Feasibility and Reliability of Muscle Strength Testing in Critically Ill Children.
ABSTRACT: Diagnosing pediatric intensive care unit-acquired weakness (PICU-AW) is challenging. The Medical Research Council (MRC) score is a widely used screening method for muscle weakness in critically ill adults; however, its utility in critically ill children has not been established. Our objective was to determine the feasibility and interobserver reliability of muscle strength testing using MRC score in critically ill children. A prospective observational substudy of critically ill children aged 1 to 17 years and limited to bed rest during the first 48 hours of PICU admission was evaluated with weekly MRC exams independently performed by two clinical raters. MRC exams were attempted on all 33 participants, but could be completed in only 21 (64%), 9 of who (43%) received at least one exam while in the PICU, and in the remaining 12 (57%), MRC exams could only be completed after PICU discharge. Of the 95 attempted MRC exams, 55 (57%) could not be conducted or completed, most commonly due to patient sedation, and inability to comply due to cognitive ability, pain, or noncooperation. The inter-rater reliability for MRC sum score was excellent (intraclass correlation coefficient: 0.87). However, the inter-rater reliability was only moderate when used to determine PICU-AW (Cohen kappa: 0.48). MRC testing in the PICU was not feasible as an early screening tool for muscle weakness in the majority of critically ill children in this study. Further research is needed to find an appropriate screening tool that is both feasible and predicts clinically relevant outcomes in children, such as function and recovery following critical illness.
Project description:Impaired skeletal muscle function has important clinical outcome implications for survivors of critical illness. Previous studies employing volitional manual muscle testing for diagnosing intensive care unit-acquired weakness (ICU-AW) during the early stages of critical illness have only provided limited data on outcome. This study aimed to determine inter-observer agreement and clinical predictive value of the Medical Research Council sum score (MRC-SS) test in critically ill patients.Study 1: Inter-observer agreement for ICU-AW between two clinicians in critically ill patients within ICU (n = 20) was compared with simulated presentations (n = 20). Study 2: MRC-SS at awakening in an unselected sequential ICU cohort was used to determine the clinical predictive value (n = 94) for outcomes of ICU and hospital mortality and length of stay.Although the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) for MRC-SS in the ICU was 0.94 (95% CI 0.85-0.98), ? statistic for diagnosis of ICU-AW (MRC-SS <48/60) was only 0.60 (95% CI 0.25-0.95). Agreement for simulated weakness presentations was almost complete (ICC 1.0 (95% CI 0.99-1.0), with a ? statistic of 1.0 (95% CI 1.0-1.0)). There was no association observed between ability to perform the MRC-SS and clinical outcome and no association between ICU-AW and mortality. Although ICU-AW demonstrated limited positive predictive value for ICU (54.2%; 95% CI 39.2-68.6) and hospital (66.7%; 95% CI 51.6-79.6) length of stay, the negative predictive value for ICU length of stay was clinically acceptable (88.2%; 95% CI 63.6-98.5).These data highlight the limited clinical applicability of volitional muscle strength testing in critically ill patients. Alternative non-volitional strategies are required for assessment and monitoring of muscle function in the early stages of critical illness.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>An early diagnosis of Intensive Care Unit-acquired weakness (ICU-AW) using muscle strength assessment is not possible in most critically ill patients. We hypothesized that development of ICU-AW can be predicted reliably two days after ICU admission, using patient characteristics, early available clinical parameters, laboratory results and use of medication as parameters.<h4>Methods</h4>Newly admitted ICU patients mechanically ventilated ?2 days were included in this prospective observational cohort study. Manual muscle strength was measured according to the Medical Research Council (MRC) scale, when patients were awake and attentive. ICU-AW was defined as an average MRC score <4. A prediction model was developed by selecting predictors from an a-priori defined set of candidate predictors, based on known risk factors. Discriminative performance of the prediction model was evaluated, validated internally and compared to the APACHE IV and SOFA score.<h4>Results</h4>Of 212 included patients, 103 developed ICU-AW. Highest lactate levels, treatment with any aminoglycoside in the first two days after admission and age were selected as predictors. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of the prediction model was 0.71 after internal validation. The new prediction model improved discrimination compared to the APACHE IV and the SOFA score.<h4>Conclusion</h4>The new early prediction model for ICU-AW using a set of 3 easily available parameters has fair discriminative performance. This model needs external validation.
Project description:Intensive care unit-acquired weakness (ICU-AW) causes significant morbidity and impairment in critically ill patients. Recent advances in neuromuscular ultrasound (NMUS) allow evaluation of neuromuscular pathology early in critical illness. Here we review application of ultrasound in ICU-AW. MEDLINE-indexed articles were searched for terms relevant to ultrasound and critical illness. Two reviewers evaluated the resulting abstracts (n?=?218) and completed full-text review (n?=?13). Twelve studies and 1 case report were included. Ten studies evaluated muscle thickness or cross-sectional area (CSA): 8 reported a decrease, and 2 reported no change. Two studies reported preservation of muscle thickness in response to neuromuscular electrical stimulation, and 1 found no preservation. One study found decreases in gray-scale standard deviation, but no change in echogenicity. One study described increases in echogenicity and fasciculations. Ultrasound reliability in ICU-AW is not fully established. Further investigation is needed to identify ultrasound measures that reliably predict clinical, electrodiagnostic, and pathologic findings of ICU-AW.
Project description:Objectives. To measure inter-rater agreement of overall clinical appearance of febrile children aged less than 24 months and to compare methods for doing so. Study Design and Setting. We performed an observational study of inter-rater reliability of the assessment of febrile children in a county hospital emergency department serving a mixed urban and rural population. Two emergency medicine healthcare providers independently evaluated the overall clinical appearance of children less than 24 months of age who had presented for fever. They recorded the initial 'gestalt' assessment of whether or not the child was ill appearing or if they were unsure. They then repeated this assessment after examining the child. Each rater was blinded to the other's assessment. Our primary analysis was graphical. We also calculated Cohen's ?, Gwet's agreement coefficient and other measures of agreement and weighted variants of these. We examined the effect of time between exams and patient and provider characteristics on inter-rater agreement. Results. We analyzed 159 of the 173 patients enrolled. Median age was 9.5 months (lower and upper quartiles 4.9-14.6), 99/159 (62%) were boys and 22/159 (14%) were admitted. Overall 118/159 (74%) and 119/159 (75%) were classified as well appearing on initial 'gestalt' impression by both examiners. Summary statistics varied from 0.223 for weighted ? to 0.635 for Gwet's AC2. Inter rater agreement was affected by the time interval between the evaluations and the age of the child but not by the experience levels of the rater pairs. Classifications of 'not ill appearing' were more reliable than others. Conclusion. The inter-rater reliability of emergency providers' assessment of overall clinical appearance was adequate when described graphically and by Gwet's AC. Different summary statistics yield different results for the same dataset.
Project description:PURPOSE:Critically ill or injured children require prompt identification, rapid referral and quality emergency management. We undertook a study to evaluate the care pathway of critically ill or injured children to identify preventable failures in the care provided. METHODS:A year-long cohort study of critically ill and injured children was performed in Cape Town, South Africa, from first presentation to healthcare services until paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission or emergency department death, using expert panel review of medical records and caregiver interview. Main outcomes were expert assessment of overall quality of care; avoidability of severity of illness and PICU admission or death and the identification of modifiable factors. RESULTS:The study enrolled 282 children, 252 emergency PICU admissions, and 30 deaths. Global quality of care was graded good in 10% of cases, with half having at least one major impact modifiable factor. Key modifiable factors related to access to care and identification of the critically ill, assessment of severity, inadequate resuscitation, and delays in decision making and referral. Children were transferred with median time from first presentation to PICU admission of 12.3 hours. There was potentially avoidable severity of illness in 185 (74%) of children, and death prior to PICU admission was avoidable in 17/30 (56.7%) of children. CONCLUSIONS:The study presents a novel methodology, examining quality of care across an entire system, and highlighting the complexity of the pathway and the modifiable events amenable to interventions, that could reduce mortality and morbidity, and optimize utilization of scarce critical care resources; as well as demonstrating the importance of continuity and quality of care.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Intensive care unit-acquired weakness (ICU-AW) is often observed in critically ill patients with prolonged intensive care unit (ICU) stay. We hypothesized that evolving metabolic abnormalities during prolonged ICU stay are reflected by changing nutrient patterns in blood, urine and skeletal muscle, and that these patterns differ in patients with/without ICU-AW and between patients with/without sepsis. METHODS:In a prospective single-center observational trial, we aim to recruit 100 critically ill patients (ICU length of stay ? 5 days) with severe sepsis/septic shock ("sepsis group", n?=?50) or severe head trauma/intracerebral hemorrhage ("CNS group", n?=?50). Patients will be sub-grouped for presence or absence of ICU-AW as determined by the Medical Research Council sum score. Blood and urine samples will be collected and subjected to comprehensive nutrient analysis at different time points by targeted quantitative mass spectrometric methods. In addition, changes in muscular tissue (biopsy, when available), muscular architecture (ultrasound), electrophysiology, body composition analyses (bioimpedance, cerebral magnetic resonance imaging), along with clinical status will be assessed. Patients will be followed-up for 180 and 360 days including assessment of quality of life. DISCUSSION:Key objective of this trial is to assess changes in nutrient pattern in blood and urine over time in critically ill patients with/without ICU-AW by using quantitative nutrient analysis techniques. Peer-reviewed published NAChO data will allow for a better understanding of metabolic changes in critically ill patients on standard liquid enteral nutrition and will likely open up new avenues for future therapeutic and nutritional interventions.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To determine the feasibility of implementing an ICU diary in the pediatric critical care setting and to understand the perceptions held by family members who receive the diaries after PICU discharge. DESIGN:Observational pilot study. SETTING:PICU in a tertiary academic hospital in the United States. PARTICIPANTS:Critically ill pediatric patients admitted to the PICU and their families. INTERVENTIONS:The addition of a PICU diary to a patient's routine care. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:Twenty families of critically ill children admitted to the PICU were enrolled in the PICU diary pilot study between May 2017 and March 2018. Patients who had an anticipated length of stay of at least 3 days and whose families were English-speaking were included. The median age of patients was 6 years, ranging from newborns to 18 years old, and the median length of stay was 11.5 days (interquartile range, 8.5-41 d). A total of 453 diary entries were written in 19 diaries over 433 PICU days, the majority of which were composed by bedsides nurses (63%). Follow-up surveys sent to parents 2 weeks after PICU discharge revealed that of the parents who had contributed to the diary, most enjoyed doing so (7/8). Nine of 12 parents had reviewed the diary at least once since discharge, and all parent respondents found the diary to be a beneficial aspect of their experience after PICU discharge. CONCLUSIONS:The use of ICU diaries in the PICU setting is feasible and perceived as beneficial by families of critically ill children. Future studies are needed to better understand if PICU diaries may objectively improve psychologic outcomes of patients and family members after PICU admission.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The "Age of Blood in Children in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit" (ABC PICU) study is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) that aims to determine if red blood cell (RBC) unit storage age affects outcomes in critically ill children. While RBCs can be stored for up to 42 days in additive solutions, their efficacy and safety after long-term storage have been challenged. Preclinical and clinical observational evidence suggests loss of efficacy and lack of safety of older RBC units, especially in more vulnerable populations such as critically ill children. Because there is a belief that shorter storage will improve outcomes, some physicians and institutions systematically transfuse fresh RBCs to children. Conversely, the standard practice of blood banks is to deliver the oldest available RBC unit (first-in, first-out policy) in order to decrease wastage. METHODS/DESIGN:The ABC PICU study, is a double-blind superiority trial comparing the development of "New or Progressive Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome" (NPMODS) in 1538 critically ill children randomized to either transfusion with RBCs stored for ??7 days or to standard-issue RBCs (oldest in inventory). Patients are being recruited from 52 centers in the US, Canada, France, Italy, and Israel. DISCUSSION:The ABC PICU study should have significant implications for blood procurement services. A relative risk reduction of 33% is postulated in the short-storage arm. If a difference is found, this will indicate that fresher RBCs do improve outcomes in the pediatric intensive care unit population and would justify that use in critically ill children. If no difference is found, this will reassure clinicians and transfusion medicine specialists regarding the safety of the current system of allocating the oldest RBC unit in inventory and will discourage clinicians from preferentially requesting fresher blood for critically ill children. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov, ID: NCT01977547 . Registered on 6 November 2013.
Project description:Intensive care unit-acquired weakness (ICU-AW) is the most common neuromuscular impairment in critically ill patients. We discuss critical aspects of ICU-AW that have not been completely defined or that are still under discussion. Critical illness polyneuropathy, myopathy, and muscle atrophy contribute in various proportions to ICU-AW. Diagnosis of ICU-AW is clinical and is based on Medical Research Council sum score and handgrip dynamometry for limb weakness and recognition of a patient's ventilator dependency or difficult weaning from artificial ventilation for diaphragmatic weakness (DW). ICU-AW can be caused by a critical illness polyneuropathy, a critical illness myopathy, or muscle disuse atrophy, alone or in combination. Its diagnosis requires both clinical assessment of muscle strength and complete electrophysiological evaluation of peripheral nerves and muscles. The peroneal nerve test (PENT) is a quick simplified electrophysiological test with high sensitivity and good specificity that can be used instead of complete electrophysiological evaluation as a screening test in non-cooperative patients. DW, assessed by bilateral phrenic nerve magnetic stimulation or diaphragm ultrasound, can be an isolated event without concurrent limb muscle involvement. Therefore, it remains uncertain whether DW and limb weakness are different manifestations of the same syndrome or are two distinct entities. Delirium is often associated with ICU-AW but a clear correlation between these two entities requires further studies. Artificial nutrition may have an impact on ICU-AW, but no study has assessed the impact of nutrition on ICU-AW as the primary outcome. Early mobilization improves activity limitation at hospital discharge if it is started early in the ICU, but beneficial long-term effects are not established. Determinants of ICU-AW can be many and can interact with each other. Therefore, future studies assessing early mobilization should consider a holistic patient approach with consideration of all components that may lead to muscle weakness.
Project description:To determine the safety and feasibility of an early mobilization program in a PICU.Observational, pre-post design.PICU in a tertiary academic hospital in the United States.Critically ill pediatric patients admitted to the PICU.This quality improvement project involved a usual-care baseline phase, followed by a quality improvement phase that implemented a multicomponent, interdisciplinary, and tiered activity plan to promote early mobilization of critically ill children.Data were collected and analyzed from July to August 2014 (preimplementation phase) and July to August 2015 (postimplementation). The study sample included 200 children 1 day through 17 years old who were admitted to the PICU and had a length of stay of at least 3 days. PICU Up! implementation led to an increase in occupational therapy consultations (44% vs 59%; p = 0.034) and physical therapy consultations (54% vs 66%; p = 0.08) by PICU day 3. The median number of mobilizations per patient by PICU day 3 increased from 3 to 6 (p < 0.001). More children engaged in mobilization activities after the PICU Up! intervention by PICU day 3, including active bed positioning (p < 0.001), and ambulation (p = 0.04). No adverse events occurred as a result of early mobilization activities. The most commonly reported barriers to early mobilization after PICU Up! implementation was availability of appropriate equipment. The program was positively received by PICU staff.Implementation of a structured and stratified early mobilization program in the PICU was feasible and resulted in no adverse events. PICU Up! increased physical therapy and occupational therapy involvement in the children's care and increased early mobilization activities, including ambulation. A bundled intervention to create a healing environment in the PICU with structured activity may have benefits for short- and long-term outcomes of critically ill children.