AACN Advanced Critical Care

Lyndsay Brock
Although several options are available for postoperative sedation in the intensive care unit, the selective α2-adrenoceptor agonist dexmedetomidine may offer advantages for patients after cardiac surgery. The author conducted a review of the literature on the use of dexmedetomidine in the cardiac surgery population to determine possible advantages and disadvantages in this patient population. Although the use of dexmedetomidine has not been conclusively shown to change overall morbidity and mortality and may be associated with higher drug cost, its other demonstrated effects offer advantages for postoperative cardiac surgery patients that other forms of sedation cannot match...
2019: AACN Advanced Critical Care
Melanie J Coletta, Gail Lis, Patricia Clark, Reza Dabir, Farzad Daneshvar
Postoperative atrial fibrillation is the most common dysrhythmia to occur after coronary artery bypass graft surgery. It develops in 10% to 40% of patients and can lead to complications such as hemodynamic instability, heart failure, and stroke. Risk factors include hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and obesity. Patients who experience postoperative atrial fibrillation often have longer hospital stays, are at higher risk for readmission, and have increased mortality. Protocols designed to reduce the incidence of the condition can decrease hospital costs, improve patient outcomes, and increase overall quality of care...
2019: AACN Advanced Critical Care
Ruff Joseph Macale Cajanding
3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) has become a popular recreational drug of abuse among young adults, partly because of the belief that it is relatively safe compared with other drugs with the same stimulant and hallucinogenic effects. However, MDMA use has been associated with a wide spectrum of organ toxicities, with the liver being severely affected by its deleterious effects. This article discusses the essential pharmacology of MDMA and describes the effects MDMA has on various organ systems of the body, with particular focus on the liver...
2019: AACN Advanced Critical Care
Elizabeth P Gunter, Meera Viswanathan, Sonja E Stutzman, DaiWai M Olson, Venkatesh Aiyagari
Patients hospitalized with neurologic and medical issues in the neuroscience critical care unit have widely varying and complex disease states that can change rapidly. The large amount of data that must be reviewed regularly by medical staff members presents a challenge to the provision of high-quality care to these patients. In an effort to lessen the burden, the authors' team implemented an electronic multidisciplinary rounding tool, which facilitates team communication by allowing accurate and concise review of patient information...
2019: AACN Advanced Critical Care
Thomas A VanDruff
Evaluating, diagnosing, and managing patients with consumptive thrombocytopenia is challenging because of the overlapping nature of many of the diseases that reduce platelet counts. Immune thrombocytopenia (and its variations), drug-induced immune thrombocytopenia, and heparin-induced thrombocytopenia result from autoimmune antibody-mediated destruction of platelets. Thrombotic thrombocytopenia (both congenital and acquired) and the hemolytic uremic syndromes (both typical and atypical) are thrombotic microangiopathies associated with platelet aggregation and consumption along with anemia and renal dysfunction...
2019: AACN Advanced Critical Care
Janice Skinner, Benedicta Yankey, Brenda K Shelton
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis is a life-threatening condition associated with hyperinflammation and multiple organ dysfunction. It has many causes, symptoms, and outcomes. Early recognition is critical for treatment. Fever, cytopenias, coagulopathy, and hepatosplenomegaly are hallmark findings. Identifying the trigger event is crucial but challenging because of the varied presentations and infrequent provider experience. Diagnostic features include anemia, thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, elevated ferritin, hypertriglyceridemia, hypofibrinogenemia, hemophagocytosis (in bone marrow, spleen, or lymph nodes), low or absent natural killer cells, and elevated soluble interleukin 2 receptor assay...
2019: AACN Advanced Critical Care
Heather M Passerini
Health care professionals must understand the impact of blood product transfusions and transfusion therapy procedures to ensure high-quality patient care, positive outcomes, and wise use of resources in blood management programs. Understanding transfusions of blood and blood products is also important because of the number of treatments performed, which affects individual patients and health care system resources. This article reviews research findings to acquaint health care professionals with the most successful protocols for blood, blood product, and coagulation factor transfusions...
2019: AACN Advanced Critical Care
Lori Brien
Venous thromboembolism is a preventable medical condition associated with significant morbidity and mortality. It can lead to deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and stroke. Thrombi develop when intravascular conditions promote activation of the coagulation system or when there is an imbalance between endogenous anticoagulants and procoagulants. Such conditions include vascular injury, inflammation, venous stasis, and hypercoagulable states. Anticoagulant medications are indicated for the prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism...
2019: AACN Advanced Critical Care
Nancy Munro
Until recently, immunology was not a major focus of attention in the acute and critical care setting. With the evolution of immunotherapy, however-including the development of monoclonal antibodies, checkpoint inhibitors, and adoptive cellular therapies-an in-depth understanding of the immune system has become necessary to properly care for acutely ill patients. Lymphocytes (ie, T cells and B cells) play a major role in the daily functioning of the immune response. The interaction of these cells in protecting the body against infection and foreign substances is complicated and is the basis for many of the innovations in immunology and cancer treatment...
2019: AACN Advanced Critical Care
JoAnne Phillips
The prevalence of complex technology in the health care arena has increased dramatically in the 21st century. Nurses working in acute and critical care have the greatest interaction with technology, using it to manage patients and optimize clinical outcomes as well as to prevent errors and adverse events. The successful implementation of complex medical technology is, in itself, a complex process. The purpose of this article is to provide nurse leaders and clinical nurses with an overview of key steps in product selection, associated risk assessment, and establishing a business case for technology...
2019: AACN Advanced Critical Care
Amanda Szatala, Bethany Young
The neurologic intensive care unit has evolved into a data-rich, complex arena. Various neurologic monitors, collectively referred to as multimodality monitoring, provide clinicians with a plethora of real-time information about a comatose patient's condition. The time and cognitive burden required to synthesize the available data and reach meaningful clinical conclusions can be overwhelming. The Moberg Component Neuromonitoring System (Moberg Research, Inc) is a data acquisition and integration device that collects data from multiple monitors, displaying them on a single screen in a way that highlights physiological trends throughout a patient's clinical course...
2019: AACN Advanced Critical Care
Patricia Hercules, M Michael Shabot, Teresa Ryan, Susan Ratcliff
As part of its comprehensive journey toward high reliability, Memorial Hermann Health System has implemented multiple patient safety initiatives. An instance of actual patient harm due to staff unfamiliarity with a medical device triggered a project to ensure the competence of clinical staff in the operation of all approved new and updated medical devices. Medical devices are classified by level of risk to patients if caregivers are not reliably educated. Educational rigor, with tracking and accountability management, is then scaled to that risk assessment...
2019: AACN Advanced Critical Care
Francino Azevedo Filho, Maria Cristina Soares Rodrigues, Jeannie P Cimiotti
Job-related burnout has been reported by intensive care nurses worldwide; this study was performed to examine burnout in intensive care unit bedside nurses and nurse technicians in Brazil. A cross-sectional survey that included the Practice Environment Scale and the Maslach Burnout Inventory was completed by 209 nurses and nurse technicians working in 4 Brazilian intensive care units in 3 teaching hospitals. Compared with nurse technicians, nurses reported higher levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, and a lower level of personal accomplishment...
2019: AACN Advanced Critical Care
Chelsea Miller, Elizabeth Bridges, Balaji Laxmanan, Paula Cox-North, Hilaire Thompson
Recurrent pleural effusion is a symptom of several end-stage diseases and is associated with limited life expectancy. Patients with this condition have disabling symptoms resulting in reduced quality of life and often receive inconsistent treatment due to delayed recognition of pleural effusion, repeat procedures, and lengthy hospitalizations. Placement of a tunneled pleural catheter allows the patient to manage his or her symptoms at home, yet this treatment remains underused because of provider misconceptions and unfamiliarity with the intervention...
2018: AACN Advanced Critical Care
Lois M Dixon, Susan Mascioli, Jefferson H Mixell, Tom Gillin, Camille N Upchurch, Kevin M Bradley
An interprofessional team was established to prevent tracheostomy-related acquired pressure injuries. The team performed an in-depth analysis of practice from tracheostomy insertion through postinsertion care. A literature evaluation identified best practices, and a root cause analysis for all tracheostomy-related pressure injury cases identified common causes. Lessons learned from the practice and literature reviews drove care standardization and reduced variation. Preimplementation and postimplementation data were analyzed to determine the effectiveness of improvement interventions...
2018: AACN Advanced Critical Care
Dannette A Mitchell, Maureen A Seckel
Acute respiratory distress syndrome continues to have high morbidity and mortality despite more than 50 years of research. The Berlin definition in 2012 established risk stratification based on degree of hypoxemia and the use of positive end-expiratory pressure. The use of prone positioning as a treatment modality has been studied for more than 40 years, with recent studies showing an improvement in oxygenation and decreased mortality. The studies also provide evidence to support the methodology and length of treatment time...
2018: AACN Advanced Critical Care
John J Gallagher
Procedural sedation is used to alleviate pain and anxiety associated with diagnostic procedures in the acute care setting. Although commonly used, procedural sedation is not without risk. Key to reducing this risk is early identification of risk factors through presedation screening and monitoring during the procedure. Electrocardiogram, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and pulse oximetry commonly are monitored. These parameters do not reliably identify airway and ventilation compromise. Capnography measures exhaled carbon dioxide and provides early identification of airway obstruction and hypoventilation...
2018: AACN Advanced Critical Care
John J Gallagher
Modern mechanical ventilators are more complex than those first developed in the 1950s. Newer ventilation modes can be difficult to understand and implement clinically, although they provide more treatment options than traditional modes. These newer modes, which can be considered alternative or nontraditional, generally are classified as either volume controlled or pressure controlled. Dual-control modes incorporate qualities of pressure-controlled and volume-controlled modes. Some ventilation modes provide variable ventilatory support depending on patient effort and may be classified as closed-loop ventilation modes...
2018: AACN Advanced Critical Care
Julie Van Orne, Kaylan Branson, Mary Cazzell
BACKGROUND: The safe transition of children with complex medical conditions who are dependent on technology from hospital to home requires that caregivers receive specialized training from qualified health care professionals. Inadequate caregiver training can lead to discharge delays and hospital readmissions, often resulting in caregiver distress. OBJECTIVE: To determine the effectiveness of a structured boot camp-style predischarge training program for caregivers of pediatric patients with complex medical conditions...
2018: AACN Advanced Critical Care
Karen M Marzlin
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2018: AACN Advanced Critical Care
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