The deficiency of the natural heart pacemaker, the conduction disturbances and the appearance of arrhythmias are common complications after cardiac surgery. Placement of epicardiac electrodes (ventricular, atrial, or both) during cardiac surgery remains common practice, even though few patients will actually need some kind of temporary epicardiac pacing for various periods of time. Temporary epicardiac pacing may be ventricular, atrial or atrioventricular, depending on the specific features of each patient and it aims at preserving the cardiac rhythm, securing the desired heart rate and achieving an acceptable cardiac output. Temporary epicardiac pacing is not without danger, since, under specific circumstances, it may have a negative impact on the hemodynamics of the patient, to the point of circulatory collapse. It may also cause ventricular tachycardia (R on T phenomenon) and cardiac arrhythmias (if pacing is not synchronized to the heart’s natural pacemaker). Ventricular Pacing and Sensing (VVI) is accomplished by the placement of electrodes only on the ventricles, which a priori means a certain degree of hemodynamic compromise, due to the loss of atrial contribution in preserving cardiac output. In certain occasions, this impact may be even more significant. This case report concerns a patient who underwent Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) and after placement of the electrodes of temporary epicardiac ventricular pacing he presented significant decrease in systemic arterial pressure and the appearance of cannon A waves on central venous pressure (CVP) tracing every time the pacemaker was triggered. These phenomena, which receded after the disconnection of the pacemaker, consists a case of Pacemaker Syndrome.This problem was solved by adjusting the pacemaker’s frequency at a rate lower than that of the patient’s natural pacemaker. Continue reading
Evaluation of monitoring readings, taking into account each patient’s pathology as well as the impact of every medical intervention can guide us to make optimal clinical decisions in the periopeative setting. We present three cases in which clinical decisions concerning the management of acute perioperative pulmonary hypertension were based both on haemodynamic monitoring readings and on each patient’s specific pathology. First case: After anesthesia induction in a patient with severe aortic valve insufficiency, an increase in pulmonary artery pressure was recorded. Infusion of isoprenaline, which has a positive chronotropic effect, decreased diastolic time, diastolic blood flow into the left ventricle and also pulmonary artery pressure. Second case: A patient with severe aortic valve stenosis was found with increased pulmonary artery pressure. Intravenous administration of atenolol (1+1mg) reduced the heart rate and the pulmonary artery pressure. Third case: A 15 year old patient with aortic isthmus rupture underwent open surgical repair with graft interposition. After establishment of one lung ventilation and left thoracotomy, pulmonary artery pressure increased. Pulmonary hypertension was managed successfully by oxygen insufflation to the non-ventilated left lung. In our first patient, heart rate increase reduced diastolic time, which decreased the amount of retrograde blood flow into the left ventricle through the regurgitant aortic valve. In the second patient, the heart rate reduction decreased blood flow velocity through the stenotic aortic valve as well as the pressure gradient between left ventricular chamber and aorta. In both patients, enhanced left ventricular function resulted in a reduction in pulmonary artery pressure. Decrease of the alveolar partial pressure of oxygen (PAO2) is the most important parameter that stimulates hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction. Oxygen insufflation increased PAO2, resulting in a decrease in pulmonary artery pressure .Clinical decisions based on haemodynamic monitoring readings resulted in effective management of pulmonary hypertension and in a good patient outcome. Continue reading
The interaction between increased Intra Abdominal Pressure (IAP) and Intrathoracic Pressure under different Positive End Expiratory Pressure (PEEP) levels is intriguing, since these two conditions coexist frequently in several clinical settings. The aim of our study was to investigate the interaction between different PEEP levels and increased IAP during laparoscopic cholecystectomy. In fifty two patients, who underwent scheduled laparoscopic cholecystectomy, cardiovascular parameters were determined by an Oesophageal Doppler Monitor device during two different time periods, before and after pneumoperitoneum, and under five conditions: (i) PEEP 0 cmH2O (ii) PEEP 5cm H2O (iii) PEEP 10cm H2O (iv) PEEP 15cm H2O and (v) in the absence of PEEP or ventilation. Cardiac output and stroke volume showed a statistically significant decrease compared to the baseline value after the application of different PEEP levels, when there was no pneumoperitoneum (p<0.05). However, both parameters increased, when PEEP and pneumoperitoneum were applied together (p<0.001). Corrected flow time, peak flow velocity in the descending thoracic aorta and mean acceleration showed similar alterations but not at all PEEP levels. Finally, αt the no PEEP or ventilation phase, the negative effects of increased IAP on the cardiocirculatory function were predominant. According to these results, application of PEEP seems to counterbalance the negative hemodynamic effects of increased IAP. Moreover, it could also be concluded that ‘ideal’ PEEP level might be the one that borders the IAP level, since the best cardiac output and stroke volume values were reported at that point. Continue reading
The occurrence of intraoperative oxygenation impairment is common even in healthy individuals and will vary depending on the patient and the type of surgery. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the incidence of oxygenation impairment in patients with normal lung function and to study the safety and efficacy of three different recruitment strategies. Out of a total number of 430 patients, 150 patients developed intraoperative oxygenation impairment, which was defined as the drop of PaO2/FiO2 ratio below 300. These 150 patients were randomly assigned into four study groups according to the recruitment strategy applied. Group A (N: 38): Application of three hyperinflations of the lungs at airway pressure 40cmH2O for 10 sec, followed by an increase in PEEP from 5 to 10cmH2O. Group B (N: 38): Increase in PEEP from 5 to 10cmH2O. Group C (N: 37): Application of three hyperinflations of the lungs at airway pressure 40cmH2O for 10 sec, without any PEEP alteration and Group D (N: 37): No maneuver. Measurements were taken at the phase of oxygenation deterioration and at 5, 15, 30, 45 and 60min after applying the maneuvers and also before extubation. From a total of 430 patients 150 developed oxygenation impairment (38.4%). The median onset time of the deterioration was 30min after intubation and mechanical ventilation. In group A the PaO2/FiO2 ratio increased significantly immediately after the maneuvers and remained elevated until extubation. In group B the PaO2/FiO2 ratio presented a gradual increase to significant levels before extubation. In group C, the instant post-maneuver increase of oxygenation was not sustained until extubation. Finally in group D a gradual decrease of the PaO2/FiO2 ratio was recorded until the end of surgery. According to the results of our study, one third of patients developed intraoperative oxygenation impairment approximately half an hour after intubation. The application of three hyperinflations of the lungs at an airway pressure of 40cmH2O for 10 sec, followed by an increase in PEEP from 5 to 10cmH2O proved to be the most effective treatment of impaired oxygenation. Continue reading
The aim of this study was to evaluate resuscitation skills and knowledge of the nursing staff of University Hospital “AHEPA”, who have previously successfully participated in a validated training CPR/AED course, held in ourhospital.In our study 60 professionally active nurses were involved. After completion of a predesigned questionnaire, they were expected to respond to a simulated cardiac arrest-CA scenario in an area where automated external defibrillation-AED was available. The questionnaire consisted of several questions regarding demographic data, participant’s personal opinion on the resuscitation training program, CPR performance and nurse’s attitudes when facing a CA. Participants were evaluated according to the European Resuscitation Council assessment form for basic life support-BLS with the use of AED (consisting of performance in 17 skills).The vast majority of the study population were female nurses (86.7% and 83.3% respectively), 41-50 years old (70%) with more than 21years working experience (53.3%). Continue reading
Factors affecting cardiac function in dialysis patients include arterial blood pressure, anemia, intra-vascular volume and the arteriovenous fistula (AVF). We investigated the acute and chronic effects of basilic vein transposition (mean upper arm brachial artery-basilic vein anastomosis) on both the cardiovascular system and the oxygen status.
Sixteen patients with end stage renal failure were enrolled in this study. Patients with heart failure, pericardial effusion or valvular heart disease were not included in the study. Echocardiography (preoperatively and six months after, stages 1 and 2 respectively) and a Swan-Ganz catheter (perioperatively) were used to assess the hemodynamic status during the phases of AVF construction. Flow measurements were made in the parts of the AVF system before, during and after the construction of the AVF.Moreover, at the same time phases blood sampling from the arterial line and the pulmonary artery catheter was performed, in order to assess oxygen and acidbase status. Continue reading
Apneic oxygenation is an adjunct "ventilation‟ technique that involves insufflation of oxygen at varying flows through a catheter that is inserted through the endotra-cheal tube and is positioned above the carina. Apneic oxygenation improves gas exchange efficiency and preserves the arterial oxygenation at an acceptable level. Continue reading