Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Outcomes & Safety / 16.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Regis Goulart Rosa, MD, PhD Responsabilidade Social - PROADI Hospital Moinhos de Vento MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The debate about visiting policies in adult ICUs is of broad and current interest in critical care, with strong advocacy in favour of flexible family visitation models in order to promote patient- and family-centred care. However, the proportion of adult ICUs with unrestricted visiting hours is very low. Data from the literature show that 80% of hospitals in the United Kingdom and USA adopt restrictive ICU visiting policies. Among ICUs with restrictive visiting hours, published studies show that the daily visiting time ranges from a median of 1 hour in Italy to a mean of 4.7 hours in France. In agreement with this scenario, most adult ICUs in Brazil follow a restrictive visitation model, in which family members are allowed to visit the critically ill patient from 30 minutes to 1 hour, once or twice a day. These restrictive visitation models have been justified by the theoretical risks associated with unrestricted visiting hours, mainly infectious complications, disorganization of care, and burnout. Controversially, these risks have not been consistently confirmed by the scarce literature on the subject, and flexible ICU visiting hours have been proposed as a means to prevent delirium among patients and improve family satisfaction. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Disappointingly, studies evaluating the effectiveness and safety of flexible ICU visiting hours are scarce. To date, no large randomized trials have assessed the impact of a flexible visiting model on patients, family members, and ICU staff, and this evidence gap may constitute a barrier to the understanding of the best way to implement and improve ICU visiting policies. In the present pragmatic cluster-randomized crossover trial (The ICU Visits Study), we engaged 1,685 patients, 1,295 family members, and 826 ICU professionals from 36 adult ICUs in Brazil to compare a flexible visitation model (12 hours/day plus family education) vs. the standard restricted visitation model (median 90 minutes per day). We found that the flexible visitation did not significantly reduce the incidence of delirium among patients, but was associated with fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression and higher satisfaction with care among family members in comparison to the usual restricted visitation. Also, the flexible visitation did not increase the incidence of ICU-acquired infections and ICU staff burnout, which are major concerns when adopting this intervention. MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Response: Considering the evidence suggesting that most adult ICUs restrict the presence of family members, our results provide useful and relevant information that may influence the debate about current ICU visitation policies around the world. First, a flexible visitation policy that permits flexible family visitation in ICU (up to 12 hour per day) is feasible, given the high adherence of participant ICUs to implementation in The ICU Visits Study. Second, the flexible family supported by family education is safe regarding the occurrence of infections, disorganization of care or staff burnout. Third, family members - a commonly missing piece of the critical care puzzle - seem to benefit from the flexible visitation model through higher satisfaction with care and less symptoms of anxiety and depression. MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? Response: Future research might focus on the following topics: 1) methods of implementation of flexible visiting models in ICUs; 2) Family support interventions in the context of flexible ICU visiting hours (e.g.: psychological and social support, support for shared decision making, peer support, and comfort); and 3) How flexible ICU visiting hours affects patient, family member and staff outcome at long-term. Disclosures: The ICU Visits study was funded by the Brazilian Ministry of Health through the Brazilian Unified Health System Institutional Development Program (PROADI-SUS). Citation: Effect of Flexible Family Visitation on Delirium Among Patients in the Intensive Care Unit [wysija_form id="3"] [last-modified] The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.Regis Goulart Rosa, MD, PhD Responsabilidade Social - PROADI Hospital Moinhos de Vento  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The debate about visiting policies in adult ICUs is of broad and current interest in critical care, with strong advocacy in favour of flexible family visitation models in order to promote patient- and family-centred care. However, the proportion of adult ICUs with unrestricted visiting hours is very low. Data from the literature show that 80% of hospitals in the United Kingdom and USA adopt restrictive ICU visiting policies. Among ICUs with restrictive visiting hours, published studies show that the daily visiting time ranges from a median of 1 hour in Italy to a mean of 4.7 hours in France. In agreement with this scenario, most adult ICUs in Brazil follow a restrictive visitation model, in which family members are allowed to visit the critically ill patient from 30 minutes to 1 hour, once or twice a day. These restrictive visitation models have been justified by the theoretical risks associated with unrestricted visiting hours, mainly infectious complications, disorganization of care, and burnout. Controversially, these risks have not been consistently confirmed by the scarce literature on the subject, and flexible ICU visiting hours have been proposed as a means to prevent delirium among patients and improve family satisfaction. 
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Columbia, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, NEJM, Neurology / 27.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49981" align="alignleft" width="134"]Jan Claassen, MD, PhD, FNCS Associate Professor of Neurology Division of Division of Critical Care and Hospitalist Neurology Columbia University Medical Center Dr. Claassen[/caption] Jan Claassen, MD, PhD, FNCS Associate Professor of Neurology Division of Division of Critical Care and Hospitalist Neurology Columbia University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Unconsciousness is common and predicting recovery is challenging – often inaccurate. Many patients do not show movements on commands and typically this is interpreted as unconsciousness. Some of these patients may be able to have brain response to these commands raising the possibility of some preservation of consciousness. This has previously been shown months or years after the injury mostly using MRI. We were able to detect this activation at the bedside in the ICU shortly after brain injury. For this we applied machine learning to the EEG to distinguish the brain’s responses to commands. Patients that showed this activation were more likely to follow commands prior to discharge and had better outcomes one year later. 
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Outcomes & Safety, Pediatrics, Pediatrics / 06.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49020" align="alignleft" width="99"]John P. Galiote, M.D.Neonatologist at Children’s National-Virginia Hospital Center NICU Dr. Galiote[/caption] John P. Galiote, M.D. Neonatologist at Children’s National-Virginia Hospital Center NICU [caption id="attachment_49021" align="alignleft" width="100"]Michelande Ridoré, MS, NICUQuality improvement lead at Children’s National  Ms. Ridoré[/caption] Michelande Ridoré, MS, NICU Quality improvement lead at Children’s National [caption id="attachment_49022" align="alignleft" width="99"]Lamia Soghier, M.D., MEd, Children’s National NICU medical director Dr. Soghier[/caption]   Lamia Soghier, M.D., MEd, Children’s National NICU Medical Director MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our study emphasizes the importance of team work and real-time communication in a quality-improvement project within the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) setting. Through bedside huddles, weekly reviews of apparent cause analysis reports reducing the frequency of X-rays and the creation of an Airway Safety Protection Team, we were able to focus not only on  reducing unintended extubations, but also on the quality-improvement project’s effect on our staff. Adhering to simple quality principles enabled us to ensure that all members of our staff were heard and had a positive effect on the progress of our project. This allowed us to implement and sustain a series of simple changes that standardized steps associated with securing and maintaining an endotracheal tube (ET). Unintended extubations are the fourth-most common adverse event in the nation’s NICUs. Continual monitoring via this quality-improvement project allowed us to intervene when our rates increased and further pushed our unintended extubation rate downward.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Electronic Records, JAMA / 03.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45715" align="alignleft" width="150"]Deborah D. Gordon, MBA Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government Harvard Kennedy School Cambridge, Massachusetts Deborah  Gordon[/caption] Deborah D. Gordon, MBA Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government Harvard Kennedy School Cambridge, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Against the backdrop of rising health care costs, and the increasing share of those costs that consumers bear, studies show people are interested in finding health care cost information and engaging with their providers on issues of cost. We were interested in learning to what extent, if any, discussion or consideration of cost would be documented in electronic health records. Using machine learning techniques to extract data from unstructured notes, we examined 46,146 narrative clinical notes from ICU admissions. We found that approximately 4% of admissions had at least one note with financially relevant content. That financial content included documentation of cost as a barrier to adhering to treatment prior to admission, and as a consideration in treatment and discharge planning.   
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, NEJM, Vanderbilt / 31.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45592" align="alignleft" width="160"]Brenda Truman Pun, DNP, RN Program Clinical Manager Vanderbilt University Medical Center Dr. Truman Pun[/caption] Brenda Truman Pun, DNP, RN Program Clinical Manager Vanderbilt University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Delirium is a serious problem in Intensive Care Units around the world. Approximately 80% of mechanically ventilated patients develop delirium, acute confusion, while in the ICU. Once thought to be a benign side effect of the ICU environment, research now shows that delirium is linked to a myriad of negative outcomes for patients which include longer ICU and Hospital stays, prolonged time on the ventilator, increased cost, long-term cognitive impairment and even mortality. For a half a century clinicians have been using haloperidol, an typical antipsychotic, to treat delirium in the ICU. However, there has never been evidence to support the use of haloperidol or its pharmacologic cousins, the atypical antipsychotics, to treat delirium. These drugs have serious side effects that include heart arrhythmias, muscle spasms, restlessness and are associated with increased mortality when given for prolonged periods in the outpatient settings leading to a black box warning for their use in this setting. The MIND-USA study was a double blind placebo controlled trial which evaluated the efficacy and safety of antipsychotics (i.e., haloperidol and ziprasidone) in the treatment delirium in adult ICU patients.  
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, JAMA / 25.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45433" align="alignleft" width="200"]Jamie Cooper AO BMBS MD FRACP FCICM FAHMS Professor of Intensive Care Medicine Monash University Deputy Director & Head of Research,  Intensive Care & Hyperbaric Medicine The Alfred, Melbourne Prof. Cooper[/caption] Jamie Cooper AO BMBS MD FRACP FCICM FAHMS Professor of Intensive Care Medicine Monash University Deputy Director & Head of Research, Intensive Care & Hyperbaric Medicine The Alfred, Melbourne MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: 50-60 million people each year suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) . When the injury is severe only one half are able to live independently afterwards. Cooling the brain (hypothermia) is often used in intensive care units for decades to  decrease inflammation and brain swelling and hopefully to improve outcomes, but clinical staff have had uncertainty whether benefits outweigh complications. We conducted the largest randomised trial of hypothermia in TBI, in 500 patients, in 6 countries, called POLAR. We started cooling by ambulance staff, to give hypothermia the best chance to benefit patients. We continued for 3-7 days in hospital ind ICU. We measured functional outcomes at 6 months.
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Mental Health Research, NEJM, Vanderbilt / 24.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45381" align="alignleft" width="133"]Eugene Wesley Ely, M.D. Dr. E. Wesley Ely is a Professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine with subspecialty training in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Ely
Photo: Anne Rayner, VU[/caption] Eugene Wesley Ely, M.D. Dr. E. Wesley Ely is a Professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine with subspecialty training in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Critically ill patients are not benefitting from antipsychotic medications that have been used to treat delirium in intensive care units (ICUs) for more than four decades, according to a study released today in the New England Journal of Medicine. Each year, more than 7 million hospitalized patients in the United States experience delirium, making them disoriented, withdrawn, drowsy or difficult to wake. The large, multi-site MIND USA (Modifying the INcidence of Delirium) study sought to answer whether typical and atypical antipsychotics — haloperidol or ziprasidone —affected delirium, survival, length of stay or safety. Researchers screened nearly 21,000 patients at 16 U.S. medical centers. Of the 1,183 patients on mechanical ventilation or in shock, 566 became delirious and were randomized into groups receiving either intravenous haloperidol, ziprasidone or placebo (saline).
Author Interviews / 06.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gili Regev-Yochay, MD, Lead author Director of the Infection Prevention & Control Unit Sheba Medical Center Tel HaShomer, Israel.   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: CPE (Carbapenemase producing Enterobacteriaceae) is endemic in Israel. In our ICU we had a prolonged CPE outbreak with one particular bacteria, which is not that common (OXA-48 producing-Serratia marcescens).  Enhancing our regular control measures (hand hygiene, increased cleaning etc..) did not contain the outbreak.    MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?   Response: The outbreak source were the sink-traps in nearly all the patient rooms, which were contaminated with this same bacteria. Once we understood that this was the source we took two measures:  1) Sink decontamination efforts, including intensive chlorine washes of the drainage and water system, replacement of all sink-traps, acetic acid treatment and more, all these efforts were only partially and only temporarily successful. So that even today, after a year of such efforts and a period in which we didn't have any patients with this infection, the drainage system is still contaminated with these bugs and they grow in the sink-traps and can be found in the sink outlets.  2) The second measure we took was an educational intervention, where we engaged the ICU team through workshops to the issue of the contaminated sinks and together enforced strict "sink-use guidelines" (sinks are to be used ONLY for hand washing, prohibiting placement of any materials near the sinks, etc.). Using these two measure the outbreak was fully contained.  To date, nearly 1.5 years since the last outbreak case, we did not have any further infections in our ICU patients with this bug.  MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?  Response: Sink-traps and drainage systems can be a major source of CPE transmission.  While traditionally CPE outbreaks were attributed to patient-to patient transmission, the environment and particularly water and drainage system appears to play a major role.  MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?   Response: There is urgent need to find a technological solution for drainage system contaminations.  While some have suggested to get rid of sinks in ICU this is probably not realistic in the era of emerging Clostridium infections (where washing hands, and not only alcohol rubs are needed).   Citation:  Gili Regev-Yochay, Gill Smollan, Ilana Tal, Nani Pinas Zade, Yael Haviv, Valery Nudelman, Ohad Gal-Mor, Hanaa Jaber, Eyal Zimlichman, Nati Keller, Galia Rahav. Sink traps as the source of transmission of OXA-48–producing Serratia marcescens in an intensive care unit. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 2018; 1 DOI: 1017/ice.2018.235  [wysija_form id="3"]  [last-modified]          The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.   Gili Regev-Yochay, MD, Lead author Director of the Infection Prevention & Control Unit Sheba Medical Center Tel HaShomer, Israel.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: CPE (Carbapenemase producing Enterobacteriaceae) is endemic in Israel. In our ICU we had a prolonged CPE outbreak with one particular bacteria, which is not that common (OXA-48 producing-Serratia marcescens).  Enhancing our regular control measures (hand hygiene, increased cleaning etc..) did not contain the outbreak.
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Exercise - Fitness, JAMA / 08.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “cycling” by Urs Steiner is licensed under CC BY 2.0Guillaume Fossat, Physiotherapist and Thierry Boulain, M.D. Médecine Intensive Réanimation Centre Hospitalier Régional Orléans, France MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Critically ill patients may suffer terrific muscle wasting during their intensive care unit stay. In most patients, particularly those with sepsis or other high inflammatory states, this is due to proteolytic pathways runaway that may persist as long as the cause of inflammation has not been eliminated. What is more, forced rest, as the one imposed to severely ill patients who need sedation to tolerate artificial respiratory support also induces muscle deconditioning and mass loss. In short, the more you are severely and acutely ill, the more you breakdown your muscle proteins and use the catabolic byproducts to fuel the rest of your organism. As a result of this sort of autophagy, intensive care unit survivors may have lost tens of muscle mass kilograms at discharge, to the point that they have lost all or parts of their functional autonomy. The personal and social burden is considerable as muscle weakness may persist several years after hospital discharge. In the 2000’s, physiotherapy and early rehabilitation during intensive care have emerged as a way to counteract the autophagic muscle wasting and help patients to speed up their return to functional autonomy. Therefore, a standardized early rehabilitation that consists in early muscle exercises, systematic lowering or interruption of sedative drugs dosages to allow prompt patient’s awaking, early transfer to chair and early first walk try, has become the standard of care. However, to what extent, when and how muscles should be exercised during the intensive care unit stay in order to optimize the positive effects of rehabilitation remains a nearly blank clinical research area. In-bed leg cycling and electrical muscle stimulation, each for their part, have shown encouraging results. In our study, we sought to know if the very early combination of both could improve global muscle strength in survivors at intensive care unit discharge.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, End of Life Care, NEJM, University of Pittsburgh / 30.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_42024" align="alignleft" width="160"]Douglas B. White, M.D., M.A.S. Director of the Clinical Research Investigation and Systems Modeling of Acute Illness (CRISMA) Center’s Program on  Ethics and Decision Making in  Department of Critical Care Medicine University of Pittsburgh  Dr. White[/caption] Douglas B. White, M.D., M.A.S. Director of the Clinical Research Investigation and Systems Modeling of Acute Illness (CRISMA) Center’s Program on Ethics and Decision Making in  Department of Critical Care Medicine University of Pittsburgh  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: We set out to test the effectiveness of PARTNER (PAiring Re-engineered ICU Teams with Nurse-driven Emotional Support and Relationship-building). PARTNER is delivered by the interprofessional team in the ICU, consisting of nurses, physicians, spiritual care providers, social workers and others who play a part in patient care. The program is overseen by nurse-leaders in each ICU who receive 12 hours of advanced communication skills training to support families. The nurses meet with the families daily and arrange interdisciplinary clinician-family meetings within 48 hours of a patient coming to the ICU. A quality improvement specialist helps to incorporate the family support intervention into the clinicians’ workflow. PARTNER was rolled out at five UPMC ICUs with different patient populations and staffing. It was implemented in a staggered fashion so that every participating ICU would eventually get PARTNER. Before receiving PARTNER, the ICUs continued their usual methods of supporting families of hospitalized patients. None of the ICUs had a set approach to family communication or required family meetings at regular intervals before receiving PARTNER. A total of 1,420 adult patients were enrolled in the trial, and 1,106 of these patients’ family members agreed to be a part of the study and its six-month follow-up surveys. The patients were very sick, with about 60 percent dying within six months of hospitalization and less than 1 percent living independently at home at that point.
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Opiods, University of Pittsburgh / 21.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_41908" align="alignleft" width="125"]Jason Kennedy, MS Research project manager Department of Critical Care Medicine University of Pittsburgh Jason Kennedy[/caption] Jason Kennedy, MS Research project manager Department of Critical Care Medicine University of Pittsburgh MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Most previous studies of opioid use in health care have focused on the outpatient setting. But opioids are often introduced during hospitalization. That’s something clinicians can control, so we looked at inpatient prescription of these drugs to identify targets that may reduce opioid use once patients are out of the hospital. We analyzed the medical records of 357,413 non-obstetrical adults hospitalized between 2010 and 2014 at 12 University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) hospitals in southwestern Pennsylvania. The region is one of the areas of the country where opioid addiction is a major public health problem. We focused on the 192,240 patients who had not received an opioid in the year prior to their hospitalization – otherwise known as “opioid naïve” patients. Nearly half (48 percent) of these patients received an opioid while hospitalized.  After discharge, those patients receiving hospital opioids were more than twice as likely to report outpatient opioid use within 90-days (8.4 percent vs. 4.1 percent). Patients who receive an opioid for most of their hospital stay and patients who are still taking an opioid within 12 hours of being discharged from the hospital appear more likely to fill a prescription for opioids within 90 days of leaving the hospital. 
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Infections, Merck / 10.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_41611" align="alignleft" width="167"]Dr. Elizabeth Rhee MD Director, Infectious Disease Clinical Research at Merck Dr. Rhee[/caption] Dr. Elizabeth Rhee MD Director, Infectious Disease Clinical Research Merck MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: High-risk patients, such as the critically ill, with suspected bacterial infections require prompt treatment with appropriate empiric therapy to improve survival. Given the high prevalence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the ICU setting, new safe and broadly effective treatment options are needed for critically ill patients requiring antipseudomonal agents. Ceftolozane/tazobactam (C/T) is an antipseudomonal cephalosporin/beta-lactamase inhibitor combination with broad in vitro activity against Gram-negative pathogens, including MDR P. aeruginosa and many extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producers. It is FDA approved for complicated intra-abdominal and urinary tract infections in adults at 1.5g (1g/0.5g) q8h. C/T is currently being studied at 3g (2g/1g) q8h, for the treatment of ventilated nosocomial pneumonia, in the ASPECT-NP Phase 3 trial. This Phase 1 pharmacokinetic (PK) study investigated the penetration of a 3g dose of C/T in the epithelial lining fluid (ELF) of ventilated patients with proven or suspected pneumonia. This is the dose and patient population being evaluated in ASPECT-NP. ELF lines the alveoli, and investigators took samples in a group of 26 patients to see what amount of C/T was in the lung and what was circulating in the plasma during the dosing intervals. In mechanically ventilated critically ill patients, the 3g dose of C/T achieved ≥50% lung penetration (relative to free plasma) and sustained levels in ELF above the target concentrations for the entire dosing interval. These findings support the 3g dose that is included in the ASPECT-NP Phase 3 trial. 
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Mental Health Research / 04.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40380" align="alignleft" width="125"]Yoanna Skrobik MD FRCP(c) MSc McGill University Health Centre Canada Dr. Skrobik[/caption] Yoanna Skrobik MD FRCP(c) MSc McGill University Health Centre Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: My clinical research interests revolve around critical care analgesia, sedation, and delirium. I validated the first delirium screening tool in mechanically ventilated ICU patients (published in 2001), described ICU delirium risk factors, associated outcomes, compared treatment modalities and described pharmacological exposure for the disorder. I was invited to participate in the 2013 Society of Critical Care Medicine Pain, Anxiety, and Delirium management guidelines, and served as the vice-chair for the recently completed Pain, Agitation, Delirium, Early Mobility and Sleep upcoming guidelines. Until this study, no pharmacological prevention or intervention could convincingly be considered effective in ICU delirium. Although Haloperidol and other antipsychotics are frequently used in practice, their lack of efficacy and possible disadvantages are increasingly being understood.
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, NEJM, Vanderbilt / 01.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40231" align="alignleft" width="150"]Todd W. Rice, MD, MSc Associate Professor of Medicine Director, Vanderbilt University Hospital Medical Intensive Care Unit Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine Nashville, TN   Dr. Rice[/caption] Todd W. Rice, MD, MSc Associate Professor of Medicine Director, Vanderbilt University Hospital Medical Intensive Care Unit Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine Nashville, TN   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our study (called the SMART study) evaluates the effects of different types of intravenous fluids used in practice in critically ill patients.  It is very similar to the companion study (called the SALT-ED study and published in the same issue) which compares the effects of different types of intravenous fluids on non-critically ill patients admitted to the hospital.  Saline is the most commonly used intravenous fluid in critically ill patients.  It contains higher levels of sodium and chloride than are present in the human blood.  Balanced fluids contain levels of sodium and chloride closer to those seen in human blood. Large observational studies and studies in animals have suggested that the higher sodium and chloride content in saline may cause or worsen damage to the kidney or cause death.  Only a few large studies have been done in humans and the results are a bit inconclusive.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, JAMA, Kidney Disease / 26.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40274" align="alignleft" width="143"]Rodrigo F. Alban, MD FACS Associate Director Performance Improvement Associate Residency Program Director NSQIP Surgeon Champion Department of Surgery Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Dr. Alban[/caption] Rodrigo F. Alban, MD FACS Associate Director Performance Improvement Associate Residency Program Director NSQIP Surgeon Champion Department of Surgery Cedars-Sinai Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT) is a modality of hemodialysis commonly used to manage renal failure in critically ill patients who have significant hemodynamic compromise.  However, it is also resource-intensive and costly and its usage is highly variable and lacks standardization. Our institution organized a multidisciplinary task force to target high value care in critically ill patients requiring CRRT by standardizing its process flow, promoting cross-disciplinary discussions with patients and family members, and increasing visibility/awareness of CRRT use.  After our interventions, the mean duration of CRRT decreased by 11.3% from 7.43 to 6.59 days per patient.  We also saw a 9.8% decrease in the mean direct cost of CRRT from $11642 to $10506 per patient.  Finally, we also saw a decrease in the proportion of patients expiring on CRRT, and an increase in the proportion of patients transitioning to comfort care.
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 22.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “hospital.” by Bethany Satterfield is licensed under CC BY 2.0Mark van den Boogaard, PhD, RN, CCRN Assistant Professor Department of Intensive Care Medicine Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen Netherlands  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  Delirium is affecting many of our intensive care unit (ICU) patients which is impacting their recovery on the short-term as well as on the long-term. Therefore we were very interested to investigate if the use prophylactic haloperidol would be beneficial for the ICU patients. Especially because there were indications that it would be effective in ICU delirium prevention and also because this drug is being used in daily practice to prevent ICU delirium although there is no clear evidence. The overall finding of our large-scale well designed study is that we didn’t find any beneficial effect of prophylactic haloperidol in ICU patients. Moreover, this finding is very consistent over all groups of patients. 
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Merck / 24.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_34136" align="alignleft" width="150"]Eilish McCann, PhD</strong> Director, Outcomes Research (Center for Observational and Real-World Evidence) Merck Dr. Eilish McCann[/caption] Eilish McCann, PhD Director, Outcomes Research (Center for Observational and Real-World Evidence) Merck MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: One of the most pressing challenges facing medicine today is the emergence of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. One area of high concern is the increasing prevalence of resistance to powerful antibiotics like carbapenems, as patients with infections due to carbapenem-resistant bacteria have very few alternate effective treatment options. In this study we used real-world data from a Becton, Dickinson and Company electronic research data set to analyze over 140,000 bacterial isolates from patients at 342 hospitals across the United States, so that we could investigate where the burden of carbapenem resistance is most acute. Importantly analysis of real-world data in this way allows us to gain insights from a large number of hospitals, giving a broad and nationally representative picture of the resistance burden.
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Emergency Care / 19.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marleen Boerma MD Department of Emergency Medicine Elisabeth-Tweesteden Hospital Tilburg, The Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Unplanned Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission has been used as a surrogate marker of adverse events, and is used by the Australian Council of Healthcare Accreditation as a reportable quality indicator. If we can identify independent variables predicting deterioration which require ICU transfer within 24 hours after emergency department (ED) admission, direct ICU admission should be considered. This may improve patient safety and reduce adverse events by appropriate disposition of patients presenting to the ED. This study shows that there were significantly more hypercapnia patients in the ICU admission group (n=17) compared to the non-ICU group (n=5)(p=0.028). There were significantly greater rates of tachypnea in septic patients (p=0.022) and low oxygen saturation for patients with pneumonia (p=0.045). The level of documentation of respiratory rate was poor.
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Exercise - Fitness, PLoS / 31.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_30866" align="alignleft" width="146"]Michelle Kho, PT, PhD</strong> Canada Research Chair in Critical Care Rehabilitation and Knowledge Translation Assistant Professor School of Rehabilitation Science McMaster University Dr. Michelle Kho[/caption] Michelle Kho, PT, PhD Canada Research Chair in Critical Care Rehabilitation and Knowledge Translation Assistant Professor School of Rehabilitation Science McMaster University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Patients who survive the ICU are at risk for muscle weakness and can experience physical functional disability lasting 5 to 8 years after the ICU. From a study conducted in Belgium, patients who were randomized to receive cycling after being in ICU for 2 weeks walked farther at ICU discharge than those who did not. Other research supported physiotherapy starting within days of starting mechanical ventilation to improve functional outcomes. Our CYCLE research program combines these 2 concepts – Can we start cycling very early in a patient’s ICU stay, and will this improve functional outcomes post-ICU?
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, JAMA / 27.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_30798" align="alignleft" width="133"]Dr. Dong W. Chang, MD MS</strong> Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Physiology and Medicine Los Angeles Biomed Research Institute at Harbor-University of California Los Angeles, Medical Center Torrance California Dr. Dong Chang[/caption] Dr. Dong W. Chang, MD MS Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Physiology and Medicine Los Angeles Biomed Research Institute at Harbor-University of California Los Angeles, Medical Center Torrance California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The study was based on our overall impression that ICU care is often delivered to patients who are unlikely to derive long-term benefit (based on their co-morbidities/severity of illness, etc.). However, what surprised us was the magnitude of this problem. Our study found more than half the patients in ICU at a major metropolitan acute-care hospital could have been cared for in less expensive and invasive settings.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, End of Life Care, Geriatrics, JAMA / 12.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_28781" align="alignleft" width="142"]Joan M. Teno, MD, MS Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence University of Washington Medicine Seattle, Washington Dr. Joan Teno[/caption] Joan M. Teno, MD, MS Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence University of Washington Medicine Seattle, Washington MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: An important challenge for our health care system is effectively caring for persons that high-need, high-cost — persons afflicted with advanced dementia and severe functional impairment are among these persons, with substantial need and if hospitalized in the ICU and mechanically ventilated are high cost patients, who are unlikely to benefit from this level of care and our best evidence suggest the vast majority of persons would not want this care. In a previous study, we interviewed families of advance dementia with 96% starting the goals of care are to focus comfort. Mechanical ventilation in some cases may be life saving, but in cases such as those with advanced dementia and severe functional impairment, they may result in suffering without an improvement in survival.
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Pulmonary Disease / 06.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_27671" align="alignleft" width="125"]Hayley B. Gershengorn, MD Associate Professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine Attending Physician, Montefiore Medical Center Bronx, NY 10467 Dr. Hayley Gershengorn[/caption] Hayley B. Gershengorn, MD Associate Professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine Attending Physician, Montefiore Medical Center Bronx, NY 10467 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Little was previously known about the timing of extubations for mechanically ventilated intensive care unit patients or whether extubating patients overnight is safe. In this retrospective cohort study of mechanically ventilated intensive care unit adult patients in the United States, 20.1% were extubated overnight. Overnight extubation was associated with significantly higher hospital mortality.
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Hand Washing, Hospital Acquired / 25.04.2015

Ojan Assadian, M.D., DTMH Professor for Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention Institute for Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention School of Human & Health Sciences University of Huddersfield Queensgate, Huddersfield UKMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ojan Assadian, M.D., DTMH Professor for Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention Institute for Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention School of Human & Health Sciences University of Huddersfield Queensgate, Huddersfield UK MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Assadian: Although medical gloves serve as an important mechanical barrier to prevent healthcare workers’ hands from getting contaminated with potentially pathogenic microorganisms, their inappropriate and incorrect use may support microbial transmission, eventually resulting in indirect horizontal cross-contamination of other patients. We conducted a clinical study designed to determine the efficacy of a newly developed synthetic antibacterial nitrile medical glove coated with an antiseptic, polyhexamethylen-biguanid hydrochloride (PHMB), on its external surface, and compared this antibacterial glove to an identical non-antibacterial glove in reducing surface contamination after common patient care measures in an intensive care unit. We found significantly lower numbers of bacteria on surfaces after performing typical clinical activities such as intravenous fluid handling, oral toilet, or physiotherapy, if touched with antibacterial gloves.
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, General Medicine / 01.10.2014

Nick Lonardo, PharmD Pharmacy, Clinical Coordinator Department of Pharmacy Services Salt Lake City, Utah 84132MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nick Lonardo, PharmD Pharmacy, Clinical Coordinator Department of Pharmacy Services Salt Lake City, Utah 84132 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Lonardo: To our knowledge, this is the first, large, multicenter, retrospective cohort study to show that continuous infusion benzodiazepines are independently associated with increased mortality in mechanically ventilated ICU patients. In addition, benzodiazepines were associated with an increased time of mechanical ventilation and ICU length of stay.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Vitamin D / 01.10.2014

Karin Amrein, MD, MSc Assistant Professor Department of Internal Medicine Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism Medical University of Graz 8036 Graz, AustriaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karin Amrein, MD, MSc Assistant Professor Department of Internal Medicine Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism Medical University of Graz 8036 Graz, Austria Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Amrein: This is the first large clinical trial on vitamin D in critical care. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, a population of mixed adult ICU patients with vitamin D deficiency (defined as 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] level ≤ 20ng/ml) was assigned to receive either vitamin D3 or placebo. We used a high loading dose of vitamin D3 followed by monthly maintenance doses of 90,000 IU for a total of 5 months. Because of a substantially increased risk for skeletal complications below 12ng/ml of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, we used this threshold for a predefined subgroup analysis. Overall, high-dose vitamin D3 compared with placebo did not reduce hospital length of stay (primary endpoint), intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay, hospital mortality, or 6 month-mortality
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, JAMA / 10.09.2014

Hayley Gershengorn MD Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine (Critical Care) Assistant Professor, The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology Albert Einstein College of Medicine Bronx, NY 10461MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hayley Gershengorn MD Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine (Critical Care) Assistant Professor, The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology Albert Einstein College of Medicine Bronx, NY 10461 Medical Research:  What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Gershengorn: Using a large national database, we found there to be no association between the use of arterial catheters and mortality in mechanically ventilated medical intensive care unit patients. Similarly, we found no beneficial association between arterial catheters and mortality in any of the eight other critically ill subgroups evaluated.
Author Interviews, CMAJ, Outcomes & Safety, Pediatrics / 20.08.2014

Dr Prakesh S Shah MSc, MBBS, MD, DCH, MRCP, FRCPC Professor, Departments of Paediatrics and HPME Mount Sinai Hospital and University of Toronto CIHR Applied Research Chair in Reproductive and Child Health Services and Policy Research Director, Canadian Neonatal Network Toronto Ontario Canada M5G 1X5MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Prakesh S Shah MSc, MBBS, MD, DCH, MRCP, FRCPC Professor, Departments of Paediatrics and HPME Mount Sinai Hospital and University of Toronto CIHR Applied Research Chair in Reproductive and Child Health Services and Policy Research Director, Canadian Neonatal Network Toronto Ontario Canada M5G 1X5 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Shah: The main findings of our study are that by embracing collaborative quality improvement program in 25 of 28 Neonatal ICUs in the country, we were able to show significant reduction in adverse outcomes of necrotizing enterocolitis, severe retinopathy of prematurity and nosocomial infections among preterm neonates born at less than 29 weeks of gestation. This resulted in significant overall reduction of composite outcome of mortality or severe morbidities and improved overall outcomes over 3 years of study period.
Author Interviews, CHEST, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Thromboembolism / 10.07.2014

Dr. Colin Cooke MD, MSc, MS Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine University of Michigan Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy Ann Arbor, MIMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Colin Cooke MD, MSc, MS Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine University of Michigan Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy Ann Arbor, MI Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Cooke: We determined that when patients who are hospitalized for pulmonary embolism (PE), a blood clot in the lung, approximately 1 in 5 will be admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). However, the chances that a patient will go to an ICU is highly dependent upon which hospital they are admitted to. For example, some hospitals admitted only 3% of patients with pulmonary embolism to an ICU while others admitted almost 80%. Importantly, the differences in how hospitals use their ICU for patients with pulmonary embolism was not entirely related to the patient’s need for life support measures, the things that the ICU is designed to deliver. For example, the ICU patients in high ICU-use hospitals tended to receive fewer procedures, including mechanical ventilation, arterial catheterization, central lines, and medications to dissolve blood clots. This suggest that high utilizing hospitals are admitting patients to the ICU with weaker indications for ICU admission.
Author Interviews, CHEST, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Respiratory / 02.01.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Simone Gattarello Vall d’Hebron Hospital, Critical Care Department Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and Medicine Department, Spain MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Gattarello: The main findings from the present study are a 15% decrease in ICU mortality due to severe community-acquired pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae in the last decade; moreover, several changes in antibiotic prescription practices were detected and an association between improved survival and both earlier antibiotic administration and increased combined antibiotic therapy were identified. In summary, in severe pneumococcal pneumonia combined antibiotic therapy and early antibiotic administration are associated with lower mortality.
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Yale / 09.11.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John Ney, MD, MPH Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Washington neyj@uw.edu MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Ney: My colleagues and I used a large, publicly available dataset to examine the usage and effectiveness of electroencephalography (EEG) in adult intensive care units (ICUs) in the United States over a five year period.  We compared routine EEG, which consists of a portable machine hooked up to the patient to record brainwaves for a short duration, usually 20-40 minutes, with continuous EEG monitoring, where a patient’s brainwaves are recorded continuously for 24 hours or more and examined, ideally in real-time.  Because most patients in the ICU are comatose, we have generally poor and crude indicators of their brain function.  ICU patients are particularly at risk for non-convulsive seizures, where the brain is seizing, but there are few outward signs of a seizure.  EEG is the only means of detecting non-convulsive seizures, and is useful in determining the brain’s reactions to drugs, monitoring for stroke and other abnormal activity. Our main finding is that ICU patients receiving continuous EEG monitoring was associated with increased survival relative to those who received routine EEG only.    In our sample, 39% of ICU patients who received routine EEG died compared to only 25% of those with continuous EEG monitoring. This finding was both substantial and statistically significant, even after adjustment for age and other demographics, clinical disease comorbidity severity measures, and hospital factors.  Although continuous EEG monitoring was more expensive, the increase in hospital charges were not significant after adjustment.