Using the 2004 data, investigators identified stroke severity using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), history of congestive heart failure (CHF), history of atrial fibrillation, decreased level of consciousness on presentation, and intracerebral hemorrhage (as opposed to ischemic stroke) as predictors of prolonged length of stay. Four of these factors were expressed as dichotomous variables, whereas the stroke severity by NIHSS class was incorporated as a range; all were incorporated into a PLOS score.
Higher PLOS score correlated with longer length of stay. In the derivation cohort, 22% of patients with a PLOS score of 0 had a prolonged length of stay, whereas 85% of patients with PLOS scores of 6 or 7 had a prolonged length of stay. In the validation cohort, the corresponding figures were 19% and 72%.
Bottom line: Use of a simple score can predict risk of prolonged length of stay after stroke.
Citation: Koton S, Bornstein NM, Tsabari R, Tanne D, NASIS Investigators. Derivation and validation of the prolonged length of stay score in acute stroke patients. Neurology. 2010;74(19);1511-1516.
Earlier Administration of Appropriate Antimicrobials Decreases Mortality in Patients with Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock
Clinical question: Is the timing of antimicrobial administration an important determinant of survival in patients diagnosed with severe sepsis and septic shock?
Background: Severe sepsis and septic shock are associated with a 25% to 50% mortality rate. Early goal-directed therapy has been shown to increase survival in these patients. Antimicrobial treatment is a mainstay of this therapy, but the most effective timing of this treatment remains unclear.
Study design: Retrospective, single-center cohort study.
Setting: ED at an academic tertiary-care center.
Synopsis: Two hundred sixty-one patients in the ED in 2005-2006 presenting with severe sepsis or septic shock were enrolled in the hospital’s early goal-directed therapy (EGDT) algorithm, either at triage or later during their ED stay. Labs showed 56.7% of patients were culture-positive, with the most common sources being respiratory (30.6%), genitourinary (22.8%), and gastrointestinal (19.7%).
All patients received antibiotics and were stratified in one-hour intervals by the following categories: time from triage to antibiotics; time from qualification for EGDT to antibiotics; time from triage to appropriate antibiotics; and time from qualification for EGDT to appropriate antibiotics.
Total in-hospital mortality was 31% (35.1% for culture-positive patients vs. 25.7% for culture-negative patients, P=0.11). A significant decrease in mortality was only found when appropriate antibiotics were administered within one hour of triage, or within one hour of qualification for EGDT (OR=0.30; 95% CI, 0.11-0.83; P=0.02, and OR=0.50; 95% CI, 0.27-0.92; P=0.03, respectively).
Study limitations included the single-center site and small sample size.
Bottom line: In patients with severe sepsis and septic shock, initiating appropriate antimicrobial therapy within one hour of triage or entry into goal-directed therapy significantly reduces mortality.
Citation: Gaieski DF, Mikkelsen ME, Band RA, et al. Impact of time to antibiotics on survival in patients with severe sepsis or septic shock in whom early goal-directed therapy was initiated in the emergency department. Crit Care Med. 2010;38(4):1045-1053.
Treatment with Higher Levels of Positive End-Expiratory Pressure Has Limited Affect on Hospital Survival
Clinical question: Is treatment with higher versus lower levels of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) associated with improved hospital survival?
Background: In the management of patients with acute lung injury or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a fundamental goal is to protect the lungs from ventilation-induced injury, but the optimal PEEP level has not been established.
Study design: Systematic review and meta-analysis.