Cases reported "critical illness"

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1/274. pastoral care in Candyland. Maintaining power and life in a world of illness.

    wrestling with ghosts and staging fatal accidents with Matchbox cars allow a critically ill six-year-old to come to terms with the fears prompted by his illness. ( info)

2/274. medical futility and the critically ill patient.

    Today, the world of critical care medicine has given us the capabilities to accomplish things that were only dreamed of a few decades ago. When combined with the increasing importance of patient autonomy and economics in healthcare, these new capabilities have caused conflicts about what is too little, and what is too much. medical futility becomes an issue whenever these conflicts arise. Understanding how to deal with issues surrounding futility begins with defining it. A firm definition is not possible or desirable, but revolves around the probability of being able to achieve a patient's goal with modern medicine. Establishing this understanding between the patient and their family (team), and the healthcare team, is dependent on trust between the two. It must be recognized that there are many reasons for families to not trust healthcare professionals and that these reasons need to be explored and dealt with. Sometimes conflicts regarding predictions and economics need to be addressed. Once trust is established a goal for a course of medical treatment should be discussed from the patient's perspective. This discussion should involve the physician's best judgement as to the chances of achieving this goal, and what type of discomfort or indignity, if any, the patient may experience. Only after these have been clearly discussed can decisions regarding medical futility be made. To date, the U. S. Courts have refused to grant physicians and hospitals the power to override the opinions of family members on matters of futility. However, with time, a consensus of public opinion should influence decisions regarding medical futility. ( info)

3/274. The use of a modified Dakin's solution (sodium hypochlorite) in the treatment of vibrio vulnificus infection.

    We report the first clinical use of a modified Dakin's solution (0.025% sodium hypochlorite [NaOCl]) to halt the progress of severe cutaneous vibrio vulnificus infection in a critically ill patient. The regimen used arose from an initial in vitro study designed to examine the sensitivity of Vibrio species to topical antimicrobial agents. Twenty-eight wound isolates were tested against the following eight topical preparations: silver sulfadiazine (Silvadene), nitrofurazone, mupirocin ointment (Bactroban), polymyxin b/bacitracin, mafenide acetate (Sulfamylon), nystatin/Silvadene, nystatin/polymyxin b/bacitracin, and 0.025% NaOCl solution. The results showed that V vulnificus, along with the other 18 Vibrio species tested, was most sensitive to the modified NaOCl solution. ( info)

4/274. Falsely increased immunoassay measurements of total and unbound phenytoin in critically ill uremic patients receiving fosphenytoin.

    BACKGROUND: Fosphenytoin, a phosphate ester prodrug of phenytoin, is metabolized to phenytoin in vivo. phenytoin metabolites accumulate in renal insufficiency and cross-react in some phenytoin immunoassays. Our aim was to determine the accuracy of phenytoin immunoassays in renal patients treated with fosphenytoin. methods: We measured phenytoin with HPLC and with the aca, ACS:180, TDx phenytoin II, Vitros, and AxSYM methods. Specimens were collected 2-120 h after fosphenytoin administration from 17 patients with renal insufficiency. RESULTS: The AxSYM, TDx phenytoin II, ACS:180, and Vitros assays displayed falsely increased phenytoin results up to 20 times higher than the HPLC results. The aca Star results for these specimens were comparable to the HPLC results. Although fosphenytoin can cross-react with phenytoin immunoassays, no fosphenytoin was detected by a sensitive HPLC method in any sample that was tested for its presence. CONCLUSION: These results are consistent with the formation of one or more novel metabolites or adducts of fosphenytoin that accumulate in some critically ill patients with renal insufficiency and that display significant cross-reactivity with some, but not all, phenytoin immunoassay methods. ( info)

5/274. Living donor liver transplantation in critically ill children.

    From December 1993, St Christopher's Hospital for Children, philadelphia, PA, USA has provided living donors the opportunity to donate a portion of their liver to children who are critically ill. This report evaluates the results of living donor liver transplants (LDLT) in critically ill children. We retrospectively reviewed the first 22 LDLT at our institution and compared the patient and graft survival of the nine critically ill children with the 13 stable children. Twenty-two LDLT have been performed at our institution between December 1993 and October 1997. Nine of 22 transplants [United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Status I] were performed in children who were critically ill. Thirteen of the LDLT (UNOS Status II and III) were performed on stable children either in the hospital or admitted electively from home. The median weight and age at the time of transplant were 7 kg (range 4.6-54.5 kg) and 16 months (range 3 months-12 yr), respectively, and there was no statistical difference between the two groups. In critically ill children the 1-yr allograft and patient survival was 66% and 89%, respectively, exceeding the published results from UNOS for patients on life support (59.5% graft and 69.7% patient survival at 1 yr). One-yr allograft and patient survival in the stable children was 92.3% and 100%, respectively. All living donors are alive and well with normal liver function. In conclusion, our results show that LDLT is a viable approach for transplantation in critically ill children with liver failure and should be offered to potential donors. ( info)

6/274. anorexia nervosa with severe liver dysfunction and subsequent critical complications.

    A twenty-year-old woman with anorexia nervosa (body mass index=11) suffered from severe liver dysfunction (aspartate aminotransferase 5,000 IU/l, alanine aminotransferase 3,980 IU/l, prothrombin time 32%), hypoglycemia (serum glucose 27 mg/dl), and pancreatic dysfunction (amylase 820 IU/l, lipase 558 IU/l). She fell into a depressive state with irritability, which was not improved by intravenous glucose. Despite treatment with plasmapheresis for the liver dysfunction, she subsequently developed pulmonary edema, acute renal failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. Hemodialysis, mechanical ventilation and drug therapy including prednisolone, prostaglandin E1, and branched-chain amino acid, improved her critical condition. In this case, malnutrition may have been the cause for the liver dysfunction and subsequent complications. ( info)

7/274. Severe non-infectious circulatory shock related to hypopituitarism.

    The authors report a case of refractory non-infectious circulatory shock with catecholamine and massive fluid loading-resistant features related to hypopituitarism. A 76-year-old man was admitted for shock after suffering from gastroenteritis for 3 days. He was pale and had sparse axillary and pubic hair and small testes. Right catheterization showed shock with low preload pressure and a low oxygen extraction ratio relevant for septic shock. Ultrasound tomography revealed a distended gallbladder due to a stone without peritoneal effusion. A non-inflammatory hydrops of the gallbladder was removed surgically. No microorganism was isolated. Cerebral computed tomography (CT) scan showed a pituitary mass. In the post-surgical period the shock became uncontrollable. Cortisol replacement therapy was instituted and clinical and hemodynamic improvement occurred after 2 h. Hormonal screening on admission before catecholamine administration showed a major decrease in all the hypothalamic-pituitary hormone concentrations. The patient died on day 15 with multiple organ failure. hypopituitarism, probably owing to pituitary adenoma, was the only disease identified in this case. hormone replacement therapy dramatically improved the clinical and hemodynamic status, although the role of an abdominal sepsis could not be eliminated. Arguments that pituitary hormone deficiency might increase the hemodynamic consequences of adrenal deficiency are discussed. ( info)

8/274. A case of Capgras delusion following critical illness.

    hallucinations and paranoid delusions are recognised complications of critical illness. However, the occurrence of capgras syndrome, in response to critical illness, where patients are convinced that doubles have replaced close family has not been described in the literature. There have been isolated case histories in the literature in response to medical procedures or illness but mostly in patients suffering from schizophrenia. A 42 year old woman was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with pneumonia, following extensive surgery for a squamous cell carcinoma, secondary to Crohns disease. She had no history of previous head injury, cerebro-vascular problems or psychiatric disorder. She reported having memories of all her family, with the exception of her mother, being replaced by aliens while she was on the ICU. The delusion was only diagnosed once it had resolved and the patient was able to talk, and this highlights the difficulty of diagnosing delusions while patients are still intubated and unable to verbalise their concerns. It has been suggested that a defect in the ability to recognise the emotional significance of the face lies at the root of capgras syndrome. ( info)

9/274. Polyarticular heterotopic ossification complicating critical illness.

    A patient with generalized heterotopic ossification (HO) complicating critical illness due to necrotizing pancreatitis is described; data on two other cases with HO are briefly presented. The clinical features, prevention and therapy of HO are discussed. The effect of surgical therapy of the HO in our three patients was good. ( info)

10/274. Complications from supervised mask use in post-operative surgical patients during the gulf war.

    This is a report of three patients in a surgical ward of a hospital who developed complications seemingly related to the use of full-face-fitting masks associated with the first Scud Missile attack on israel during the gulf war. Patient 1 developed atrial fibrillation with an uncontrolled ventricular rate; Patient 2 redeveloped a gastrointestinal hemorrhage; and Patient 3 developed a severe anxiety attack. Each of the three was severely ill prior to the event. Special attention should be given to severely ill patients during such events. ( info)
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