The electrical properties of the skin, also known as electrodermal activity (EDA), are considered as an indirect measure of autonomous nervous system. Along with that, the effects of noise-induced stress in intensive care units, is well explored. This study explores the noise-induced acute electrodermal activity changes in adult critical care patients and to compare these changes with cardiovascular effects of the same stress (noise) stimulus. Skin conductance variability, noise level, selected hemodynamic and respiratory parameters were monitored during 4 hour routine daytime intensive care nursing and treatment in an adult Intensive Care Unit. Average ambient noise levels during the time window (4 min) before the stimulation were 54.33(2.65) dB for Group A and 55.65(3.31) dB, while the noise stimulation was on average for Group A 70.8 (1.98) dB, and for Group B: 71.31(3.31) dB. EDA changes to noise stimulus were more distinct than hemodynamic and respiratory parameters. Yet, a weak relation was found between all EDA parameters and the particular noise level changes. Noise-induce stress causes more distinct EDA changes when measured immediately post stimulus. In addition, sedation level seems to affect the intensity of these changes. However, further studies are needed in to order to reach a definite conclusion. Continue reading

This is the first study in Greece that aims prehospital care by Emergency Medical Services staff and the factors that affecting it. In a prospective 5 month survey study , 13 EMTs recorded data (45 variables) about 1450 cases;1010 of which were included for further analysis. Six (6%) of the cases were characterized as super-emergencies, 46% non-emergent and 35% as emergent. Fourty five (45%) of the cases were recorded in the 15.00-23.00 shift. Geographical distribution of the calls is very different from the pre-located ambulance bases and varies with the type (non-urgent/ urgent) of the call. In 152 the characterization of the call was changed after arrival on the spot.

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Adequate adrenocortical function is essential to survive critical illness. The goal of this study was to determine whether eosinophilia could serve as a useful and early marker of adrenal insufficiency in critically ill patients with severe septic shock. During a 1-year period, we prospectively studied 294 ICU patients.16 patients (5.4% of ICU admissions) with eosinophilia more than 3% of the white blood cell count and septic shock unresponsive to adequate fluid and vasopressor therapy, were included. A high dose (250 mcg i.v) corticotropin stimulation test was performed. Eosinophilia (>3%) was diagnosed in 16 patients with vasopressor-unresponsive septic shock. Eosinophilia was present 1.9±0.9d (range 8-96h) before the onset of septic shock. 11/16 patients failed to respond to corticotropin stimulation test above the critical level of 9 mcg/dL rise and 2/16 had baseline cortisol concentration <10 mcg/dL. Baseline cortisol level, maximal cortisol increase post-corticotropin administration and Eosinophils count (%) were higher in survivors (p≤0.05). A hydrocortisone infusion (300mg/d) treatment resulted in haemodynamic improvement in 12 of 16 patients (75%). The 28-day mortality (following the onset of septic shock) was 43.7%. Relative eosinophilia may be considered as a useful and early bioassay for adrenocortical function assessment in critically ill patients with septic shock and assumed adrenocortical depression.

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The vast advance in medical knowledge forces us to super specializations. Yet, as we get to know better the tree, we might lose the perspective of the forest. Team work and more specifically, diversity teams, keep us in touch with the different aspects of knowledge. And although diversity has potential to disrupt group functioning, in reality, in both in behavioral and psychological science and in business arena, diverse teams are proven smarter1-2.

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Patient care in Intensive Care Units is characterized by high demanding tasks, which leads in daily high workload. The aim of the study is to evaluate the effect of patient’s sedation level to workload for the certain task. It also examines whether workload lowers over time, as an effect of the experience gained by the repetition of the task. NASA- TLX tool was used as workload assessments method during a complex monitoring task in an adult Intensive Care Unit environment. The latter included monitoring and recording of skin conductance variability, noise level, hemodynamic and respiratory parameters were monitored during 4 hour routine in two groups of patients. The group was defined by the sedation level (Ramsay sedation score); otherwise no major differences were spotted in their characteristics. Both raw and weighted data of the NASA-TLX tool were included in the analysis, which was performed with MS Excel 2007 (Microsoft Co, USA) and Rstudio® IDE v.0.99.903 (Rstudio Inc, Boston, MA, USA). Patients’ sedation level did not affect NASA-TLX measured workload. The former was valid both for raw values and weighted data of the subscales of the NASA-TLX tool.  In the second part of the analysis where the raw values were treated as time series data, it was shown that some subscales (Ment, Phys) had a tendency towards lower values, others (e.g. Temp, Ef) had a relative stability and others  (Per) increased over time. The total workload (OW) did not seem to lower over time. While the patient’s sedation level does not affect workload of the specific task, several subscales of the NASA-TLX index do reveal a tendency over time; a fact that may be used as learning curve/ experience assessment for a given task. However, further studies are needed in order to define its future utility.

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Prehospital emergency medical services (PEMS) are becoming more and more sophisticated as more point-of–care advanced medical technology is available in the field. Yet, the literature around the subject is limited, as data come mainly from Northern Europe, USA, Canada and New Zealand. The aim of this analysiswas to describe time trends of PEMS activity in a region of northern Greece.Use of data retrospectively collected for PEMS usage, in the regional unit of Thessaloniki, Northern Greece from 2006 to 2015. The area of interest represents a little more than 10% of the total population of Greece.Total utilization of PEMS shows an overall l4.03% decrease over the decade; yet with an increase in the 2 last years.The mean rate of use was 69/1000 inhabitants for ambulance services and 1.5/1000 for medical interventions (MICU).

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Contemporary changes in medical science and scientific publishing practices are hard to understand and even harder to follow. In the past it was enough to talk about “medicine” and “announces”/papers written by an author-researcher-doctor. Today one can easily claim that there are constellations of medical fields and publishing practices and still, not describe the reality.

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