Using a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship for critical care research – Applications open for 2018

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by Joanne McPeake

In 2011, I was a Staff Nurse in critical care in Glasgow, and a Lecturer Practitioner at the University of Glasgow. I first heard about the Travelling Fellowships through a list of openings advertised by the university. I felt that this could be a fantastic opportunity for me so I decided to apply. I was elated when I found out my application had been successful. I discovered after the interview that about 1,000 people had applied, so I definitely didn’t expect to be chosen!

For my Fellowship, I went to the USA for four weeks. The broad aims of my project were to look at how to improve outcomes for patients recovering from a period of critical illness. I visited several Intensive Care Units (ICUs), exploring the use of various techniques to improve short and long-term outcomes for patients.

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The 2nd Sprint National Anaesthesia Project

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by Danny Wong

The 2nd Sprint National Anaesthesia Project: Epidemiology of Critical Care provision after Surgery (SNAP-2: EpiCCS)

The SNAPs are short, sharp, point prevalence studies conducted by the National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia Health Services Research Centre of perioperative practice in the UK. SNAP-1 was a study into postoperative patient reported outcome measures, and was recently published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia. SNAP-2 will involve Continue reading “The 2nd Sprint National Anaesthesia Project”

Jottings from JICS: Prolonging the life of arterial lines – Finding the right solution.

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by Jeremy Groves, Consultant in Anaesthesia and Critical Care

It is disheartening for all concerned when an arterial line stops working.  The patient’s monitoring is compromised, re-siting a line takes up both medical and nursing time and it always seems to happen in the patient who is either desperately ill, or has such a poor arterial tree that the wire won’t thread.

An intervention that prolongs the life of a line must be a good thing Continue reading “Jottings from JICS: Prolonging the life of arterial lines – Finding the right solution.”

Neil Smith on his research into decision making in the ICU [Interview]

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Alfred Long, ICS Communications Officer

Neil Smith, the recipient of the 2014 Nurse and AHP Foundation Fellowship Award, speaks about his research on decision making in ICUs. He is currently working at Hull Royal Infirmary whilst pursuing a PhD at the University of Hull.

Neil’s study looks into individual decision making in the use of Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT). Continue reading “Neil Smith on his research into decision making in the ICU [Interview]”

Levosimendan did not reduce organ dysfunction or mortality in septic shock

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Helle Sorensen, Communications Officer

LEoPARDS results published. A trial published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that adding levosimendan to standard care did not reduce organ dysfunction or mortality in adult patients with septic shock.

LeoPARDS (The Levosimendan for the Prevention of Acute Organ Dysfunction in Sepsis) was designed to test whether levosimendan, when added to standard treatment, could reduce organ dysfunction in septic shock. It recruited patients from 34 ICUs in the UK.

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“A patient told me he had memories of his family hanging from the ceiling” [Interview]

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Helle Sorensen, Communications Officer

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Helle Svenningsen, Researcher, VIA University College, Denmark

New findings on patients’ memories after ICU stay. People remember all sorts of things. Helle Svenningsen, Researcher at the Center in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation at VIA University College in Denmark, remembers vividly the conversation that prompted her to embark on a PhD in delirium:

“It was 2004 when I worked as a critical care nurse. While trying to talk to a patient about his illness, he kept going off track. He talked about his experiences of delirium. I became aware of my own frustration and suddenly realised that perhaps there was a reason he kept returning to these memories, that perhaps I was not really asking the right questions”.

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How to predict delirium?

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Jeremy Groves, Consultant Anaesthesia and Intensive Care

Picks from JICS. Judging by the comments I get from patients on my follow up rounds, delirium can be a terrifying experience.  It can also lead to anxiety and guilt when orientation returns.  Perception by delirious patients can include believing that the staff are ‘secret police’ with malign intent, or aliens who have invaded the critical care unit to snatch souls, which are frightening for the individuals concerned and present a challenge for staff to manage.

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