Critical Care Weekly Pulse Weekly

The Critical Care Weekly Pulse™, a weekly e-news publication packed with career empowerment resources including the latest clinical, industry, and product news, clinical education, market research, and of course, the most recently posted jobs requiring expertise in the critical care nursing and medicine. 

Read the most recent issue of the Critical Care Weekly Pulse™

Receive your own complimentary subscription to the Critical Care Weekly Pulse™

Sign Up Now!


Featured Articles

November 13, 2019

It's the Month of Movember!

This November we are supporting the Movember Foundation in a bid to raise awareness and raise funds for men's mental health, namely prostate cancer, testicular cancer and ill mental health. We lose 60 men to suicide each hour, every hour and the Movember Foundation provides vital funds to help support those who are suffering. Read More

Working Americans Are Getting Less Sleep, Especially Those Who Save Our Lives

If you often hit that midafternoon slump and feel drowsy at your desk, you're not alone. The number of working Americans who get less than seven hours of sleep a night is on the rise. And the people hardest hit when it comes to sleep deprivation are those we depend on the most for our health and safety: police and health care workers, along with those in the transportation field, such as truck drivers.  Read More

New Way of Measuring White Blood Cell Function Offers Better Insights to Help Patients with Sepsis

Caring for a patient with sepsis requires walking a treatment tightrope. Clinicians must identify the pathogen that is causing a patient's infection, carefully monitor the patient's response to antibiotics and supportive measures and race against the clock to prevent potential organ failure and death. Most of the time, physicians can control the infection itself. What ultimately leads to multi-organ system injury and fatality is the patient's immune system's over-exuberant response. Read More

  • November 5, 2019

    It's the Month of Movember!

    This November we are supporting the Movember Foundation in a bid to raise awareness and raise funds for men's mental health, namely prostate cancer, testicular cancer and ill mental health. We lose 60 men to suicide each hour, every hour and the Movember Foundation provides vital funds to help support those who are suffering. Read More

    Immune Cells in Skin Kill MRSA Bacteria Before They Enter the Body

    A type of immune cell called neutrophils could be responsible for controlling bacterial numbers of an antibiotic-resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on human skin before the bacteria get a chance to invade, according to a new study from Karolinska Institutet published in Cell Reports. The results could provide an explanation for why this superbug is only carried transiently by some people. Read More

    AI Outperforms Clinicians' Judgment in Triaging Postoperative Patients for Intensive Care

    Artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of a machine-learned algorithm correctly triaged the vast majority of postoperative patients to the intensive care unit in its first proof-of-concept application in a university hospital setting. The accuracy of this computer-generated algorithm is leading surgeons to envision active use of AI in the real-time acquisition of clinical information from a patient's electronic medical record to more reliably determine whether a patient needs intensive or routine postoperative care. Read More

  • October 29, 2019

    National Experts Recommend Systemic Improvements to Reduce Clinician Burnout

    The demands on a healthcare professional can quickly pile up. Even after visiting patients, performing the necessary care and updating electronic health records, there's administrative work to provide documentation for insurers and public payers and to fulfill regulatory requirements. Long shifts are the norm. Read More

    Current Method of Calculating SSIs Underestimates Rates of Some Procedures

    The current CDC National Healthcare Safety Network method of calculating rates of surgical site infection, or SSI, underestimates the SSI rate in procedures like laminectomies and rectal surgeries that are performed with higher-ranking procedures, researchers found. Read More

    Adrenal Insufficiency Increases ICU Admission, Prolongs Hospital Stay

    Hospitalized adults with primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency are more likely to be admitted to the ICU, be readmitted at 30 days or 1 year, and have a longer overall length of stay when compared with controls, according to findings from a propensity score-matched study published in the European Journal of Endocrinology. Read More

  • October 22, 2019

    No Benefit Found for High-Dose Vitamin C Infusions in Sepsis, ARDS

    Alpha A. Fowler III, M.D., from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, and colleagues randomly assigned 167 patients with sepsis and ARDS present for less than 24 hours in seven medical intensive care units to receive either intravenous infusion of vitamin C or placebo (84 and 83 participants, respectively) every six hours for 96 hours. Read More

    Melatonin May Not Help Prevent Delirium After Heart Surgery

    Delirium is observed in approximately 15% of hospitalised older adults, and it is more common in the critically ill and in those undergoing major surgery, such as heart surgery. Studies have found that blood levels of melatonin, a serotonin-derived hormone, decrease following surgery and are lower in surgical patients who develop delirium. Read More

    Compassion Fatigue When Caring for Dying Patients

    Palliative care is a type of medical care that helps with symptom management from chronic illnesses, and guides discussions around goals of care with patients. This type of decision-making allows the patients to decide on how they would like to proceed with their medical treatment. Sometimes patients decide that hospice care is the best option for them (Hospice care focuses on the comfort of a chronically ill, terminally ill or seriously ill patient’s pain and symptoms, while to their emotional and spiritual needs). Read More

  • October 15, 2019

    New Test Assists Physicians with Quicker Treatment Decisions for Sepsis

    A new test to determine whether antibiotics will be effective against certain bacterial infections is helping physicians make faster and better prescription treatment choices. "Randomized Clinical Trial Evaluating Clinical Impact of RAPid Identification and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing for Gram-Negative Bacteremia (RAPIDS-GN)," is the largest study to evaluate the clinical impact of rapid blood culture diagnostics in the management of patients with Gram-negative bacilli bloodstream infections.  Read More

    Severe Allergic Reactions Identified with Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters

    Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) that use a magnetized tip to guide insertion were associated with serious allergic reactions in patients, according to a study published today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal for the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. Severe adverse reactions occurred in patients within minutes of PICC insertion. Read More

    Happy International Infection Prevention Week!

    Each of us—patients, families, and healthcare personnel—has an important role to play in keeping patients safe from infection. First and foremost, know the basics of infection prevention. Do your part—and hand hygiene is key! Whether you’re in a healthcare facility or in the community, there are things healthcare professionals, patients, and family members can do to stay safe from infections. Read More

  • October 8, 2019

    Some ICU Admissions May Be Preventable, Saving Money and Improving Care

    Many admissions to the intensive care unit may be preventable, potentially decreasing health care costs and improving care, according to new research published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.  Read More

    Study: Personalized Decision Support Affects Intensive Care

    For patients in pediatric intensive care who are at high risk for AKI, giving clinicians automated decision support during the electronic order entry process increased the rate of blood testing for AKI by 9 percent. The study by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center appears in the journal Pediatric Research.  Read More

    Conflicts and Duplications When Applying More Than One Clinical Practice Guideline to a Patient

    Researchers in WMG at the University of Warwick have developed a new method that could solve the problem of how to automate support of managing the complexities of care when applying multiple clinical practice guidelines, to patients with more than one medical issue. Read More

  • October 1, 2019

    3D-Printed Models Can Drop Operating Room Times, Bolster Bottom Line

    Deploying 3D-printed, anatomical patient models and surgical guides has the potential to dramatically drop both time spent in the operating room and healthcare costs. That’s according to a new study published last week in Academic Radiology. Based on a review of several past analyses, researchers estimate that such anatomical models could save more than $3,700 per case by reducing time spent in the OR, and surgical guides could save nearly $1,500.  Read More

    IV Iron Does Not Increase Risk for Infection, Mortality

    Findings published in International Urology and Nephrology suggest that the use of high-dose parenteral iron is not associated with a higher risk for infection, all-cause mortality, increased hospitalization or increased cardiovascular events. According to the study, effective production of red cells and optimization of hemoglobin among patients with end-stage renal disease require continuing monthly iron infusion, but the safety of iron has been extensively debated.   Read More

    Unexpected Microbiome Collapse After Admission to Intensive Care

    Research published in the journal Microbial Genomics assessed how the diversity and makeup of the gut microbiome varied during patients' time in the intensive care unit (ICU). The gut microbiome is the complex community of bacteria and other microbes that reside in the gut, and plays an important role in health and wellbeing. Read More

  • September 24, 2019

    Tailored 'Cell Sheets' to Improve Post-Operative Wound Closing and Healing

    Scientists have designed a new method for post-operative wound closing and healing that is both fast and effective. This strategy revolves around engineered "cell sheets"—or layers of skin-based cells. The procedure culminates in a wound dressing that is custom made for a specific cut or lesion that can be used to effectively treat open skin areas after surgeries.  Read More

    Exercise Physiologists Aid Early Mobilization in ICU Patients

    Exercise physiologists can provide safe and effective early mobilization in intensive care units (ICUs), according to a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Critical Care.  Read More

    Moral Distress and Moral Strength Among Clinicians in Health Care Systems

    Nurse burnout impacts both nurses and patients, and significantly influences the retention of nurses in the healthcare setting, research shows. But could burnout be a symptom of something larger? Read More

  • September 17, 2019

    Focus on the Value, Rewards of Physician-Patient Relationships

    Studies of burnout, depression and dissatisfaction among physicians share one common theme – the problem arises from the environment in which modern medicine is practiced. The studies imply that simply changing the environmental demands of a physician may stave off feelings that the physician no longer practices in a noble profession, but rather just completes daily job requirements. A breakdown of the physician-patient relationship arises from today’s health care system. We are pressured for time and challenged to run a business with decreasing reimbursement offset by strategies to make up for the deficits.  Read More

    Private Patient Rooms May Reduce Rates of Some Infections

    Moving patients from a hospital with mostly ward-type rooms to a new hospital with exclusively private rooms appeared to be associated with a sustained decrease in the rates of new MRSA colonization and vancomycin-resistant enterococci, or VRE, colonization and infection, according to findings published in JAMA Internal Medicine. However, researchers reported that the move was not associated with a reduction in MRSA infection or Clostridioides difficile infection.  Read More

    Current Method of Calculating SSIs is Underestimates Rates of Some Procedures

    Jessica L. Seidelman, MD, MPH, a medical instructor in the division of infectious diseases at Duke University School of Medicine, and colleagues from the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network (DICON) help hospitals submit data to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). “In our process of reviewing SSIs, we realized that hospitals were calculating denominators differently and this prompted us to take a deeper look at SSI denominators,” Seidelman explained to Infectious Disease News. Read More

    Slowing Brain Rhythms Can Serve as a Marker for Delirium and Its Clinical Outcomes

    An EEG (electroencephalogram) can provide a valuable biomarker for detecting delirium, a serious mental disturbance that is often underrecognized, as well as predicting poor clinical outcomes, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have found. In a paper published in Neurology, the team reported that the generalized slowing of brain rhythms were associated with longer patient hospitalizations, worse functional outcomes and increased mortality.  Read More

  • September 11, 2019

    Research Shows 80% Drop in ICU Bloodstream Infections

    Bloodstream infections acquired in UK Intensive Care Units (ICUs) reduced by 80% between 2007 and 2012, according to research funded by the NIHR Guy's and St Thomas' Biomedical Research Centre. The findings are based on data collected from over 1 million patients admitted to 276 NHS adult ICUs across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Read More

    Slowing Brain Rhythms Can Serve as a Marker for Delirium and Its Clinical Outcomes

    An EEG (electroencephalogram) can provide a valuable biomarker for detecting delirium, a serious mental disturbance that is often underrecognized, as well as predicting poor clinical outcomes, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have found. In a paper published in Neurology, the team reported that the generalized slowing of brain rhythms, shown as abnormal theta or delta waveforms on a routine clinical EEG, were associated with longer patient hospitalizations, worse functional outcomes and increased mortality.  Read More

    Compassion Fatigue: When Helping Hurts

    Since I graduated from college, I have worked at non-profits and have had jobs where my goal is to improve the lives of others. For me, I love having jobs where I can help others and I feel like it is what I am here to do. Here’s the thing, though, those of us that work in helping professionals are prone to compassion fatigue. Read More

    More Than 70% of UTIs Are Non-Device Associated

    “Over the past few decades substantial efforts have been made to reduce the incidence of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) in the United States, with great success. However, these interventions mainly focus on the placement, maintenance, removal and properties of indwelling urinary catheters,” Paula D. Strassle, PhD, MSPH, assistant professor in the department of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told Infectious Disease News.  Read More

  • September 4, 2019

    Nurse-Led Quality Initiative Cuts Hypoglycemia in ICU Patients

    Krista E. Shea, M.S.N., from Stamford Hospital in Connecticut, and colleagues conducted real-time analysis of each episode of hypoglycemia (blood glucose level <60 mg/dL) occurring at a 16-bed critical care unit of a university-affiliated teaching hospital. The interdisciplinary team also evaluated patient risk factors and nursing interventions once root cause analysis was incorporated into daily practice.  Read More

    Method to Calculate Central Line Infections Flawed

    Jesse Couk, M.D., from Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues compared CLABSI rates using standard National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) measures (a patient could only have one central line day for a given patient day) to rates accounting for multiple concurrent central lines (number of central lines in one patient in one day count as number of line days). Analysis included all adult patients with central lines at two academic medical centers during an 18-month period.  Read More

    Could Artificial Intelligence Prevent Sepsis in Hospital Patients?

    In the background of all the beeping and gadgetry, an electronic medical record contains thousands of bits of information about your medical history, vital signs and laboratory results. Sentara Healthcare is now deploying artificial intelligence to use that data to stop patients from contracting life-threatening sepsis. Earlier this year the system launched a sepsis prediction tool that alerts doctors and nurses when a patient is at risk of developing the deadly infection.Read More

    Rutgers-Developed Model for ICU Pharmacists Addresses Common Dilemma for Hospitals

    A new team-based model for intensive care unit (ICU) pharmacists, developed by Rutgers and RWJBarnabas Health System, resolves a common dilemma for hospitals and improves care for critically ill patients.Many ICUs include a team of general practice pharmacists, supplemented by one who specializes in critical care.  Read More

  • August 6, 2019

    New AF May Signal Sepsis Onset

    Links between new-onset atrial fibrillation and mortality suggest that the condition may serve as a measure of cardiac dysfunction during sepsis, according to a study published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society. The Sepsis-3 task force defines sepsis as life-threatening organ dysfunction in response to infection, which is evaluated using the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score. Currently, the SOFA score measures cardiac dysfunction using blood pressure and vasopressor dose only.  Read More

    Physician Burnout: Why Legal and Regulatory Systems May Need to Step in

    Electronic health record systems are adding extra pressure to physicians, causing burnout. A career as a physician has traditionally been considered to be among the best vocations that talented students can pursue. That may no longer be the case. All too many doctors report that they are unhappy, frustrated and even prepared to leave the profession. That should worry all of us. The physician burnout crisis is likely to affect our quality of care and our access to health care providers.  Read More

    Detection, Treatment of Dyspnea Inconsistent in ICU

    Although the prevalence of dyspnea was at least as high as that of pain, the detection and treatment of moderate to severe dyspnea were more inconsistent than for pain among critically ill patients in the ICU, according to data published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. This study was undertaken as a result of concerns harbored by directors of the medical ICU at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital about the lack of detection and proper management of dyspnea in the ICU. Read More

    The Dangers of Restraining Someone With Dementia

    Because dementia can trigger some challenging behaviors such as aggression and catastrophic reactions, restraints have been used at times in the past to help prevent injuries to that person or others around them. Fortunately, as a society and medical community, we've become more aware of the anxieties and agitation that restraints produce, as well as the increased risk of injuries with their use. In facilities, restraint use now is extremely limited.  Read More

  • July 2, 2019

    Acupuncture Training May Lessen Burnout Symptoms

    Researchers found a link between acupuncture training and decreased physician depersonalization, according to findings reported in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. “Primary care physicians seek to practice acupuncture as a way to provide options for their patients, to focus on patients’ whole-person health, and to expand their knowledge and skills,” Paul F. Crawford III, MD, of the department of family medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Services, and colleagues wrote.  Read More

    Deep Learning Can Make Reliable Coma Outcome Prediction

    After cardiac arrest and resuscitation, part of the patients will be in a coma and treated at an intensive care unit. Their prospects are uncertain. What is needed to get an outcome prediction that is reliable? Researchers of the University of Twente and the 'Medisch Spectrum Twente' hospital, both in Enschede, The Netherlands, developed a learning network that is capable of interpreting EEG-patterns. It can make a reliable outcome prediction, and thus forms a valuable extra source of information. The researcher present their approach in Critical Care Medicine journal. In The Netherlands, about one third of the people that had a cardiac arrest followed by resuscitation, will have to be treated at the ICU. These patients, about 7000 each year, are in a coma. More than half of them will not regain consciousness.  Read More

    A Hidden Truth: Hospital Faucets Are Often Home to Slime and Biofilm

    Sinks and faucets tested at the University of Michigan Health System revealed slime and biofilm.Hand hygiene is a critical component of infection prevention in hospitals, but the unintended consequences include water splashing out of a sink to spread contaminants from dirty faucets according to new research presented last week in Philadelphia at the 46th Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). Read More

    Penn Finds a Way to Reduce ICU Doctor Burnout

    Cutting the length of rotations in medical intensive care units in half also cut rates of physician burnout in half while additionally improving feelings of fulfillment, according to a new pilot study from Penn Medicine.The results were strong enough that Penn has changed rotations for critical-care doctors on its medical intensive care units (MICUs) at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, and Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center.   Read More