Showing posts with label sepsis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sepsis. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Lactic Acidosis has a WIDE Differential (not just Sepsis)

There's a pendulum in medicine. Some things are over recognized and aggressively treated, some things are under appreciated (like subtle decreases in serum bicarb showing that the patient is becoming more acidotic and no one notices because the patient has obesity hypoventilation syndrome and their baseline bicarb is 34 and now has a bicarb of 22 and they look like poop).

At this time, all the rage is serum lactate and lactic acidosis. Every time someone says those words, with my biochemistry knowledge lagging far behind, everyone thinks "SEPSIS!! 30cc/kg IVF STAT!!!!" If you all knew how much this upsets me whenever I see it, you'd wonder how I'm still alive because I see it all the time. I bet you see it at your shop, too. It's very common because the pendulum has swung too far.

In order to correct this, I have embarked on discussing this topic ad nauseum in one of my lectures for Hawaii/Portland in 2020. The article linked below from the New England Journal of Medicine has a table that has been reproduced in many different forms. I will not break down the pathophysiology of each one of the etiologies, but I have been called for an ICU transfer for MANY of these.

Here are some examples where I have been called over the years where patients have received 30cc/kg of saline w/stable vital signs:
1. COPD patient receiving albuterol nebs. Lactic acid elevated because they're A. huffing and puffing, and B. receiving beta-2 agonists.
2. s/p seizure patients who are post-ictal
3. hypoglycemic diabetics
4. leukemia patients just watching TV
5. cocaine/chest pain patients in the ED
6. cardiogenic shock patients on an epinephrine gtt
7. HIV pt on Stauvidine (I should have written this one up)

I'm obviously not getting into the different subgroups of lactic acidosis at this time. Let's walk together before we run. Our job is to fix the underlying cause of the lactic acidosis, not dilute the number down with fluids.

-EJ




Link to Abstract

Although great care has been taken to ensure that the information in this post is accurate, eddyjoemd, LLC shall not be held responsible or in any way liable for the continued accuracy of the information, or for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies, or for any consequences arising therefrom.

The primary source of compensation I receive for this page and Instagram work is via Amazon Affiliates. All this free education you receive is much out of the kindness of my heart but I also like to receive a check every month from Affiliate Marketing. No one likes to work for free. The best part is that it's of no cost to you. Here's how it works.

You click on the link for Will Owens' awesome ventilator book here: https://amzn.to/2myFxYm and whether or not you purchase the book I receive a small commission for whatever you buy on Amazon for the next 24 hours at no cost to you. For every copy of the Ventilator book people have bought off of my affiliate links, for example, I have earned $0.85. I know it's not big money but it helps motivate me to keep on plugging along doing this heavy lifting in Critical Care. Thank you for supporting my work!
- My Amazon Store


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Lactate is an Alarm, not a Treatment.

I need to eat my words on this one, because now there's data to show that there's a benefit to rechecking lactate levels in septic patients, but not for the reasons why one would think.

During my rounds over the course of the weekend, I recall telling several nurses that there's no data to suggest that trending lactates changes outcomes. This study, which came out last night, tells me I was wrong in saying that. A close examination of the data will show that it has nothing to do with the lactate itself, but rather the fact that the clinicians are prompted to "do something" in response to a number that makes us uncomfortable.

Okay, so the lactic acid is elevated. You're going to do one or two or all three of the following:
a. start vasopressors
b. start antibiotics
c. give more fluids

That's the kicker, we don't know which of those interventions, or combination of which, are what decreased mortality. Maybe it just means that someone gave these patients more attention. It certainly just wasn't the "checking the lactate" part. Lactate is just an alarm of sorts, we still need to be clinicians. I will suggest, though, that earlier initiation of antibiotics plays the most important role in decreasing mortality as there's already data suggesting that earlier antibiotics leads to improved outcomes. I personally start vasopressors pretty early and will share data in the upcoming weeks as to why I do that in my practice. Giving more fluids is only useful if the patients is fluid responsive, you know, if you can prove that giving that fluid will increase the cardiac index/output or increase the stroke volume. Giving fluids just to make the blood pressure go up arbitrarily is just plain dumb. It's 2019. We're better than that.

Ultimately, early lactate measurement did not improve outcomes, nurses relaying the information to the doctors, ARNP's, or PA's did.

-EJ



Link to FULL FREE PDF

Although great care has been taken to ensure that the information in this post is accurate, eddyjoemd, LLC shall not be held responsible or in any way liable for the continued accuracy of the information, or for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies, or for any consequences arising therefrom.

The primary source of compensation I receive for this page and Instagram work is via Amazon Affiliates. All this free education you receive is much out of the kindness of my heart but I also like to receive a check every month from Affiliate Marketing. No one likes to work for free. The best part is that it's of no cost to you. Here's how it works.

You click on the link for Will Owens' awesome ventilator book here: https://amzn.to/2myFxYm and whether or not you purchase the book I receive a small commission for whatever you buy on Amazon for the next 24 hours at no cost to you. For every copy of the Ventilator book people have bought off of my affiliate links, for example, I have earned $0.85. I know it's not big money but it helps motivate me to keep on plugging along doing this heavy lifting in Critical Care. Thank you for supporting my work!
- My Amazon Store

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Thiamine and Renal Failure in Septic Shock Patients

Every possible option to decreased morbidity, mortality, and costs are worth looking at in my book. The study that I am reviewing at this moment was published in 2017. I am ashamed that I had not run into it until today. It's challenging to stay up to date in everything. I digress.

Some would quickly bash this study for it being small (n=70) and a post-hoc secondary analysis of a pilot study. I am not going to do that. Why not? Well first of all, I do not participate in research myself. Just reading and enjoying these studies. Also, thiamine has no side effects described in the literature. Third, it is an inexpensive medication. Fourth, if it does turn out to decrease the incidence of acute kidney injury and the need for renal replacement therapy, aren't you going to feel guilty for not adopting these strategies for your patients? I hate resorting to that but my responsibility is for patients. What happens if this data is wrong? Nothing. What happens if this data is right and no one does anything for several years? Many patients may suffer.


This article is completely free and I encourage you to download it and read it for yourself. Amongst the points illustrated by the authors, they mention that it's not only perfusion that injures the kidneys during sepsis. There are other factors listed in the article. The way that it is postulated that thiamine works for these patients is by assisting in the mitochondrial dysfunction. Data that I have found not listed in this article shows that thiamine deficiency could have an incidence between 20-70% of critically ill patients. 

What they found was 21% of the patients in the placebo arm of the trial went on to need dialysis. Just one patient, or 3% in the thiamine group went on to require this. The authors note that acidosis was the primary indication for dialysis in 66% of the patients who required it. I personally would like to dig deeper into these numbers as there is some data that thiamine administration helps decrease lactic acidosis. 

This data should make you wonder if the strategy that many clinicians take of providing more IV fluids to patients whose renal function deteriorates is the correct strategy. Are we going to look in the mirror in a decade and want to punch our past selves in the face?   

- EJ






Link to Abstract


Link to Full Article

ADDENDUM: The prospective RCT is going to be completed in July 2022. Here is the link to clinicaltrials.gov's study details here: LINK

Moskowitz A, Andersen LW, Cocchi MN, Karlsson M, Patel PV, Donnino MW. Thiamine as a renal protective agent in septic shock. A secondary analysis of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Anns Am Thorac Soc. 2017;14(5):737–41.

Although great care has been taken to ensure that the information in this post is accurate, eddyjoemd, LLC shall not be held responsible or in any way liable for the continued accuracy of the information, or for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies, or for any consequences arising therefrom.

The primary source of compensation I receive for this page and Instagram work is via Amazon Affiliates. All this free education you receive is much out of the kindness of my heart but I also like to receive a check every month from Affiliate Marketing. No one likes to work for free. The best part is that it's of no cost to you. Here's how it works.

You click on the link for Will Owens' awesome ventilator book here: https://amzn.to/2myFxYm and whether or not you purchase the book I receive a small commission for whatever you buy on Amazon for the next 24 hours at no cost to you. For every copy of the Ventilator book people have bought off of my affiliate links, for example, I have earned $0.85. I know it's not big money but it helps motivate me to keep on plugging along doing this heavy lifting in Critical Care. Thank you for supporting my work!
- My Amazon Store

Thiamine, Ascorbic Acid and Corticosteroids: The Mechanisms by which they should help in Sepsis

Want some nerdy stuff? Well this is some nerdy stuff! I'm taking a nice deep look at this figure. I am not going to lie to you at this moment, October 19th, and tell you I know what all this means, because I don't. But people who are more intelligent that I am have suggested that these are the mechanisms by which thiamine, ascorbic acid, and corticosteroids should help in the treatment of septic patients. I have a lot to learn.

I hope I don't get dinged for copyright stuff but honestly if this offends you, let me know. I will take it down. I will likely go deeper into this article at a later time. Wanted to share this image with you right now, though.





Link to Abstract

Link to FREE FULL Article

Moskowitz, A.; Andersen, L.W.; Huang, D.T.; Berg, K.M.; Grossestreuer, A.V.; Marik, P.E.; Sherwin, R.L.; Hou, P.C.; Becker, L.B.; Cocchi, M.N.; et al. Ascorbic acid, corticosteroids, and thiamine in sepsis: A review of the biologic rationale and the present state of clinical evaluation. Crit. Care 2018, 22, 283.

Although great care has been taken to ensure that the information in this post is accurate, eddyjoemd, LLC shall not be held responsible or in any way liable for the continued accuracy of the information, or for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies, or for any consequences arising therefrom.
The primary source of compensation I receive for this page and Instagram work is via Amazon Affiliates. All this free education you receive is much out of the kindness of my heart but I also like to receive a check every month from Affiliate Marketing. No one likes to work for free. The best part is that it's of no cost to you. Here's how it works.

You click on the link for Will Owens' awesome ventilator book here: https://amzn.to/2myFxYm and whether or not you purchase the book I receive a small commission for whatever you buy on Amazon for the next 24 hours at no cost to you. For every copy of the Ventilator book people have bought off of my affiliate links, for example, I have earned $0.85. I know it's not big money but it helps motivate me to keep on plugging along doing this heavy lifting in Critical Care. Thank you for supporting my work!
- My Amazon Store

Thursday, August 15, 2019

The gut microbiome alters immunophenotype and survival from sepsis



Link to Article

I've had very similar patients with very similar infections where one was out of the ICU in a short amount of time and the other died in flames. Many variables in play, of course, but you get my point. Could the gut microbiome hold a key regarding which patients do well and which patients don't? My ignorance on the matter is through the roof and my research made me stumble on this gem of a study. I am usually not a fan of mice studies but they have their place in medicine. Here, they showed how mice with almost genetically identical backgrounds who underwent cecal ligation and puncture to make them septic, and had completely different rates of death. One group obtained from a certain location had a mortality rate of 90% whereas the other group had a mortality rate of 53%. Then they had another group subset where they mixed females of the two groups (bc the males rip each other to shreds) for 3 weeks and then performed the same process. The group with the 90% mortality, after being cohoused, had the same mortality rate as that which had the 53% mortality. That’s absolutely fascinating! Now, the authors admit that there are other factors at play, but they did a ton of fancy genetic and bacterial testing to help explain the differences. I leave it up to them to better explain it. A definite 🎩 tip to them.

-EJ

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Prediction of fluid responsiveness: an update



Link to Article

Link to PDF

If your way of determining whether a patient is fluid responsive or not is to see if the blood pressure went up after giving a bolus, you are doing it WRONG! You need to stop, take a deep breath, and reassess your way of thinking about fluid responsiveness. This (FREE!) article dives into why fluids should not be provided arbitrarily go make us feel good inside and make us feel like we at least "did something" in response to that low mean arterial pressure. No, I do not use SBP and DBP off of the BP cuff in my practice. More on that at another time. This article also goes briefly into why we should not be checking CVP (duh). Bottom line is that we can't accurately predict fluid responsiveness without an arterial line and some sort of device to predict stroke volume, stroke volume variation, cardiac index/output. You could have some really good echo nunchuck skills as well. This study also emphasizes why looking at IVC variations is not the best test. Ultimately, we all need to get better at this, myself included. I feel that this article is particularly important for nurses as you all are the ones who relay the BP concerns to the clinicians essentially ordering the fluids. These three authors are legends of critical care. A real treat that Annals of Intensive Care published this for free.
This article is going to be part of the bibliography for the talk I will be giving in Portland, OR in August of 2020.

-EJ

Monday, July 29, 2019

Ascorbic Acid, Thiamine, and Steroids in Septic Shock: Propensity Matched Analysis


Link to Article


Another day, another Vitamin C article. This one came out just two weeks ago, it’s not free, and the results are a bit strange. There are larger trials in the works. If I were part of the group of these authors, I’d be itchy to get my data out ASAP as well. Just 31 patients in each arm of this trial. Heck, even I could replicate this trial in my 20 bed MSICU if I wanted to over 1.5 years. The problem is that my bias admittedly is for the cocktail to work. I am wide openly admitting that, everyone. I have a bias. I want it to work bc I want my patients to live.  
There are numerous parts of this study that seem strange to me. 
1. the ICU mortality of the control arm is 42%. This number should not be quite as high based on the latest data. That could lead the p-value of 0.004 to be perhaps a bit too small. But considering that they used the same strategies to manage septic shock these pts in both arms, it’s still valid for that institution. 
2. The duration of the vasopressors were longer in the experimental arm. This makes NO sense as Vitamin C is a co-factor in the endogenous creation of catecholamines. Heck, even the authors admitted this was strange. 
3. There was no significant difference in hospital mortality. They probably needed a high n to get this to show a difference. The hospital medicine and palliative teams must be great at getting code status’ changed so that people don’t bounce back to the unit. 
4. Pts did not get off of the ventilator faster. Word on the street is that there’s preliminary data suggesting that it helps this process that just isn’t out yet. Stay tuned. 
Lastly, everyone is worried about renal failure. No difference in AKI here, folks. In fact, I am yet to see one report in any of these trials talking about renal calculi secondary to vitamin C in sepsis. 

What are your thoughts on the matter? Is your shop using this yet? Are you a believer or a skeptic?





Procalcitonin-guided antibiotic treatment in patients with positive blood cultures: A patient-level meta-analysis of randomized trials





Link to Abstract

Oh my good friend, #procalcitonin, we are doing you so wrong. Sometimes we ignore you to stop antibiotics, sometimes we use you inappropriately to differentiate between bacterial and viral infections and end up under treating bacterial infections. I plan on clearing up a bunch of confusion within the next few months but this shall be article one on the subject. This is where I do feel that checking procalcitonin levels is actually useful and now there’s additional data to support it. Trending it to see if you can discontinue antibiotics early, much to the chagrin of some of my #infectiousdisease colleagues, is a place where it is definitely useful. The caveat is that it has to be elevated in the first place. I’m sure we’ve all seen septic patients with a negative procal at this stage of our careers, as frustrating as that may be. Those are the nuisances of these tests that, if employed correctly, will make you one of the Masters of the Universe. Sorry, my nerd brain is on full swing this morning. 

-EJ


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Hyperchloremic Metabolic Acidosis and Acute Kidney Injury

Hyperchloremia and moderate increase in serum chloride are associated with acute kidney injury in severe sepsis and septic shock patients

A lot of the research I do on my own time to be a better doctor includes the simple basics of critical care. I don’t delve too much into the esoteric things bc it doesn’t impact as many lives as what I do on a DAILY basis. That’s the reason why I’m obsessed with fluids and sharing what I’ve learned along the way leading to how my practice has changed. Keep in mind that even LR could lead to an increase in the serum Cl (nl 98-109 and LR has 109mmol/L). I have made a video on YouTube describing the different fluids side by side that I made when I was a fellow. Since then, I have made individual videos covering NS, LR, and Plasma-Lyte. I really hope that some of you are benefitting from these posts. I appreciate the feedback I’ve received. Hat tip to the authors.

-EJ 



Link to Abstract

Link to PDF

Marik Protocol for Septic Shock: Looking at Vitamin C

Hydrocortisone, Ascorbic Acid and Thiamine
(HAT Therapy) for the Treatment of Sepsis. Focus on Ascorbic Acid

Controversies. Controversies. Controversies. I tell you, the behaviors of Intensivists when it comes to king septic patients IV Vitamin C for sepsis are quite perplexing. We had a cheap drug, <$20 a day that MAY help treat sepsis and people don’t even bother to try it out. I know I use it because if it saves lives, why not try? Let’s say that the trials show a mortality benefit, two years have already passed since the first trial. Think of all the additional lives you could have saved but didn’t because your ego was in the damned way. If Marik is wrong, nothing bad happened. But if he’s right, you’re going to beat yourself up.

-EJ 



Link to Abstract

Link to PDF