirteen patients received prone positioning, with a total of 49 prone sessions. One patient required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. All patients in this series survived until at least discharge. Nine patients delivered while mechanically ventilated, and all neonates survived, subsequently testing negative for SARS-CoV-2. There was one spontaneous abortion. Four emergent cesarean deliveries were prompted by refractory maternal hypoxemia or non-reassuring fetal heart rate after maternal intubation. Conclusions: Overall, maternal and neonatal survival were favorable even in the setting of severe COVID-19 pneumonia requiring mechanical ventilation. Prone positioning was well tolerated although the impact of prone positioning or fetal delivery on maternal oxygenation and ventilation are unclear.