Emily Damuth, MD

Venous thrombosis after VV ECMO: What is the true prevalence?

 

Venous thromboembolism is considered one of the most preventable causes of in-hospital death. Venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV ECMO) utilization for severe respiratory failure has increased in the decade following the 2009 influenza A H1N1 pandemic and the publication of the CESAR trial.1 The interaction between a patient’s blood and the ECMO circuit produces an inflammatory response that can provoke both thrombotic and bleeding complications. In a systematic review of patients with H1N1 treated with VV ECMO published in 2013, the incidence of cannula-associated deep venous thrombosis (CaDVT) was estimated to be as low as 10 percent; however, more recent data suggests the incidence of venous thrombosis after decannulation is much higher. Additionally, a significant proportion of CaDVT are distal thrombi located in the vena cava, which would be missed with a traditional ultrasound diagnostic approach after decannulation from VV ECMO.  

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A Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

While most coronaviruses cause mild respiratory illness consistent with the common cold, two lethal coronaviruses have been previously identified, including the acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in 2002 demonstrating 10% mortality and the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012 producing 37% mortality. In December 2019, a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was isolated from a cluster of patients with pneumonia in Wuhan, China. As reported in the Lancet last week, two thirds of the affected patients in a case series had a history of exposure to the Huanan seafood market.

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Preventing ventilator-induce lung injury (VILI): Optimizing PEEP titration in ARDS

Lung-protective mechanical ventilation with low tidal volume and restricted plateau pressure improves survival in ARDS. However, the optimal approach to PEEP titration to minimize VILI is still debated. Should oxygenation, lung compliance, driving pressure or transpulmonary pressure guide adjustment of PEEP in ARDS?

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Leave the sedation alone! Diagnosis and management of patient-ventilator asynchrony

Patient-ventilator asynchrony is underrecognized yet associated with increased mortality, ICU length of stay and duration of mechanical ventilation in critical illness. How do you diagnose and treat it? Hint: the answer is rarely deep sedation or paralysis!

 

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Management of status epilepticus

A 72-year-old man develops generalized tonic-clonic activity at home. He receives lorazepam 4 mg intravenously during the 7-minute transport to the ED. He continues to have witnessed convulsions on your examination. Point-of-care glucose is normal. After supporting his airway, breathing and circulation, what medication should be administered second line for status epilepticus (SE)? 

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#Name that Mode…and a ventilator alarm is firing!

An 82-year-old woman is mechanically ventilated for acute respiratory failure following acute intracerebral hemorrhage. Her FiO2 has been 30% with an arterial blood gas showing adequate ventilation and oxygenation for the last 24 hours (7.43/37/89/25). Suddenly, the ventilator alarms for low exhaled tidal volume. On bedside evaluation, her SpO2 is 84%, respiratory rate 20 breaths per minute, HR 124 beats per minute and blood pressure 105/65 mm Hg. Her ventilator graphics before and after the alarm are depicted below. What mode of mechanical ventilation is she receiving and what triggered the alarm? 

 

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Deviation from Standard ACLS: Esmolol for Refractory VF/VT

You have a patient in cardiac arrest getting high quality CPR with an initial rhythm of pulseless VT that has been defibrillated three times and received a total of 3 mg of epinephrine and a loading dose of 300 mg of amiodarone. As you continue ACLS, the patient remains in VT. Are there alternative treatments to consider? 

 

 

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Tracheostomy Emergencies

A 44-year-old man with a history of cardiac arrest complicated by hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy presents to the ED in respiratory distress. He underwent tracheostomy 2 weeks ago for acute respiratory failure and was subsequently weaned to trach collar. He developed acute onset of respiratory distress at rehab this morning and now presents to the ED with acute hypoxic respiratory failure. On exam, he is hypertensive (169/88), tachycardic (HR 178), tachypneic with respirations assisted with bag-valve mask (BVM) ventilation and hypoxemic (SpO2 87%). What is your approach to the management of tracheostomy emergencies?

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Mechanical Ventilation Alarms: High Airway Pressure

You are called to the bedside of a mechanically ventilated patient for an alarm that is being triggered on the ventilator. In red and blinking you see “Airway pressure high.” What’s your next move?

 

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