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Critical Connections Blog

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Literature reviews and articles from thought leaders and experts offer the latest insights into critical care issues and updates on SCCM activities.

Recent Posts

Concise Critical Appraisal: Professional Development Despite ICU Burnout and Staff Shortages
This Concise Critical Appraisal describes two articles that illuminate the associations among the COVID-19 pandemic, clinician well-being, and burnout—an article on the perceptions of critical care shortages, resource use, and clinician well-being and an article comparing the effects of the pandemic among critical care professions.
Posted: 9/14/2022 | 0 comments | Burnout, Concise Critical Appraisal, Professional Development, Staff Shortages

Concise Critical Appraisal: Arginine Therapy in Hospitalized Children With Sickle Cell Anemia
Can arginine supplements improve the hemodynamics of children with severe pain or acute chest syndrome (ACS) related to sickle cell anemia? Although mortality rates in children with sickle cell disease (SCD) have improved over the past decade, ACS and vasoocclusive episodes (VOE) remain relatively common diagnoses in pediatric ICUs. This Concise Critical Appraisal explores an article in which Onalo et al completed the second phase of their work determining the role that L-arginine treatment may play in the cardiopulmonary status of children with SCD and VOE, with or without ACS. In the first phase of their work, the authors demonstrated decreased hospitalization time, decreased opioid use, and the absence of serious adverse events in children with SCD after receiving L-arginine therapy.
Posted: 8/17/2022 | 0 comments | cardiopulmonary, Concise Critical Appraisal, Hemodynamic Support

ICU Liberation Bundle Implementation: Nurses Champion Change as Early Adopters
How can nurses champion change and improve outcomes by implementing the ICU Liberation Bundle (A-F)? Laura S. Maples, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, summarizes how nurses become early adopters of the bundle, focusing on advocacy for their patients’ best outcomes, and advocating for multiprofessional collaboration to successfully implement the elements of the bundle.
Posted: 8/17/2022 | 0 comments | ICU Liberation, ICU Liberation Bundle (A-F), Nurses

SCCM Humanitarian Efforts in Ukraine
The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine has quickly become historic for its magnitude. The conflict has also led to crisis within the Ukrainian healthcare system. Here is how the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) has been helping.
Posted: 7/27/2022 | 0 comments | Disaster, Disaster Response, Ukraine

Concise Critical Appraisal: COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts Burnout Critical Care Professions Differently
The COVID-19 pandemic created a new challenging environment in which healthcare workers must survive. Before the pandemic, healthcare workers experienced burnout due to resource allocation and shortages, mental anguish, and long work hours. The pandemic further exacerbated this situation, creating a new crisis within our already frayed healthcare system. This Concise Critical Appraisal dives into an article published in Critical Care Medicine that reviewed the causes of burnout and the correlation between the COVID-19 pandemic and workplace burnout.
Posted: 7/22/2022 | 0 comments | Burnout, Concise Critical Appraisal, COVID-19

Concise Critical Appraisal: Continued Rise of Venous Thromboembolism Across US Children’s Hospitals
Has the rate of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in children changed over time? A 2009 study reported a 70% increase in VTE in acutely and chronically ill children. The reasons for this increase were not clear but were postulated to be related to improved survival of critically ill children, increased use of central venous catheters, and increased prevalence of adolescent obesity. This Concise Critical Appraisal dives into a 2022 article that sought to determine whether the rate of VTE continued to increase between 2008 and 2019.
Posted: 6/8/2022 | 0 comments | Concise Critical Appraisal, Venous Thromboembolism

Monkeypox Outbreak: Frequently Asked Questions
The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) is monitoring cases of monkeypox in the United States, as well as multiple clusters elsewhere in North America and in Europe. While monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with symptoms lasting two to four weeks, severe cases can occur, so it is important for critical care clinicians to recognize potential monkeypox infections. Visit SCCM’s monkeypox web page for additional details.
Posted: 5/31/2022 | 0 comments | Emergency Response, Monkeypox

Concise Critical Appraisal: Temperature Management After Cardiac Arrest
Recently published guidelines have replaced the recommendations on temperature management after cardiac arrest included in the 2021 post-resuscitation care guidelines co-issued by the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) and the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM). This Concise Critical Appraisal examines the previously reported recommendations and evidence, reviews the ERC-ESICM updated recommendations, and highlights the areas that still lack investigation and clarity.
Posted: 5/10/2022 | 0 comments | Cardiology, Concise Critical Appraisal, Targeted Temperature Management

Best Practices for Mentorship and Burnout Mitigation
More than 75% of healthcare professionals have self-reported burnout as well as increased frustration and feeling overwhelmed at work. Andrea Sikora, PharmD, BCCCP, MSCR, FCCM, discusses what can be done and highlights three recent articles offering recommendations on how to prevent burnout and establish effective mentorship opportunities.
Posted: 4/19/2022 | 0 comments | 2022 Congress, Burnout, Mentorship, Well-Being

AHRQ Releases New Experience-Based Toolkit for Intensive Care Units
The new Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Toolkit for Preventing CLABSI and CAUTI in ICUs offers customizable tools and training resources to help your facility prevent dangerous infections. Its unique design gives users resources to assess current clinical and safety practices, implement a reduction plan, and overcome common cultural and technical challenges in reduction efforts. 
Posted: 4/18/2022 | 0 comments | 2022 Congress, Infection Control

SCCM ICU Heroes: The Love Army
The ICU Heroes Award recognizes that patients and families are an integral part of intensive care unit (ICU) care. The award is given to an ICU patient and family and to the multiprofessional team that delivered the care.
Posted: 4/15/2022 | 0 comments | Awards, COVID-19, Patient and Family

Concise Critical Appraisal: Quality Improvement Intervention on Sleep and Delirium
Does your hospital use a checklist or bundle to minimize risk factors for delirium? Delirium is common in surgical and medical intensive care units (ICUs) and has shown to be associated with longer mechanical ventilation duration and longer ICU and hospital lengths of stay. This Concise Critical Appraisal explores a study that evaluated a multicomponent nonpharmacologic quality improvement intervention aimed at the sleep-wake cycle for reducing delirium in critically ill patients in the surgical critical care setting.
Posted: 4/13/2022 | 0 comments | Concise Critical Appraisal, Delirium

SCCM Demonstrates Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at 2022 Critical Care Congress
The Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) will be on full display at the 2022 Critical Care Congress. Congress will feature a number of sessions that delve deep into DEI topics, offering attendees suggestions for providing equitable care for all patients, as well as advocating for themselves and others in the intensive care unit (ICU).
Posted: 4/7/2022 | 0 comments | 2022 Congress, Diversity

Five Years of Discovery, the Critical Care Research Network
Several years before the COVID-19 pandemic uprooted healthcare worldwide, the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) launched a task force to identify gaps in critical care research and determine how SCCM could address them. Within two years, this effort led to the establishment of Discovery, the Critical Care Research Network, and the timing could not have been more fortuitous.
Posted: 4/7/2022 | 0 comments | Discovery Research Network

2022 Critical Care Congress Plenary: Health System Readiness 2.0
Brendan G. Carr, MD, MA, MS, will address some of the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic and how health systems can prepare during the Peter Safar Memorial Lecture at the 2022 SCCM Congress.
Posted: 3/30/2022 | 0 comments | 2022 Congress, COVID-19, Disaster Preparedness

2022 Critical Care Congress Thought Leaders: Data Science and Critical Care
Matthew Churpek, MD, MPH, PhD, will share the top 10 things he wished someone had told him about clinical predictive modeling as part of the thought leader session Data Science and Critical Care at the 2022 Critical Care Congress.
Posted: 3/15/2022 | 0 comments | 2022 Congress, Data Science, Electronic Health Records

Leapfrog Dashboard Tracking of Postoperative Sepsis: An Opportunity for Quality Improvement
This article describes the new Leapfrog quality metrics and their methodology, focusing on postoperative sepsis identification and the potential impact of dashboard performance tracking moving forward. Critical care professionals routinely encounter patients with sepsis and play an integral role in the formulation and implementation of management plans for postoperative sepsis, making them key participants in this effort.
Posted: 3/10/2022 | 0 comments | Quality, Sepsis

Increased Mental Disorder Diagnoses in Children After Invasive Mechanical Ventilation
This Concise Critical Appraisal highlights an article in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine that sought to determine the association between invasive mechanical ventilation—a known predictor of adverse outcomes in children—and subsequent new neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders after pediatric intensive care unit hospitalization by reviewing Texas Medicaid Analytic eXtract data.
Posted: 3/9/2022 | 0 comments | Concise Critical Appraisal, Mechanical Ventilation, pediatric

An Update on SCCM Relief Efforts in Ukraine
SCCM President Sandra L. Kane-Gill, PharmD, MSc, FCCP, FCCM, provides an update on the SCCM emergency response efforts in Ukraine.
Posted: 3/4/2022 | 0 comments | Disaster Response, Donor Supported, Emergency Response, Message from the President, Ukraine

2022 Critical Care Congress Plenary: What Has COVID-19 Taught Us About ECMO?
Peta M.A. Alexander, MBBS, FRACP, FCICM, will present the Max Harry Weil Memorial Lecture titled, “What Has COVID-19 Taught Us About ECMO?” during SCCM’s 2022 Critical Care Congress.
Posted: 3/3/2022 | 0 comments | 2022 Congress, COVID-19, ECMO

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