Journal Club

Journal club occurs most Wednesdays after morning handover. The link to the paper will be sent out in the trainee whatsapp group. The paper is critically appraised and presented by one of the trainees and the discussion is facilitated by a consultant.

If you are interested in exploring the ICU literature further it is worth having a look at the Critical Care Reviews website, WICS Bottom Line website and the ICU Trials App.

To aid with critical appraisal of the papers our trainees created a journal club checklist.

Alternatively you may find it useful to to use the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme 2022 checklists or the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine critical appraisal tools.


This Week’s Paper:

Previously Discussed Papers:

“A good death” on ICU – ESICM LIVES

A three step support strategy for relatives of patients dying in the intensive care unit: a cluster randomised trial (COSMIC EOL)

What do we need to think about?

  • What effect could cluster randomisation have? Why was an inflation factor used?
  • what effect would altering the threshold for prolonged grief on the PG13 score have?
  • what effect would only using segments of questionnaires that have been validated for use as a whole?

Did this change our practice?

Yes. There will be cultural and communication differences between practice in the UK and France. However, this is a thought provoking paper. We can take away that families appreciate regular communication and information before, during and after their loved one has died. Could we include a psychological support plan in our end of life care plan?

Further Reading/ Watching:


RSI drugs. British Journal of Hospital Medicine.

PREPARE II: Effect of Fluid Bolus Administration on Cardiovascular Collapse Among Critically Ill Patients Undergoing Tracheal Intubation. A Randomised Clinical Trial

What do we need to think about?

  • What effect would the choice of induction agent have on the results?
  • What is a predictive enrichment strategy?
  • Would the volume of fluid given prior to RSI have an effect? Should this data have been collected?

Did this change our practice?

Yes. The majority of those involved in the discussion did not routinely give a fluid bolus at RSI unless clinically indicated (hypovolaemia etc). This has prompted us to perform a snapshot of current practice and review our RSI standard operating procedure which mandates a fluid bolus.

Further Reading:


Vasopressin in shock states: Annals of Intensive Care Medicine

Effect of Vasopressin and Methylprednisolone vs Placebo on Return of Spontaneous Circulation in Patients With In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest. A Randomized Clinical Trial (VAM IHCA)

What do we need to think about?

  • What are the logistical challenges of running this trial?
  • What impact could the fact that the trial was only performed in Denmark have?
  • How could post cardiac arrest care have affected the results?

Did this change our practice?

No. Although vasopressin and methylprednisolone improved rates of ROSC there was no difference in terms of 30 day mortality or neurological outcomes. It will be interesting to see if there is a difference in terms of long term outcomes.

Further Reading:

Changes to iron storage and capacity to use in critical illness (Critical Care)

Intravenous iron or placebo for anaemia in intensive care: the IRONMAN multicentre randomized blinded trial

What do we need to think about?

  • How is iron utilisation influenced by critical illness?
  • How might the dosing regime affect the outcome?
  • What impact would the power calculation have on the conclusion of the study?

Did this change our practice?

No. This trial was underpowered and mainly included cardiac surgical patients. We will continue to try to prevent anaemia on ICU and, in severe anaemia with accompanying iron deficiency, supplement according to the manufacturer’s dosing regime.

Further Reading:


Synthesis of catecholamines BMJ

Combination therapy of vitamin C and thiamine for septic shock: a multi-centre, double-blinded randomized, controlled study (ATESS)

What do we need to think about?

  • How do differences in healthcare systems around the world affect the translation of research findings to local practice?
  • How can the characteristics of patients included affect the generalisability of a study?
  • Why has delta sofa been used as the primary endpoint?

Did this change our practice?

No. We will continue to not administer vitamin c and thiamine to patients presenting with septic shock.

Further Reading:


https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mpaic.2020.03.012

Trial of Decompressive Craniectomy for Traumatic Intracranial Hypertension (RESCUE ICP)

What do we need to think about?

  • Is management of intracranial hypertension the most important factor in outcome for these patients?
  • What effect would crossover among patients in the medical group have on results?
  • How should we decide what is an acceptable benefit?

Did this change our practice?

Yes. This paper, combined with information from DECRA, informs discussions surrounding best interests decisions about surgical management and what would be acceptable to that individual.

Further Reading:


Flowchart of lactate – deranged physiology

Effect of a Resuscitation Strategy Targeting Peripheral Perfusion Status vs Serum Lactate Levels on 28 Day Mortality Among Patients With Septic Shock ANDROMEDA-SHOCK

What do we need to think about?

  • Peripheral vs central capillary refill time
  • Confidence intervals
  • How can we measure the effect of complex interventions?

Did this change our practice?

No. Capillary refill time may be a useful indicator of shock resolution in resource poor countries. We will continue to use a multimodal approach including clinical assessment, serum lactate, cardiac output monitoring and POCUS.

Further Reading:


British Journal of Pharmacology. Sepsis and vitamin c in sheep models.

Effect of Vitamin C, Hydrocortisone, and Thiamine vs Hydrocortisone Alone on Time Alive and Free of Vasopressor Support Among Patients With Septic Shock – VITAMINS

What do we need to think about?

  • What effect would the timing of randomisation had on the results?
  • What effect would the drug being open label have had?
  • Should serum levels of drugs have been measured?

Did this change our practice?

No. We will continue not to administer the combination therapy of vitamin c, hydrocortisone and thiamine to patients with septic shock.

Further Reading:


RRT – Onepagericu. Nick Mark.

What do we need to think about?

  • Definition of sepsis
  • Should shock resolution have been considered as an end point/ measured?
  • How does the method of HDF differ to our practice?

Did this change our practice?

No. We will not be using high volume continuous haemodiafiltration for sepsis associated AKI.

Further Reading


Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Pantoprazole in Patients at Risk for Gastrointestinal Bleeding in the ICU – SUP ICU

What do we need to think about?

  • What are the harms of administering PPI’s in ICU patients?
  • Is mortality a useful primary end point here?
  • How should we interpret and apply secondary endpoints to clinical practice? Especially when no p values are provided.

Did this change our practice?

No. As a unit we continue PPIs for those taking them in the community. For those not taking PPIs in the community those at high risk of stress ulceration would receive a PPI until feeding is established.

Further Reading:


Treating Rhythmic and Periodic EEG Patterns in Comatose Survivors of Cardiac Arrest (TELSTAR)

What do we need to think about?

  • Do these EEG patterns represent seizure activity or evidence of cerebral damage?
  • What effect would the intervention being unblinded have on results?
  • What effect would the variability in interpretation of CPC scores have between assessors?

Did this change our practice?

No. This trial was discussed as a matter of interest as we will be introducing cEEG for selected patients on the unit. The anticonvulsant regime used is not in line with our current practice. We will continue to treat confirmed seizure activity with anticonvulsants in line with the ERC guidelines.

Further Reading:


Sengstaken-Blakemore tube – Olek Remesz

Effects of a High Dose 24 Hour Infusion of Tranexamic Acid on Death and Thromboembolic Events in Patients with Acute GI Bleeding (HALT IT)

What do we need to think about?

  • What is clinical equipoise?
  • What effect could changing the primary outcome have?
  • Types of bias

Did this change our practice?

Yes. We will not use tranexamic acid empirically in GI bleeding. We will also use point of care thromboelastography (ROTEM in our centre) to guide haemostasis.

Further Reading:


Hyperoxia – BJAed

Lower or Higher Oxygenation Targets for Acute Hypoxaemic Respiratory Failure (HOT-ICU)

What do we need to think about?

  • What is heterogeneity of treatment effect?
  • What are the potential harms of a lower oxygenation strategy vs a higher oxygenation strategy?
  • What have the other trials preceding this concluded?

Did this change our practice?

No. We will continue to aim for a PaO2 of more than or equal to 8Kpa with the lowest possible Fio2.

Further Reading:


Tracheostomy anatomy – NEJM

Early vs Late Tracheostomy for Prevention of Pneumonia in Mechanically Ventilated Adult ICU Patients

What do we need to think about?

  • How do we define early vs late?
  • How do we balance between benefits and the risks of a procedure?
  • How did practice change during COVID when patients remained intubated for long periods than would usually be accepted?

Did this change our practice?

No. We remained in favour of a later insertion of tracheostomy preferably after a trial of extubation where safe.

Further Reading: