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Critical Care

Last 50 Critical Care Postings

(Click on title to be directed to posting, most recent listed first, CME offerings in Bold)

Severe Accidental Hypothermia in Phoenix? Active Rewarming Using 
   Thoracic Lavage
Left Ventricular Assist Devices: A Brief Overview
July 2019 Critical Care Case of The Month: An 18-Year-Old with
   Presumed Sepsis and Progressive Multisystem Organ Failure 
An Observational Study Demonstrating the Efficacy of Interleukin-1 
   Antagonist (Anakinra) in Critically-ill Patients with Hemophagocytic
   Lymphohistiocytosis
Which Half Are You? Almost Half of Pediatric Oncologists and Intensivists
   Are Burnt Out……
Management of Refractory Hypoxemic Respiratory Failure Secondary to
   Diffuse Alveolar Hemorrhage with Venovenous Extracorporeal Membrane
   Oxygenation
Amniotic Fluid Embolism: A Case Study and Literature Review
April 2019 Critical Care Case of the Month: A Severe Drinking
   Problem
Ultrasound for Critical Care Physicians: An Unexpected Target Lesion
January 2019 Critical Care Case of the Month: A 32-Year-Old Woman
   with Cardiac Arrest
The Explained Variance and Discriminant Accuracy of APACHE IVa 
Severity Scoring in Specific Subgroups of ICU Patients
Ultrasound for Critical Care Physicians: Characteristic Findings in a 
   Complicated Effusion
October 2018 Critical Care Case of the Month: A Pain in the Neck
Ultrasound for Critical Care Physicians: Who Stole My Patient’s Trachea?
August 2018 Critical Care Case of the Month
Ultrasound for Critical Care Physicians: Caught in the Act
July 2018 Critical Care Case of the Month
June 2018 Critical Care Case of the Month
Fatal Consequences of Synergistic Anticoagulation
May 2018 Critical Care Case of the Month
Airway Registry and Training Curriculum Improve Intubation Outcomes in 
   the Intensive Care Unit
April 2018 Critical Care Case of the Month
Increased Incidence of Eosinophilia in Severe H1N1 Pneumonia during 2015
   Influenza Season
March 2018 Critical Care Case of the Month
Ultrasound for Critical Care Physicians: Ghost in the Machine
February 2018 Critical Care Case of the Month
January 2018 Critical Care Case of the Month
December 2017 Critical Care Case of the Month
November 2017 Critical Care Case of the Month
A New Interventional Bronchoscopy Technique for the Treatment of
   Bronchopleural Fistula
ACE Inhibitor Related Angioedema: A Case Report and Brief Review
Tumor Lysis Syndrome from a Solitary Nonseminomatous Germ Cell Tumor
October 2017 Critical Care Case of the Month
September 2017 Critical Care Case of the Month
August 2017 Critical Care Case of the Month
Telemedicine Using Stationary Hard-Wire Audiovisual Equipment or Robotic 
   Systems in Critical Care: A Brief Review
Carotid Cavernous Fistula: A Case Study and Review
July 2017 Critical Care Case of the Month
High-Sensitivity Troponin I and the Risk of Flow Limiting Coronary Artery 
   Disease in Non-ST Elevation Acute Coronary Syndrome (NSTE-ACS)
June 2017 Critical Care Case of the Month
Clinical Performance of an Interactive Clinical Decision Support System for 
   Assessment of Plasma Lactate in Hospitalized Patients with Organ
   Dysfunction
May 2017 Critical Care Case of the Month
Management of Life Threatening Post-Partum Hemorrhage with HBOC-201 
   in a Jehovah’s Witness
Tracheal Stoma Necrosis: A Case Report
April 2017 Critical Care Case of the Month
March 2017 Critical Care Case of the Month
Ultrasound for Critical Care Physicians: Unchain My Heart
February 2017 Critical Care Case of the Month
January 2017 Critical Care Case of the Month
December 2016 Critical Care Case of the Month

 

For complete critical care listings click here.

The Southwest Journal of Pulmonary and Critical Care publishes articles directed to those who treat patients in the ICU, CCU and SICU including chest physicians, surgeons, pediatricians, pharmacists/pharmacologists, anesthesiologists, critical care nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Manuscripts may be either basic or clinical original investigations or review articles. Potential authors of review articles are encouraged to contact the editors before submission, however, unsolicited review articles will be considered.

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Thursday
May022013

May 2013 Critical Care Case of the Month: Not an Air-Filled Sac

Lewis J. Wesselius, MD

 

Department of Pulmonary Medicine

Mayo Clinic Arizona

Scottsdale, AZ

 

History of Present Illness

A 66 year old woman presented to outside hospital with hematemesis and hematochezia. She was intubated for airway control and received 4 units of packed red blood cells. She was transferred to the Mayo Clinic Arizona due to an inability to control her upper gastrointestinal bleeding. During her transfer she required vasopressors.

PMH

She has a history of hepatitis C with cirrhosis and esophageal varices. In addition, she was diagnosed with a B-cell lymphoma 3 months prior to admission and had received 3 cycles of rituximab, cyclophosphamide, hydroxydaunorubicin (doxorubicin), Oncovin® (vincristine) and prednisone (R-CHOP).  

Physical Examination

She was intubated and receiving oxygen at a FiO2 of 0.4.

Vital signs: P 100 beats/min; B/P 113/78 mm Hg; Afebrile; R 20 breaths/min; SpO2 99%

Chest: clear to auscultation.

Laboratory

Her hemoglobin was 9.3 g/dL and her hematocrit was 29%.

Radiology

Her admission chest x-ray is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Admission portable chest-x-ray.

Which of the following should be done initially?

  1. Bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage
  2. Endoscopy
  3. Administer octreotide to control hypotension
  4. Administer 2 units of packed red blood cells to stay ahead of the bleeding
  5. All of the above

Reference as: Wesselius LJ. May 2013 critical care case of the month: not an air-filled sac. Southwest J Pulm Crit Care. 2013;6(5):209-17. PDF

Tuesday
Apr022013

April 2013 Critical Care Case of the Month: Too Many Diagnoses

Elijah Poulos, MD

David M. Baratz, MD

 

Banner Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center

Phoenix, AZ

  

History of Present Illness

A 71 year old diabetic woman was admitted for 6-8 weeks of progressive dyspnea, non-productive cough, orthopnea, generalized edema and intermittent fevers. She has a history of living-related donor renal transplant from her husband in 1999 and was diagnosed with locally advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma in October 2012. She was treated with insulin for diabetes; the immunosuppressants tacrolimus, mycophenolate and low-dose prednisone for her renal transplant; and weekly gemcitabine beginning in 11/2012 for her pancreatic cancer. Her course was complicated by left lower extremity deep venous thrombosis in January 2013 and she was treated with full dose enoxaparin at 1 mg/kg BID. She was tolerating her chemotherapy poorly with a myriad of complaints including fatigue, skin ulcerations, poor appetite, weakness, dysphagia, malaise, nausea and intermittent chest pains. Her most recent chemotherapy was held because of pancytopenia. She was admitted to our hospital in early March 2013 with the above symptoms.

Physical Examination

Vital signs: Temp 98.8°F, BP 125/65 mm Hg, HR 84 beats/min, RR 18/min, O2 saturation 85% on room air.

General: She was an obese woman in no distress but with conversational dyspnea

Neck: Jugular venous distention could not be appreciated secondary to obesity.

Lungs: Bibasilar rales

Heart: regular rhythm with distant heart sounds, but no murmur or gallop.

Lungs: Bibasilar rales

Abdomen: Soft and non-tender without palpable organomegaly or masses.

Ext: 2+ bilateral lower extremity pitting edema to above the knees.

Radiography

Her chest x-ray was interpreted as showing cardiomegaly with radiographic sequelae of pulmonary venous hypertension (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Admission PA (Panel A) and lateral (Panel B) chest radiography.

A thoracic CT scan was performed and was interpreted as showing vague diffuse bilateral groundglass opacities (Figure 2).

  

Figure 2. Movies of axial thoracic CT (upper panel) and  coronal thoracic CT (lower panel).  

Which of the following is a cause of ground glass opacities?

  1. Pulmonary edema
  2. Pneumonia
  3. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
  4. Drug reaction
  5. All of the above

Reference as: Poulos E, Baratz DM. April 2013 critical care case of the month: too many diagnoses. Southwest J Pulm Crit Care. 2013;6(4):161-7. PDF

Saturday
Mar022013

March 2013 Critical Care Case of the Month: Beware the Escargot

Allen R. Thomas, MD

Suresh Uppalapu, MD

Phoenix VA Medical Center

Phoenix, Arizona

 

History of Present Illness

A 29 year old woman presented to the Phoenix VA Medical Center with complaints of headache and diffuse generalized weakness most pronounced in the lower extremities. She also noted recent fecal and urinary incontinence, abdominal pain, back pain, numbness in the feet and a non pruritic skin rash on the trunk. Onset of symptoms was about 2 weeks prior to her presentation.  Since her symptoms began she had seen in multiple local emergency departments for these same complaints as they worsened and was discharged home in each case with suspected viral syndrome.

PMH, SH, FH

She had no allergies and her past medical history was only significant for post- traumatic stress disorder. She has had no major surgery in her life so far and her family history was not contributory to her current presentation. She smokes marijuana for recreational purposes and drinks alcohol socially. She was not taking any medications on regular basis.

She had been in the military until six months prior to her presentation and her service included tours in Alaska and Hawaii.  She had recently returned from Fiji.  During her stay in Fiji, she reported eating snails and other uncooked food as well as drinking unpurified water

Physical Exam

Vital signs on presentation- T 98.4°C, P 102 beats/min, R 18 breaths/min, BP150/78 mm Hg  O2 sat 97% on room air

She was awake, alert, and oriented. She had mild nuchal rigidity and left ptosis. Lungs were clear and her cardiac exam was normal. Abdominal exam showed diffuse tenderness to palpation with hypoactive bowel sounds. Strength was 5/5 in the upper extremities, 4/5 on the right lower extremity, and 3/5 left lower extremity.  Sensation was Intact throughout.  Deep tendon reflexes were 1+.  Exam was thought to be somewhat limited due to poor effort.

Laboratory findings

White blood cell count was 12,400 mm3 with 75% neutrophils and 8% eosinophils.

Hemoglobin- 13.8 mg/dl; Hematocrit-41%; Platelet count was 317,000/mm3

Complete metabolic profile was normal.

CPK was elevated at 696 IU/Liter.

Radiology 

Chest x-ray showed some blunting of the left costophrenic angle with clear lung fields.

Which of the following are appropriate?

  1. Observation. She probably has a viral syndrome.
  2. Head CT scan
  3. Cerebral angiogram
  4. Nerve conduction studies
  5. Liver ultrasound

Reference as: Thomas AR, Uppalapu S. March 2013 critical care case of the month: beware the escargot. Southwest J Pulm Crit Care. 2013;6(3):103-111. PDF

Saturday
Feb022013

February 2013 Critical Care Case of the Month: Thoracentesis Through the Looking Glass

Clement U. Singarajah MD

Jay E. Blum

Allen R. Thomas MD

Henry Luedy MD

Elijah Poulos MD

Tonya Whiting DO

 

Phoenix VA Medical Center

Phoenix, AZ

 

History of Present Illness

A 62 year old man was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 squamous cell left lung cancer with metastases to the pleura, brain and mediastinum. He also had known chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with a FEV1 = 1.96 L and a known left side pleural effusion (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Baseline chest radiograph showing left pleural effusion (red arrow).

He was seen as an outpatient for symptomatic shortness of breath and underwent real time ultrasound guided left sided thoracentesis removing 500 ml of straw-colored fluid. The procedure was uneventful except that near the end, the patient started to cough.  He denied any symptoms post procedure apart from some minor puncture site pain. A routine post procedure chest x-ray was performed (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Post-thoracentesis x-ray (Panel A) and its negative image (Panel B).

What new abnormality is identified on the post-procedure chest x-ray?

  1. Left pneumothorax
  2. Right pneumothorax
  3. Lung “sliding” on the left
  4. New pneumonia in the left upper lobe
  5. Left hilar retraction

Reference as: Singarajah CU, Blum JE, Thomas AR, Luedy H, Poulos E, Whiting T. February 2013 critical care case of the month: thoracentesis through the looking glass. Southwest J Pulm Crit Care. 2013;6(2):63-74. PDF

 

 

Wednesday
Jan022013

January 2013 Critical Care Case of the Month: Different Name, Same Disease...or Is It?

Nathaniel Reyes MD (NReyes@deptofmed.arizona.edu)

Jarrod Mosier MD (JMosier@aemrc.arizona.edu)

 

University of Arizona- AHSC/Pulmonary

1501 N Campbell Ave.

Tucson, AZ 85724-5030

 

History of Present Illness

A 50-year-old female who presented with 2-weeks of worsening cough and shortness of breath.  She presented to another hospital 2-weeks prior to presentation complaining of cough productive of yellow sputum and was diagnosed with bronchitis and discharged home with a normal chest x-ray.  Her symptoms persisted and one day prior to admission she experienced one episode of hemoptysis which prompted her presentation to our emergency department.  She denied fever, chills, night sweats, and complained only of dyspnea on exertion.

PMH/SH

Granulomatous polyangitis (GPA) was diagnosed by renal biopsy in 2004. She subsequent developed end-stage renal disease and has been receiving peritoneal dialysis.  She has never required immunosuppresive therapy. There is no history of tobacco use.  She has lived in Arizona for many years.  She is retired but previously worked as an information technology manager. 

Physical Exam

Vital signs were normal except for an O2 saturation of 91% on room air.  Physical exam was significant only for pale sclerae and bilateral dry crackles.

Laboratory Data

Hemoglobin: 5.4 g/dL; Hematocrit: 17%.  BUN: 43 mg/dL; creatinine: 10.7 mg/dL.   

ABG: PaO2 75; PaCO2 39; pH 7.43 on 2L O2.

P-ANCA: Positive

Myeloperoxidase antibody titer: 83 U/mL

C-ANCA/proteinase 3 antibody titer/Anti-GBM antibodies: negative.

Imaging

Chest X-ray showed diffuse areas of consolidation (Figure 1).

Figure 1. PA Chest X-ray

Which of the following is not appropriate in her management?

  1. Coccidioidomycosis serology

The authors report no conflict of interest.

Reference as: Reyes N, Mosier J. Critical care case of the month: different name, same disease...or is it? Southwest J Pulm Crit Care 2013;6(1):5-11. PDF