Society of Critical Care Medicine, Jan. 21-25

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The Society of Critical Care Medicine's 46th Critical Care Congress

The annual Society of Critical Medicine's Critical Care Congress was held from Jan. 21 to 25 in Honolulu and attracted more than 5,500 participants from around the world, including nurses, pharmacists, physicians, respiratory therapists, students, and other health care practitioners. The conference highlighted recent advances in critical care medicine, with presentations focusing on the management of critically ill patients.

During the conference, a consensus committee of 55 international experts provided updated recommendations for clinicians on the treatment and management of sepsis and septic shock.

"This revision of the guidelines represents more than two years of work for the more than 50 members of the guidelines panel," said Laura Evans, M.D., committee member and associate professor at the New York University School of Medicine in New York City.

While the guideline authors no longer recommend the specific elements of early goal directed therapy, according to Evans, frequent reassessment of volume status, which can be accomplished in multiple ways, is crucial.

"The guideline will help clinicians provide the best treatment possible for patients with severe sepsis and septic shock through guidance on recognition, early therapy, and management, and will ultimately help save many lives," Evans said.

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In addition, evidence-based recommendations were introduced at the conference in an effort to promote family-centered care in the intensive care unit (ICU). According to David Hwang, M.D., of Yale University in New Haven, Conn., family members of those undergoing care in ICU should have access to the patient, be able to participate in their care, and access validated tools to help in decision-making. The new guidelines also support regular family conferences with medical staff to decrease risk of anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress among loved ones. The guidelines and tools are available online for both ICU practitioners, patients, and family members.

"Our hope is that these new guidelines and accompanying tools will not only encourage ICUs across the country to focus on family experiences and communication but also actually help ICU leaders in starting the process of enacting local practice changes," Hwang said in a Yale news release.

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During a panel discussion, physicians and clinical practitioners discussed ethical issues tied to physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia.

"The presentation and the accompanying manuscript sought to contrast perspectives opposing and favoring voluntary euthanasia within an ethical framework. The authors support voluntary euthanasia for a competent patient requesting to end their life after other palliative measures have failed to relieve suffering, and uniformly reject involuntary or non-voluntary euthanasia," said Timothy Buchman, M.D., Ph.D., panel moderator, of the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. "Several states have legalized physician-assisted suicide, as have several other nations. It is a matter of time before a request is made of a contemporary critical care team. The paper will be useful in guiding discussions when they must occur."

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SCCM: Hypothermia No Benefit After Pediatric Cardiac Arrest

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Therapeutic hypothermia is not associated with significant benefit in survival with favorable functional outcome among comatose children who survive in-hospital cardiac arrest, according to a study published online Jan. 24 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the annual Society of Critical Medicine's Critical Care Congress, held from Jan 21 to 25, Honolulu.

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SCCM: Tight Glycemic Control No Benefit in Peds Hyperglycemia

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For critically ill children with hyperglycemia, tight glycemic control is not beneficial, according to a study published online Jan. 24 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the annual Society of Critical Medicine's Critical Care Congress, held from Jan 21 to 25, Honolulu.

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