• Corticosteroid use in ARDS and its application to evolving therapeutics for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): A systematic review

      Landolf, Kaitlin M; Lemieux, Steven M; Rose, Christina; Johnston, Jackie P; Adams, Christopher D; Altshuler, Jerry; Berger, Karen; Dixit, Deepali; Effendi, Muhammad K; Heavner, Mojdeh S; et al. (Pharmacotherapy Publications Inc., 2021-10-18)
      Data regarding the use of corticosteroids for treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are conflicting. As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic progresses, more literature supporting the use of corticosteroids for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 ARDS have emerged. Glucocorticoids are proposed to attenuate the inflammatory response and prevent progression to the fibroproliferative phase of ARDS through their multiple mechanisms and anti-inflammatory properties. The purpose of this systematic review was to comprehensively evaluate the literature surrounding corticosteroid use in ARDS (non-COVID-19 and COVID-19) in addition to a narrative review of clinical considerations of corticosteroid use in these patient populations. OVID Medline and EMBASE were searched. Randomized controlled trials evaluating the use of corticosteroids for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 ARDS in adult patients on mortality outcomes were included. Risk of bias was assessed with the Risk of Bias 2.0 tool. There were 388 studies identified, 15 of which met the inclusion criteria that included a total of 8877 patients. The studies included in our review reported a mortality benefit in 6/15 (40%) studies with benefit being seen at varying time points of mortality follow-up (ICU survival, hospital, and 28 and 60 days) in the COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 ARDS studies. The two non-COVID19 trials assessing lung injury score improvements found that corticosteroids led to significant improvements with corticosteroid use. The number of mechanical ventilation-free days significantly were found to be increased with the use of corticosteroids in all four studies that assessed this outcome. Corticosteroids are associated with improvements in mortality and ventilator-free days in critically ill patients with both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 ARDS, and evidence suggests their use should be encouraged in these settings. However, due to substantial differences in the corticosteroid regimens utilized in these trials, questions still remain regarding the optimal corticosteroid agent, dose, and duration in patients with ARDS. © 2021 Pharmacotherapy Publications, Inc.
    • A Dedicated Veno-Venous Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Unit during a Respiratory Pandemic: Lessons Learned from COVID-19 Part II: Clinical Management

      Shah, Aakash; Dave, Sagar; Galvagno, Samuel; George, Kristen; Menne, Ashley R; Haase, Daniel J; McCormick, Brian; Rector, Raymond; Dahi, Siamak; Madathil, Ronson J; et al. (MDPI AG, 2021-04-21)
      (1) Background: COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (CARDS) has several distinctions from traditional acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS); however, patients with refractory respiratory failure may still benefit from veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) support. We report our challenges caring for CARDS patients on VV-ECMO and alterations to traditional management strategies. (2) Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of our institutional strategies for managing patients with COVID-19 who required VV-ECMO in a dedicated airlock biocontainment unit (BCU), from March to June 2020. The data collected included the time course of admission, VV-ECMO run, ventilator length, hospital length of stay, and major events related to bleeding, such as pneumothorax and tracheostomy. The dispensation of sedation agents and trial therapies were obtained from institutional pharmacy tracking. A descriptive statistical analysis was performed. (3) Results: Forty COVID-19 patients on VV-ECMO were managed in the BCU during this period, from which 21 survived to discharge and 19 died. The criteria for ECMO initiation was altered for age, body mass index, and neurologic status/cardiac arrest. All cannulations were performed with a bedside ultrasound-guided percutaneous technique. Ventilator and ECMO management were routed in an ultra-lung protective approach, though varied based on clinical setting and provider experience. There was a high incidence of pneumothorax (n = 19). Thirty patients had bedside percutaneous tracheostomy, with more procedural-related bleeding complications than expected. A higher use of sedation was noted. The timing of decannulation was also altered, given the system constraints. A variety of trial therapies were utilized, and their effectiveness is yet to be determined. (4) Conclusions: Even in a high-volume ECMO center, there are challenges in caring for an expanded capacity of patients during a viral respiratory pandemic. Though institutional resources and expertise may vary, it is paramount to proceed with insightful planning, the recognition of challenges, and the dynamic application of lessons learned when facing a surge of critically ill patients.