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Dr. André Mansoor (@AndreMansoor), associate professor of medicine in Portland, Oregon, author of the excellent Frameworks for Internal Medicine, and contributor to Physical Diagnosis PDX, talks us through a complex case of encephalopathy and respiratory failure to illustrate some principles of diagnostic reasoning. Takeaway lessons The hardest par…
 
An overview of VV ECMO with a focus on COVID-19, with Dr. Kimberly A. Boswell (EM and CCM) of the University of Maryland, perhaps the busiest center in the country for COVID-related ECMO. We discuss evaluating for candidacy, induction, maintenance, weaning, and general approaches to the COVID patient. Takeaway lessons The limited amount of ECMO … C…
 
Bryan’s off this week, so Brandon flies solo to explain five wrong-headed notions that many people believe without thinking about them. Are diuretic infusions more effective than intermittent boluses? Are antipsychotic (neuroleptic) agents a good treatment for ICU delirium? Is pressure control or volume control a better form of assist control? Does…
 
Back with returning guest Dr. Elliot Tapper (@ebtapper), gastroenterologist, transplant hepatologist, and director of the cirrhosis program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, to talk about critical GI bleeding. Takeaway lessons Consider the Glasgow-Blatchford score to stratify risk and need for admission, GI consultation, etc. Octreotide (…
 
Back again with Dr. Ross Hofmeyr (@rosshofmeyr), anesthesiologist in the Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine at the University of Cape Town, to discuss an expert’s perspective on airway management in the COVID-19 patient. Takeaway lessons Good practices for intubating COVID patients are, by and large, good practices for intubating …
 
We chat about focused, clinician-performed point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) in the ICU. How do you learn it? What are our favorite applications? What are some of the particulars and caveats surrounding credentialing, documentation, and billing? All that and more…Critical Care Scenarios による
 
Back in the arena with one of our favorites, Matt Siuba (@msiuba), Cleveland Clinic intensivist and Mr. Zentensivism, to discuss complications in critical care and how to prevent and manage them. Today we focus on atrial fibrillation with RVR and bleeding after thoracentesis and related other procedures. Takeaway lessons Rapid atrial fibrillation i…
 
Conceiving, planning, and building your career as a critical care PA or NP. Determining if this field is for you, finding your first job, pinpointing your interests or “niche” during your early career, nurturing your growth during the mid-career period, and some thoughts on life and priorities in your late career.…
 
Looking at trauma from the perspective of a surgeon, with a focus on the perennial dilemma of when a patient needs surgery. Our guest is trauma surgeon Dr. Dennis Kim (@traumaicurounds), associate professor of Clinical Surgery at UCLA and medical director of the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center SICU, as well as host of the Trauma ICU … Continue reading "…
 
Wrapping up our series on procedures with a talk about airway management. Who should manage airways in the ICU? What’s the role of intensivists, APPs, anesthesia, etc? What’s the “correct” balance of expertise, distribution of labor, and training? Our general approach to supraglottic airways, mask ventilation, intubation, cricothyrotomy, drugs, ass…
 
Evaluation of ischemic stroke, decisions for tPA and thrombectomy, supportive critical care, and monitoring for cerebral edema—with returning guest Thomas Lawson (@TomLawsonNP), nurse practitioner in the neurocritical care unit at OSU Wexner Medical Center and James Cancer Hospital. Thomas is now also a PhD student at the OSU College of Nursing whe…
 
Following up from the last lightning rounds on vascular procedures, we look at non-vascular bedside procedures in the ICU: paracentesis, thoracentesis (including chest tubes), lumbar punctures, and bronchoscopy. How do we tap, what are our tricks, what’s the role of ultrasound, who needs a bronch, and more.…
 
The art of taking a critically ill, heavily sedated, floridly delirious patient on aggressive vent support and pulling them out of the loop of sedation, immobility, and delirium. With Kali Dayton, ACNP-BC (@HomeIcu), critical care nurse practitioner and host of the Walking Home from the ICU podcast, where she looks closely at these issues, includin…
 
Diagnosing and treating DKA, including fluid management, lab studies, insulin management, managing acid-base abnormalities, transitioning off your drips, and all the rest. Takeaway lessons Calculate your anion gap and perhaps your strong ion difference (or bicarb gap). In most cases, consider checking a b-hydroxybutyrate and a lactate to confirm th…
 
A vascular access roundtable, discussing our practices surrounding arterial lines, central lines, PICC lines and midlines, and PA catheters. When do we place them? When can they come out? What sites do we like? When (and how) do we use ultrasound? What’s up with the axillary site, why does Brandon hate PICCs, the age-old debate … Continue reading "…
 
How to take the well-resuscitated critically ill patient, get fluid out of them, deescalate their antibiotics, wean their sedation, reduce vent support, extubate, and get them out of the ICU—with Dr. Matt Siuba (Twitter: @msiuba), an intensivist at the Cleveland Clinic with an abiding interest in “zentensivism,” the art of doing less. Takeaway less…
 
Management of an alpine medicine scene including discussion of HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema), HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema), and suspension syndrome, with Dr. Ross Hofmeyr (@rosshofmeyr), anesthesiologist in the Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine at the University of Cape Town, as well as cofounder and medical directo…
 
How to manage the intubated critically ill patient while keeping them awake, non-delirious, and mobile, with Dr. Dale Needham, FCPA, MD, PhD. Dr. Needham is a Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine as well as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Johns Hopkins University. He is also director of their Outcomes After Critical Illness…
 
Initial workup, fluid management, renal replacement, and other subtleties of caring for the critically ill patient with rhabdomyolysis. Takeaway lessons Rhabdomyolysis is defined by elevated levels of creatinine kinase and/or myoglobin in the serum secondary to skeletal muscle breakdown with release of cellular contents. Common causes are crush or …
 
The COVID-19 pandemic will hopefully wind down this year. What happens next with these patients? A powerful discussion with Eve Leckie (@browofjustice), RN, CCRN, formerly of the CVCC at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and now disabled after contracting COVID. Learn about their acute course of illness, the challenges of navigating the healthcare system with th…
 
Scene management, logistics, and stabilization of a blunt trauma patient in the Australian outback with Dr. Minh Le Cong (@ketaminh), rural GP and retrieval physician for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and host of the PHARM podcast. Takeaway lessons If there is reasonable suspicion of the presence of a pneumothorax (of any size), have a … Continue…
 
Best practices in care of the critically ill patient with COVID-19 pneumonia are not known at this time. However, practical lessons from the ground are filtering in from those who have seen many of these patients, and Dr. Nicole King—critical care anesthesiologist, ECMO-ologist at the University of Cincinnati, and alumnus of the New York City … Con…
 
Initial approach, supportive care, risk stratification, and management of the troublesome complications for ruptured subarachnoid aneurysm, with Thomas Lawson (@TomLawsonNP), nurse practitioner in the neurocritical care unit at OSU Wexner Medical Center. Takeaway lessons SAH + shock or hypoxemia = suspect neurogenic pulmonary edema and/or Takotsubo…
 
A patient with multiple abdominal gunshot wounds, resuscitated before and after damage control surgery by the legendary Scott Weingart (@emcrit): emergency physician, surgical intensivist by way of Shock Trauma in Baltimore, director of an emergency critical care program, and longtime innovator in medical education and FOAM via the EMCrit podcast a…
 
Looking at the workflow of a fresh post-op open heart surgery patient, as well as what to do when it devolves into cardiac tamponade, with (returning) guest Brendan Riordan, cardiothoracic ICU PA (@concernecus) at the University of Washington, and his NP colleague Kris Ramilo (@krsrml0). [Audio quality was a bit dodgy in this one; sorry … Continue …
 
A few rapid-fire cases from the emergency department, with Dr. Seth Trueger (@mdaware), emergency physician at Northwestern University and digital media editor for JAMA Network Open. [Sorry for the shotty audio quality in this one!–eds.] Takeaway lessons Many decisions in the ED are less about what to do, and more about when to do it. … Continue re…
 
A look at oncology-related emergencies in the ICU, with Leon Chen (@CCMNP), NYC nurse practitioner specializing in oncology critical care. Takeaway lessons Extremely elevated leukocyte count should always raise suspicion for a “liquid tumor” such as leukemia. The principal acute complication is leukostasis from poor flow, potentially causing hyperv…
 
The second part of our overview of interventional radiology with Dr. Bobby Chiong, board-certified interventional radiologist and chair of radiology at SBH Health System, with a focused look at some common IR procedures, namely abscess drainage and GI bleeding. Listen to part 1 here. Takeaway lessons Common goals would be INR <2.0, platelets >50k. …
 
An overview of interventional radiology with Dr. Bobby Chiong, board-certified interventional radiologist and chair of radiology at SBH Health System, with a focused look at what IR’s all about, coordination between care teams, vascular access, and troubleshooting. Takeaway lessons Interventional radiologists can’t do everything, but they potential…
 
Quick takes on common controversies in the ICU, with Bryan and Brandon: Stress ulcer prophylaxis: drug selection, candidates, and when to discontinue Stress dose steroids: candidates, dosing, lab tests, and weaning Titrating PEEP: considering the disease process, PEEP/FiO2 tables, driving pressure trials, and pragmatic approaches…
 
A detailed look at cirrhosis and acute-on-chronic liver failure as we typically see it in the ICU, with Dr. Elliott Tapper, gastroenterologist and transplant hepatologist, and director of the cirrhosis program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Takeaway lessons When treating liver patients, think infection, infection, infection—and underst…
 
The conclusion of our scenario of severe intraparenchymal hemorrhage with resulting herniation, with a closer look at neurological exams, prognostication, and the flow of care after initial stabilization, as well as our mindset as caregivers in these psychologically challenging cases. Takeaway lessons Early tracheostomy may not hold concrete benefi…
 
A typical case of severe intraparenchymal hemorrhage with resulting herniation. Takeaway lessons DOACs like apixaban (Eliquis), although not usually monitored using routine coagulation assays, tend to elevate the INR only slightly (e.g. 1.0–1.3 or so). A strikingly INR in warfarin-like ranges should raise suspicion for an additional occult cause of…
 
Part two of our interfacility transfer from Hell. Tyler Christifulli, FP-C, EMT-P (@christifulli88) and Sam Ireland FP-C, EMT-P (@ireland_sam1) show us how they handle GI bleeding, arrhythmias, shock, cardiac arrest, and more, all from the confines of a helicopter. Listen to Part 1 here. Check out the great educational content from Tyler and Sam ov…
 
A grueling interfacility transfer gives Tyler Christifulli, FP-C, EMT-P (@christifulli88) and Sam Ireland FP-C, EMT-P (@ireland_sam1) the opportunity to show us how they handle airway management, GI bleeding, mechanical ventilation, cardiac arrest, and more, all from the confines of a helicopter. Check out the great educational content from Tyler a…
 
A restless patient experiences a series of dyssynchrony events during mechanical ventilation. Come see how Bryan wades through it all, and allow us to offer an academic, yet practical approach to this sometimes-confusing subject. Case files Takeaway lessons Start with ABCs and stabilizing the patient, then put on your thinking cap and try to optimi…
 
The book Buy the new textbook (Bryan edited, Brandon authored a chapter) here or on Amazon: Concepts in Surgical Critical Care, First Edition ed. Bryan Boling, DNP, ACNP; Kevin Hatton, MD, FCCM; Tonja Hartjes, DNP, ACNP-BC, CCRN, FAANP The podcast The second piece of our in-depth look at the management of right heart failure, with … Continue readin…
 
The book Buy the new textbook (Bryan edited, Brandon authored a chapter) here or on Amazon: Concepts in Surgical Critical Care, First Edition ed. Bryan Boling, DNP, ACNP; Kevin Hatton, MD, FCCM; Tonja Hartjes, DNP, ACNP-BC, CCRN, FAANP The podcast An in-depth look at the management of right heart failure, with a focus on preserving … Continue readi…
 
The second part of our look at a case of catastrophic intracranial hemorrhage, with a focus on goals of care, family interaction, prognostication, and other end-of-life aspects, with neurointensivist and palliative care physician Jess McFarlin (@JessMcFarlinMD). See Part 1 here. Takeaway lessons Useful phrase: “Can I tell you what to expect during …
 
Neurointensivist and palliative care physician Jess McFarlin (@JessMcFarlinMD) walks us through a case of catastrophic intracranial hemorrhage, with a focus on goals of care, family interaction, prognostication, and other end-of-life aspects. See Part 2 here. Takeaway lessons We can undo most things except death, so in most cases, a short trial (pe…
 
Neurologist and neurointensivist Gracia Mui shows us the workup, initial management, and escalation of care for a case of refractory status epilepticus. Takeaway lessons First-time unprovoked seizures usually need no further workup except screening for an underlying trigger, such as a tox screen, basic chemistries, and imaging as appropriate. Initi…
 
Cardiothoracic critical care PA Brendan Riordan (@concernecus) shows us his initial approach to the patient in cardiogenic shock, including initiating mechanical support, managing ECMO (plus Impella), and eventual weaning and discontinuation of support. Some pearls Anticoagulation on VA ECMO can be titrated to bleeding risk, with a balance between …
 
A fast-tracked update: what we know about the active pandemic of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and its resulting respiratory syndrome, COVID-19. Takeaway lessons Treat like viral pneumonia/ARDS. High PEEP. Prone early. Keep fluid balance dry. Probably avoid CPAP/BiPAP except perhaps for very short trials. Unclear role for HFNC. Watch out for m…
 
Intensivist and passionate slayer of venous congestion Philippe Rola (@thinkingcc) shows us how to deresuscitate the septic patient, with guidance from his handy ultrasound. Takeaway lessons Fluid overload is harmful and should be actively reduced, even in a patient in active shock; it will not harm them. The VEXUS exam is a good method for … Conti…
 
What stops do you make along the garden path of hypoxic respiratory failure? Resources References An ARDS review: Fan E, Brodie D, Slutsky A. Acute Respiratory Distress: Syndrome Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment. JAMA. 2018;319(7):698-710 Lung protective ventilation (The original ARDSnet ARMA trial): Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Network, …
 
A tricky case of refractory heart failure. Case files Resources References Champion S, Belcour D, Vandroux D, et al. Stress (Tako-tsubo) cardiomyopathy in critically-ill patients. Eur Heart J. 2015;4(2):189-96. Chockalingam A. Stress cardiomyopathy of the critically ill: Spectrum of secondary, global, probable and subclinical forms. Indian Heart J.…
 
A troubling case of a painful finger. Resources References Stevens DL, Bryant AE. Necrotizing Soft-Tissue Infections. N Engl J Med. 2017 Dec 7;377(23):2253-2265. Bechar J, Sepehripour S, Hardwicke J, Filobbos G. Laboratory risk indicator for necrotising fasciitis (LRINEC) score for the assessment of early necrotising fasciitis: a systematic review …
 
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