EMCrit Podcast 22 – Non-Invasive Severe Sepsis Care

Young patient, lactate of 5.2, pneumonia… You know what you’re supposed to do–put in the central line and start early goal directed therapy. Problem is, most people can’t see sticking a central line in a patient that does not need pressors and otherwise looks well. Yet these patient have an annoying habit of going on to decompensate and perish. Well now there may be another way. Thanks to an article just published in JAMA, we may have a path to non-invasive treatment of severe sepsis. In this EMCrit Podcast, I interview Dr. Alan E. Jones, author of the article, Lactate clearance vs central venous oxygen saturation as goals of early sepsis therapy: a randomized clinical trial. Then I discuss how this article changes the game when it comes to caring for severe sepsis patients.

First, here is the article:

[PubMed]

Dr. Alan Jones was the lead author. He and his co-authors from the EMShockNet, designed a 300-patient randomized, controlled trial in 3 academic emergency departments. Patients were adults with essentially the same entry criteria as the original EGDT study. Both groups received the EGDT protocol except one group got continuous ScvO2 monitoring while the other group got serial lactates. Either serial normal lactates (<2 mmol/L) or a decrease in lactate of greater than or equal to 10% was considered equivalent to an ScvO2 > 70. Lactates that were rising or had cleared < 10% were considered equivalent to ScvO2 < 70. Mortality trended towards a higher rate in the ScvO2 group, but by the predetermined trial parameters, both arms were considered equivalent.

I got a chance to interview Dr. Jones and we talked about the following points:

  1. Though the trial did not specifically test this strategy, the purpose of the study was to find a path to non-invasive care of severe sepsis.
  2. Only 10% of the patients in either arm required blood transfusions or inotropes
  3. In young patients, in certain clinical scenarios, we might move to inotropes before blood, in the Hb 7-10 range.

In addition, Dr. Jones mentioned that in an upcoming preplanned sub-analysis we’ll actually get to see if the lactate clearance values and ScvO2 correlated.

I then go on to discuss how this article allows a non-invasive path to managing the young pt with severe sepsis. Let’s say we have that young pneumonia patient with a lactate of 5.2

  • First, give 2L of the crystalloid of your choice
  • Make sure that the SaO2 is > 90%
  • Then check the IVC non-invasively with ultrasound.
  • IVC < 1.5 cm and has a > 50% collapse with deep inhalation, give more fluid.
  • IVC > 1.5 cm and very little collapse, move on
  • Confirm that the MAP is still >65, if not then place a central line and do standard EGDT
  • Check a repeat lactate. If it cleared ? 10%, then you’re done
  • If it hasn’t transfuse if Hb < 7.
  • Give inotropes if Hb > 10 or signs of poor heart function on echo
  • Hb 7-10, use your judgment
  • Keep trending the lactate
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EMCrit Podcast 18 – The Infamous Awake Intubation Video

This post marks the return of the Awake Intubation Video. If you’ve seen it, we will have a brand new post early next week. If you haven’t, well you are in for a treat:

Awake Intubation can save your butt!

It requires forethought and humility–you must be able to say to yourself, “I am not sure I will be able to successfully intubate this patient.” However, the payoff for this thought process is enormous. You can attempt an intubation on a difficult airway with very few downsides. If you get it, you look like a star, if you don’t you have not made the situation worse.

Two of my critical care resident specialists, Raghu Seethala and Xun Zhong, volunteered to intubate each other awake. The purpose of this was to let them gain experience, understand what their patients would feel during the procedure, and to prove that awake intubation can be done without complicated nerve block injections or fragile equipment, such as a bronchoscope.

Click Here to Download the Video

Look for this area in the lower right of the screen

Here is the procedure for ED Awake Intubation–EMCrit Style:

DRY THEM OUT & PRETREAT GAG(Do All)

If you can give it early 10-15 min before topicalizing, it will be most effective.

  • Glycopyrolate: 0.2 mg IVP (No central effects – does not cross BBB. You can use atropine, but more side effects are possible)
  • Suction and then pad mouth dry with gauze – you want the mouth very dry!
  • Adminster Odansetron 4mg IV to blunt the gag-reflex

TOPICALIZE (Do All)

  • 5 cc of 4% lidocaine nebulized @ 5 liters per min
  • Gargle with viscous lidocaine (4% best, 2% ok). Place a blob (~3 cc) on a tongue depressor, put it in the back of the throat and have the patient gargle and then spit
  • Spray the epiglottis, cords, and trachea with 4% lidocaine (3 cc) in a Mucosal Atomizer Device (MAD). The patient will cough during this spraying, wear eye/face protection
  • Have another syringe loaded with 4% lidocaine to spray with during the procedure

Note: the systemic and pulmonary absorption from this method is quite low. The only place to watch out is spraying the trachea. I would not spray more than 2-3 cc down the ol’ windpipe.

SEDATE (Choose one!)

  • Ketamine and propofol in the same syringe makes Ketofol. The classic mix is 50 mg of ketamine to make 5 cc and 50 mg of propofol to make 5 cc. Put these both in a 10 cc syringe and shake. Depending on the patient’s hemodynamics, I sometimes will use more ketamine (75% instead of 50%). Give 1-2 cc every minute until you have the patient relaxed, but still breathing and arousable.
  • Ketamine alone also works just fine. Start with 20 mg and give 10 mg every minute or so.
  • If you have it, Dexmedetomidine also works very well as long as your patient is not bradycardic.
  • If you have neither of these 2 mg of midazolam will do just fine.
  • Preoxygenate with NRB

  • Optimally position (ear to sternal notch) with the head tilted all the way back

  • Restrain both arms with soft restraints to prevent the “grabbies”

  • Switch to nasal cannula

  • INTUBATE with Fiberoptic laryngoscope and bougie

  • If the patient coughs or is uncomfortable after placing the bougie through the cords, push more med from the ketofol syringe.

  • Thread  the tube over the bougie with the laryngoscope still in the mouth

  • Confirm tube placement

That’s all for this week

For more info on awake ED intubation, you can view a complete lecture here

Thanks to Raghu and Xun for risking their singing careers and to Jimmy & Anita for technical support. *
The opinions on this site and in the video represent the author’s and not the opinions or policies of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine or Elmhurst Hospital Center. It is not my intention to provide specific medical advice for any individual patient. Please confirm anything on this video with your own clinical judgment and the policies and procedures of your institution. This video is for education purposes only; it does not represent a standard of care or clinical advice.

EMCrit Podcast 4 – Awake Intubation

The video for this lecture is up at this link.

Awake intubation can save your butt.

It requires forethought and humility–you must be able to say to yourself, “I am not sure I will be able to successfully intubate this patient.” However, the payoff for this thought process is enormous. You can try an intubation in the ED with very few downsides. If you get it, you look like a star, if you don’t you have not made the situation worse.

Two of my critical care resident specialists, Raghu Seethala and Xun Zhong, volunteered to intubate each other awake. The purpose of this was to let them gain experience, understand what their patients would feel during the procedure, and to prove that awake intubation can be done without complicated nerve block injections or fragile equipment, such as a bronchoscope.

Here is the procedure for ED Awake Intubation–EMCrit Style:

DRY THEM OUT (Do All)

If you can give it early 10-15 min before topicalizing, it will be most effective.

  • Glycopyrolate: 0.2 mg IVP (No central effects – does not cross BBB. You can use atropine, but more side effects are possible)
  • Suction and then pad mouth dry with gauze – you want the mouth very dry!

TOPICALIZE (Do All)

  • 5 cc of 4% lidocaine nebulized @ 5 liters per min
  • Gargle with viscous lidocaine (4% best, 2% ok). Place a blob (~3 cc) on a tongue depressor, put it in the back of the throat and have the patient gargle and then spit
  • Spray the epiglottis, cords, and trachea with 4% lidocaine (3 cc) in a Mucosal Atomizer Device (MAD). The patient will cough during this spraying, wear eye/face protection
  • Have another syringe loaded with 4% lidocaine to spray with during the procedure

Note: the systemic and pulmonary absorption from this method is quite low. The only place to watch out is spraying the trachea. I would not spray more than 2-3 cc down the ol’ windpipe.

SEDATE (Choose one!)

  • Ketamine and propofol in the same syringe makes Ketofol. The classic mix is 50 mg of ketamine to make 5 cc and 50 mg of propofol to make 5 cc. Put these both in a 10 cc syringe and shake. Depending on the patient’s hemodynamics, I sometimes will use more ketamine (75% instead of 50%). Give 1-2 cc every minute until you have the patient relaxed, but still breathing and arousable.
  • Ketamine alone also works just fine. Start with 20 mg and give 10 mg every minute or so.
  • If you have it, Dexmedetomidine also works very well as long as your patient is not bradycardic.
  • If you have neither of these 2 mg of midazolam will do just fine.
  • Preoxygenate with NRB

  • Optimally position (ear to sternal notch) with the head tilted all the way back

  • Restrain both arms with soft restraints to prevent the “grabbies”

  • Switch to nasal cannula

  • INTUBATE with Fiberoptic laryngoscope and bougie

  • If the patient coughs or is uncomfortable after placing the bougie through the cords, push the remainder of the ketofol syringe.

  • Thread  the tube over the bougie with the laryngoscope still in the mouth

  • Confirm tube placement

That’s all for this week

For more info on awake ED intubation, you can view a complete lecture here

Thanks to Raghu and Xun for risking their singing careers and to Jimmy & Anita for technical support. *
The opinions on this site and in the video represent the author’s and not the opinions or policies of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine or Elmhurst Hospital Center. It is not my intention to provide specific medical advice for any individual patient. Please confirm anything on this video with your own clinical judgment and the policies and procedures of your institution. This video is for education purposes only; it does not represent a standard of care or clinical advice.
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