Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

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2012 | January | Volume 16 | Issue 1

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Vikram Bhatia, Ramesh Kumar

Structured approach to treat patients with acute liver failure: A hepatic emergency

[Year:2012] [Month:January] [Volume:16] [Number:1] [Pages:7] [Pages No:1 - 7]

Keywords: Acute liver failure, intensive, treatment

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.94409  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Acute liver failure (ALF) is a condition of acute hepatic emergency where rapid deterioration of hepatocyte function leads to hepatic encephalopathy, coagulopathy, cerebral edema (CE), infection and multi-organ dysfunction syndrome resulting in a high mortality rate. Urgent liver transplantation is the standard of care for most of these patients in Western countries. However, in India, access to liver transplantation is severely limited and, hence, the management is largely based on intensive medical care. With earlier recognition of disease, better understanding of pathophysiology and improved intensive care, ALF patients have shown a significant improvement in spontaneous survival. An evidence base for practice for supportive care is still lacking; however, intensive organ support as well as control of infection and CE are likely to be key to the successful outcome in this acute and potentially reversible condition without any sequel. A structured approach to decision making about intensive care is important in each case. Unlike in Western countries where acetamenophen is the most common cause of ALF, the role of a specific agent, such as N-acetylcysteine, is limited in India. Ammonia-lowering therapy is still in an evolving phase. The current review highlights the important medical management issues in patients with ALF in general as well as the management of major complications associated with ALF. We performed a MEDLINE search using combinations of the key words such as acute liver failure, intensive treatment of acute liver failure and fulminant hepatic failure. We reviewed the relevant publications with regard to intensive care of patients with ALF.



Rakesh Bhadade, Rosemarie de de′ Souza, Anirudha More

Maternal outcomes in critically ill obstetrics patients: A unique challenge

[Year:2012] [Month:January] [Volume:16] [Number:1] [Pages:9] [Pages No:8 - 16]

Keywords: Critical illness, hepatitis, infection, pregnancy-induced hypertension

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.94416  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Background: A pregnant woman is usually young and in good health until she suffers from some acute injury. Her prognosis will hopefully be better if she receives timely intensive care. Materials and Methods: The aims of this study were to study the indications of medical intensive care unit (MICU) transfers for critically ill pregnant and postpartum females, biochemical and hematological profile, organ failure, ICU interventions, outcome of mother/fetus, APACHE II score and its correlation with mortality. Study Design and Setting: It is a prospective observational study, carried out in the MICU of a tertiary care teaching hospital over a period of 18 months. One hundred and twenty-two pregnant and postpartum females (up to 42 days after delivery) were studied. Results and Conclusion: Maternal age >30 years was associated with high mortality (68.2%). Majority of the females were admitted in the third trimester (50 patients) and postpartum period (41 patients), and mortality was highest in the postpartum period (39%). Increasing parity and gravida was associated with significantly high mortality (59.5%). Acute viral hepatitis E (45 patients) was most common indication for MICU transfer, followed by malaria and pregnancy-induced hypertension. The mortality rate was 30.3%. The most common cause of death was acute viral hepatitis E (24 patients), with hepatic failure (53 patients) being the most common organ failure. Majority of the females (88 patients) were ANC registered. Low Glasgow coma score and high APACHE II score on admission were associated with significantly high mortality (85.2%). Prompt treatment with oseltamivir in H1N1 infection was associated with good maternal and fetal outcomes.



Gunjan Badwaik, Rajesh Paraswani

Thrombosis associated with right internal jugular central venous catheters: A prospective observational study

[Year:2012] [Month:January] [Volume:16] [Number:1] [Pages:5] [Pages No:17 - 21]

Keywords: Central venous catheter, internal jugular vein, thrombosis

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.94419  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Background and Aims: Central venous catheters (CVC) are essential in a critical care setting. Thrombosis is one of the very important associated complications that can lead to increased morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to find out the incidence of thrombosis in right-sided internal jugular vein (IJV) CVC with the help of color Doppler duplex sonography, its extent, risk factors and clinical impact. Materials and Methods: One hundred consecutive patients having right-sided IJV CVC were included in the study. Color Doppler sonography was performed on the 3 rd and 6 th days after CVC insertion. The size of the thrombus was noted. Presence of diabetes mellitus, hypertension or smoking was noted. Presence of any hypertonic solution and thromboprophylaxis for Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) were also noted. Results: Thrombus was detected in 33 of 100 (33.0%) patients. The incidence in males was 32.86% and in females was 33.33%. Males had a significantly higher incidence of small thrombus (P = 0.05), whereas females had a significantly higher incidence of large thrombus (P = 0.05). DVT thromboprophylaxis was not effective for CVC-related thrombosis. Hypertonic solution, presence of diabetes, hypertension or history of smoking did not increase the risk of thrombosis. Conclusion: CVC-related thrombosis is common and has the potential for serious complications. Females appear to be at a higher risk for larger thrombus formation. DVT thromboprophylaxis does not confer protection for CVC-related thrombosis. Color Doppler duplex sonography provides with an easily available, noninvasive means of detecting a thrombus. More studies are needed to establish a consensus for prophylaxis and treatment of asymptomatic CVC-related thrombosis.



Xi Xiang Tan, Nicholas D. Clement, Michael Frink, Frank Hildebrand, Christian Krettek, Christian Probst

Pre-hospital trauma care: A comparison of two healthcare systems

[Year:2012] [Month:January] [Volume:16] [Number:1] [Pages:6] [Pages No:22 - 27]

Keywords: Acute liver failure, intensive, treatment

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.94421  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Introduction: The management of trauma patients differs depending upon the healthcare system available. Aim: To compare the pre-hospital management and outcome of polytrauma patients between two countries with differing approaches to pre-hospital management. Materials and Methods: The Scottish trauma and audit group (STAG) and the German trauma registry (GTR) databases were used to compare the management and outcome of trauma patients in Scotland and Germany. Severely injured patients (injury severity score (ISS) > 16) were analyzed for a 3 year period (2000 to 2002). Patient demographics, pre-hospital interventions, ISS, revised trauma score (RTS), time from scene of injury to arrival to the emergency department (ED), 120 day mortality and standardized mortality ratios using TRISS methodology were compared. Results: There were 227 patients identified from the STAG registry and 6878 patients from the GTR registry. There was a significant difference in ISS (24.9 vs. 29.8, P = 0.001, respectively). No significant difference was observed for the RTS (P = 0.2). There was a significantly higher rate of pre-hospital interventions in the German group (P < 0.001). The mean time from an injury to arrival to the ED (73 vs. 247 minutes, P = 0.001) was longer for the Scottish patients. There was no difference for an unadjusted mortality rate between the groups, but the standardized mortality ratio was significantly greater for the Scottish population (3.8 vs. 2.2, P = 0.036). Conclusion: Despite variation in pre-hospital transfer times and interventions, no significant difference was demonstrated in RTS upon arrival, or for the unadjusted mortality rates.



Arvind K. Baronia, Ratender Singh

An unusual case of nonocclusive mesenteric ischemia in a young girl

[Year:2012] [Month:January] [Volume:16] [Number:1] [Pages:3] [Pages No:28 - 30]

Keywords: Enteral feeding, nonocclusive mesenteric ischemia, vasopressin

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.94423  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Nonocclusive mesenteric ischemia is a type of acute mesenteric ischemia with high mortality seen mostly in elderly cardiac patients. We present a 21-year-old healthy student with nonocclusive mesenteric ischemia along with radiological evidence of hepatic portal venous gas and pneumatosis intestinalis, with subsequent fatality. Its significance and its possible etiology are discussed.



Rikki Singal, Ashwani K. Dalal, Usha Dalal, Ashok K. Attri, Samita Gupta, Rakesh Sadhu, Pradeep Sahu

Complete bronchial transaction due to severe blunt trauma and chest; treatment and outcomes: A distinct entity

[Year:2012] [Month:January] [Volume:16] [Number:1] [Pages:3] [Pages No:31 - 33]

Keywords: Air-leak, asphyxia, traumatic, broncho- pulmonary, fistula, surgery

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.94429  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


An 18-year-young male patient came to the emergency department with history of severe blunt trauma. He was having respiratory distress and diagnosed as bronchial injury on the right side. A chest tube was put immediately and there was continuous air leak in the form of air bubbles in the intercostal chest tube bag with each inspiratory effort. Chest injury can be a life-threatening condition, if not managed timely and properly. Bronchoscopy showed injury over the right main bronchus. The features of this uncommon entity are discussed, with special emphasis on early diagnosis and surgical management.



Raj Kumar, Sandeep Puri, Shruti Sharma, Rajinder Bansal

A rare case of survival from primary amebic meningoencephalitis

[Year:2012] [Month:January] [Volume:16] [Number:1] [Pages:3] [Pages No:34 - 36]

Keywords: Amphotericin B, central nervous system, cerebrospinal fluid, Naegleria fowleri, primary amebic meningoencephalitis

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.94432  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) is a rare and fatal disease of central nervous system (CNS) caused by Naegleria fowleri, an ameba found in soils and warm waters. It enters the CNS after insufflation of infected water by attaching itself to the olfactory nerves. The infection is usually difficult to diagnose and has a poor prognosis. The present case is one such case in which CSF examination led us to the diagnosis of PAM and finally to a favorable outcome when treated with Amphoterracin B and antibiotics.



Ajay H. Raithatha, Daniele C. Bryden

Use of intravenous immunoglobulin therapy in the treatment of septic shock, in particular severe invasive group A streptococcal disease

[Year:2012] [Month:January] [Volume:16] [Number:1] [Pages:4] [Pages No:37 - 40]

Keywords: Group A streptococcal disease, immunomodulation, intravenous immunoglobulin, septic shock

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.94433  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Group A streptococcus (GAS) is a β-hemolytic bacterium often found in the throat and skin. The two most severe clinical manifestations of GAS are streptococcal toxic shock syndrome and necrotizing fasciitis. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) is a gamma globulin made from purified pooled plasma of thousands of donors, consisting mainly of IgG. We report the case of a 40-year-old man admitted after 2 days of vomiting and severe right-sided chest pain. He was hypotensive with a sinus tachycardia, pyrexial, and vasodilated. The only other positive finding was a swollen and erythematous chest wall. Muscle layer biopsies and blood cultures soon grew extensive GAS, and an initial diagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis was made. The clinical syndrome was of severe septic shock secondary to invasive GAS. The patient quickly deteriorated with a worsening metabolic acidosis. Despite maximal intensive care therapy including fluids, vasoactive agents, and also activated protein C, the patient continued to remain profoundly hypotensive. A decision was made to commence IVIg, with the aim of immunomodulation of the inflammatory cascade seen in sepsis. Over the next 24 hours the patient improved, was extubated 3 days later, and subsequently discharged from hospital after 2 weeks. Although the evidence for the use of IVIg in severe invasive GAS disease is limited, we feel that on reviewing the available literature its use in this case was justified. The limited worldwide supply and high costs, together with a limited evidence base, warrant restricting its use to cases in which conventional therapy has failed. The literature for use of intravenous immunoglobulin in invasive GAS infection will be reviewed in this article.



Swapna Chaudhuri, Deborah Ortega, Kallol Chaudhuri

Asystole during pulmonary artery catheter insertion under general anesthesia

[Year:2012] [Month:January] [Volume:16] [Number:1] [Pages:3] [Pages No:41 - 43]

Keywords: Arrhythmic complications, asystole, cardiac arrest, general anesthesia, pulmonary artery catheter

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.94434  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


In spite of ongoing debate for the past 40 years, pulmonary artery catheters remain in use for invasive hemodynamic monitoring and management of critically ill patients. We describe a case of a sudden onset of asystolic cardiac arrest during the placement of a pulmonary artery catheter, while under general anesthesia. A brief review of the literature highlighting arrhythmic complications associated with pulmonary artery catheterization is also presented.



Ranju Singh, Homay Vajifdar, Stalin Vinayagam

Methemoglobinemia as a result of accidental lacquer thinner poisoning

[Year:2012] [Month:January] [Volume:16] [Number:1] [Pages:4] [Pages No:44 - 47]

Keywords: Methemoglobinemia, methylene blue, thinner intoxication

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.94435  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Lacquer thinner, commonly used for removing household paints, is known to contain a mixture of various aromatic hydrocarbons, halogenated hydrocarbons and naptha; if ingested, it may cause methemoglobinemia. We report two cases who presented to us with a history of accidental ingestion of paint thinner. Both the patients had very high levels of methemoglobin and were treated with methylene blue (MB), but did not respond to the MB therapy. One of them received an exchange transfusion followed again by MB and survived. Unfortunately the other patient succumbed to the poisoning.



Satinder K. Jain, Sai Kiran Chaudhuri

An unusual case of pleural-based tumor with life-threatening post-operative complication

[Year:2012] [Month:January] [Volume:16] [Number:1] [Pages:4] [Pages No:48 - 51]

Keywords: Factor IX deficiency, hemophilia B, pleural hematoma, pseudotumor

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.94436  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


A 57-year-old male presented with hemoptysis of 4 years duration and a gradually increasing pleural mass on chest X-ray. The mass was causing pressure effects on the liver and the lungs. To rule out malignancy, thoracotomy was performed, which revealed large, thick-walled hematoma. Complete excision of mass was performed. Post-operative course was complicated by massive pleural bleeding requiring massive blood transfusions and re-exploratory thoracotomy. Subsequent tests revealed factor IX deficiency and, hence, he was managed with recombinant factor IX concentrate. This case stresses upon the fact that hereditary bleeding disorders may be diagnosed even in late adulthood with atypical presentations such as pseudotumor in pleural space. Moreover, hemophilia B may present with normal APTT levels making the diagnosis even more difficult.



P. S. Panda, D. K. Singh, S. K. Dube, G. R. Agrawal

Anaphylaxis to artesunate?

[Year:2012] [Month:January] [Volume:16] [Number:1] [Pages:3] [Pages No:55 - 57]

Keywords: Anaphylaxis, artesunate, intraoperative

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.94440  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Artesunate, an artemissin derivative is a highly efficacious and relatively safe antimalarial agent. Common adverse reactions to artemissin derivatives are nausea, vomiting, anorexia and dizziness. More serious but less-frequent toxic effects of artesunate use are neutropenia, anemia, hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and severe allergic reactions. However, anaphylactic reaction to artesunate is a rare entity. Here, we report a case of anaphylaxis to parenteral artesunate and its successful management in a female patient to whom intravenous artesunate was administered during surgery under general anesthesia.



Hari K. Boorugu, Anugrah Chrispal

Cartap hydrochloride poisoning: A clinical experience

[Year:2012] [Month:January] [Volume:16] [Number:1] [Pages:2] [Pages No:58 - 59]

Keywords: Cartap hydrochloride, nereistoxin, respiratory depression

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.94443  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Cartap hydrochloride, a nereistoxin analog, is a commonly used low toxicity insecticide. We describe a patient who presented to the emergency department with alleged history of ingestion of Cartap hydrochloride as an act of deliberate self-harm. The patient was managed conservatively. To our knowledge this is the first case report of Cartap hydrochloride suicidal poisoning. Cartap toxicity has been considered to be minimal, but a number of animal models have shown significant neuromuscular toxicity resulting in respiratory failure. It is hypothesized that the primary effect of Cartap hydrochloride is through inhibition of the [3 H]-ryanodine binding to the Ca 2+ release channel in the sarcoplasmic reticulum in a dose-dependent manner and promotion of extracellular Ca 2+ influx and induction of internal Ca 2+ release. This results in tonic diaphragmatic contraction rather than paralysis. This is the basis of the clinical presentation of acute Cartap poisoning as well as the treatment with chelators namely British Anti Lewisite and sodium dimercaptopropane sulfonate.



A. K. Baronia, Mohan Gurjar

Pandemic H1N1 influenza with atypical presentation: Encephalopathy and severe thrombocytopenia

[Year:2012] [Month:January] [Volume:16] [Number:1] [Pages:2] [Pages No:60 - 61]

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.94445  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 



Preeti Shanbag

Bilateral vocal cord palsy: A rare complication of varicella in children

[Year:2012] [Month:January] [Volume:16] [Number:1] [Pages:2] [Pages No:62 - 63]

   DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.94447  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


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