Conference Highlight: Society of Critical Care Medicine

New research presented at the 40th annual congress of the Society of Critical Care Medicine from January 15-19, 2011 in San Diego addressed important issues in the management of critically ill and injured patients. The features below highlight just some of the studies that emerged from the congress. Characterizing Pediatric CNS Hospitalizations Early Metabolic Crisis Common After TBI The Elderly Receive Unnecessary Prescriptions After ICU Discharge  Characterizing Pediatric CNS Hospitalizations The Particulars: Children with acute disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) are at risk of substantial morbidity and mortality. Previous research has found that 65% of deaths in children who die in the ICU were associated with acute CNS injuries. Among children who were previously healthy and later died, 96% of deaths have been associated with CNS injuries. Data Breakdown: A retrospective study sought to determine the volume and outcomes of hospitalized children with acute CNS disorders. After assessing 960,000 admissions for children aged 29 days to 19 years, non-traumatic disorders accounted for 79.7% of the admissions. The most common specific disorders were seizures (60.1%) and mild traumatic brain injury (19.2%). Children with acute CNS disorders received intensive care almost three times as often, were mechanically ventilated almost seven times as often, and died more than eight times as often as other hospitalized children. Take Home Pearls: Children with acute CNS disorders appear to be seen in hospital ICUs more often and have higher in-hospital mortality than children seen for other reasons. Early Metabolic Crisis Common After TBI [back to top] The Particulars: Previous research has suggested that metabolic crisis occurs frequently after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Little...