Anaesthesia and intensive care
Identification of the epidural space is often performed using the loss of resistance technique to either air or saline. We sought to investigate if the medium used affected the quality of analgesia obtained by parturients who received labour epidurals. We conducted a retrospective audit of labour epidurals performed on nulliparous parturients in our institution from May 2003 to March 2005. ⋯ However patients in the air group had a higher incidence of recurrent breakthrough pain P = 0.023). We also identified three other factors that were associated with an increased incidence of recurrent breakthrough pain; administration of pre-block oxytocin, sitting position of the parturient during the procedure and the use of intrathecal bupivacaine for induction of analgesia. Our findings suggest that a loss of resistance to air is associated with a higher incidence of recurrent breakthrough pain among parturients who received combined spinal epidural analgesia for labour than a loss of resistance to saline.
Randomized Controlled Trial
The purpose of this study was to determine if laryngoscopy using a Miller blade with a paraglossal approach would yield an improved view of the larynx compared to that obtained with a Macintosh blade using the standard approach. One-hundred and sixty-one patients, scheduled for elective surgery requiring tracheal intubation, voluntarily participated in this study. Patients were randomly assigned to one of the two groups (Miller vs. ⋯ A grade 1 Cormack and Lehane view of the larynx was obtained in 96.5% of cases in the Miller group compared with 85% in the Macintosh group (P = 0.02). Direct laryngoscopy using the Miller blade and paraglossal approach, afforded a much-improved view of the larynx in the majority of cases. For this reason trainees should learn laryngoscopy using both blades.
Randomized Controlled Trial Clinical Trial
Nasopharyngeal oxygen (NPO) therapy may overcome some of the difficulties associated with nasal prongs and facemask oxygen delivery devices. In response to a lack of published studies of NPO therapy in adults, we conducted a prospective randomised crossover trial to compare the effectiveness of NPO, nasal prongs (NP) and facemasks (FM) when used in an adult population (n = 37) from the intensive care unit and general hospital wards. We measured oxygen saturation (SpO2) using pulse oximetry, oxygen flow (litres per minute), respiration rate (per minute) and comfort using a horizontal visual analogue scale. ⋯ There was no significant difference in patients' respiratory rates (NP 19.9 +/- 3.2, NPO 19.9 +/- 3.0, FM 19.8 +/- 3.1 per minute, P = 0.491). In terms of comfort, patients rated NP higher than NPO and FM using a horizontal visual analogue scale (100 mm = most comfortable) (NP 65.5 +/- 14.3, NPO 62.8 +/- 19.4, FM 49.4 +/- 21.4 mm, P < 0.001). We conclude that for adult patients, nasal prongs and nasopharyngeal oxygen therapy consume less oxygen and provide greater comfort than facemasks while still maintaining SpO2 > or = 95%.
Acute renal dysfunction after radiocontrast in patients with pre-existing renal impairment is not uncommon and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Isotonic sodium bicarbonate solution was first reported to reduce radiocontrast nephropathy in 2004. This first study was, however; limited by its small sample size and as such, the use of isotonic sodium bicarbonate to prevent radiocontrast nephropathy is still not widely used by many anaesthetists and intensivists. ⋯ The incidence of acute renal failure requiring dialysis was low (1.4%) and was not significantly different after the use of isotonic sodium bicarbonate (relative risk 0.59, 95% CI: 0.15 to 2.42, P = 0.47; F = 0%). With the limited data available, isotonic sodium bicarbonate appears to be safe and very effective in reducing radiocontrast nephropathy in patients with mild pre-existing renal impairment. A large randomised controlled study is needed to confirm whether isotonic bicarbonate can improve patient centred clinical outcomes.
The soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells (sTREM)-1 has emerged as a potentially useful biomarker for the diagnosis of sepsis. This study aimed to evaluate the prognostic utility of serum sTREM-1 in septic shock, in comparison with that of procalcitonin measurements. Thirty-one consecutive patients in a tertiary medical intensive care unit with septic shock were studied. sTREM-1 levels in blood were measured using a modified immunoblot array technique on days one to three of intensive care unit admission. ⋯ In contrast, procalcitonin levels were significantly higher in nonsurvivors than in survivors on days two and three. A significant relationship also existed between procalcitonin levels and the other variables. In conclusion, this study found that the prognostic utility of serum sTREM-1 in septic shock is poor and that procalcitonin measurements perform better in this regard.