Review Articles

Fractures of the proximal femur are of the most frequent, especially in elderly patients. The increased frequency of these fractures highlights the need for effective management of those patients and the impact of these fractures regarding the cost to the national health system. The effects of pain in elderly patients is extremely aggravating, frequently leading to mental (confusion, delirium) and physical (cardiovascular) deterioration and complications.

The pain management of these patients in the emergency department (ED) with intravenous administered analgesics might complicate the status of these patients. The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) might increase the risk of gastric ulceration, gastric haemorrhage and coronary syndromes, while the use of IV opioids–especially in elderly-incorporates the risk of respiratory depression, delirium, hypotension and constipation. The pain management of these patients with the use of fascia iliaca block applied in ED, or even in a prehospital setting from doctors of various specialties, paramedics or nurses seems to gain acceptance because of its steep learning curve, the simple technique, the high success rate and the low rate of significant complications.

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Difficulties or failure in airway management are common factors leading to death and brain damage as a direct result of anesthesia. Prediction of the difficult airway enables the anesthetists to prepare for this challenging clinical scenario. Although the ability to predict accurately a difficult airway preoperatively would be of great value, it is evident from the literature that no single airway assessment can reliably predict a difficult airway. The purpose of this paper is to define the difficult airway and to review the current literature on methods used for prediction of difficult airway.

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The incidence of pre-eclampsia in the western countries is estimated to range from 2% to 6% in healthy, nulliparous women. In developing nations, the incidence of the disease is reported to be 4- 18%,with hypertensive disorders being the second most common obstetric cause of stillbirths and early neonatal deaths in these countries Etiology of the disease is multifactorial, with risk factors like maternal age, oxidative stress, angiotensin T-235 homozygote having a different role in every case. Moreover, the disease its self is a multisystem expression of a complicated pathophysiology. Many attempts to explain the latter have been made with often controversial results. In the present article we explore the hypothesis of intra-abdominal pressure as possible causative factor of pre-eclampsia and the role ofthe maternal venous compartment and rennin-angiotensin-anldosterin system in this hypothesis.

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Effective postoperative analgesia in geriatric patients is both challenging and rewarding. Inadequate pain control after surgery is associated with adverse outcomes in the older patient. This review will attempt to describe the difficulty with assessment of pain and variations in pain experience of elderly patients. Physiological changes related to aging need to be also carefully considered, because aging is individualized and progressive. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic changes in geriatric patients, the higher incidence of comorbidities and concurrent use of other drugs, must be carefully adjusted to suit each geriatric patient, concerning postoperative pain management. Medication for postoperative pain will be discussed. Unfortunately, many medications have not been studied well in the older population.Non-pharmacological approaches to postoperative pain management will not be discussed, although this would be an interesting topic for further discussion.

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Delirium, a serious and common manifestation of brain dysfunction in critically ill patients gained great attention over the last decade. Important risk factors such as use of benzodiazepines, coma, preexisting cognitive impairment, alcoholism and high severity of illness at ICU admission were i-dentified. Screening tools like the CAM-ICU and the ICDSC were extensively validated in many different ICU patient populations and are recommended for routine monitoring in everyday practice. Sedation with novel sedatives such as dexmedetomidine, implementation of non pharma-ceutical, preventive interventions and early mobilization of patients may reduce the incidence of this syndrome. The role of haloperidol and atypical antipsychotics in the prevention and treatment of ICU delirium is still under investigation.

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The application of statistical methods in order to extract safer conclusions from samples of medical data has become a key methodology for synthesis and evaluation in any medical research. This study makes a retrospective overview of statistical methods used for oral presentations in the summaries of Greek anesthesia conferences and tries to “capture” the change in the use of statistics in recent years. Nine hundred and twenty five oral presentations from seven Greek anesthesia conferences were included for further analysis.

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Treating children in an intensive care unit aims at the reversal of physiologic derangement of their organism while caring for comfortable physical and psychological environment. Any correctable environmental and physical factors causing discomfort should be addressed before the introduction of effective analgesia and sedation by pharmacological means; a normal schedule for sleep is desirable, and attention should be paid to the provision of feeding and hydration, lighting, environmental noise and the temporal orientation of the patients.

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In the field of paediatric critical care, there is considerable uncertainty and variation in the area of analgesia and sedation in critically ill children. Consensus guidelines on sedation and analgesia in critically ill children are available since 2006, although clinical practice reveals variations both in pharmacological agents and regimens used.

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