Intensive care unit (ICU) patients are often prescribed systemic corticosteroids for a wide variety of indications, including chronic obstructive lung disease and multiple trauma injuries. To assess the characteristics and outcomes of patients with ICU-acquired pneumonia that received steroids, Ranzani and colleagues performed a prospective observational study at a major university teaching hospital in Barcelona, […]

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In the 2011 recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Infectious Diseases Society of America, avoidance of the femoral vein for central venous access is listed as a class 1A recommendation for the prevention of catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBIs). In the August issue of Critical Care Medicine, Marik and colleagues conduct […]

Based on the results of several small trials, the safety of colloid solutions containing high-molecular-weight hydroxyethyl starch (HES) has been questioned in patients with severe sepsis. In the July 12 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, Perner and investigators from the 6S Trial Group and the Scandinavian Critical Care Trials Group reported the […]

Combination empirical antimicrobial therapy, including agents that target Gram-negative bacteria, have been reported to lower mortality and morbidity in patients with severe sepsis. Investigators from the German-based SepNet trials group performed a randomized, open-label, parallel-group study to compare the effect of combination therapy with meropenem and moxifloxacin (combination therapy) versus meropenem alone (monotherapy) for empirical […]

Since the 1994 American-European Consensus Conference (AECC), the definition for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) has been widely used in both clinical practice and applied research. As all critical care practitioners are aware, however, the AECC definition has several problems.  For example, the term acute is ambiguous, the oxygenation criteria can be confounded by positive […]

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