Is hyberbaric oxygen therapy effective for CO poisoning?

From Intensive Care Medicine:

Objectives: To assess HBO in patients poisoned with CO.

Design: Two prospective randomized trial on two parallel groups.

Setting: Critical Care Unit, Raymond Poincaré Hospital, Garches, France.

Subjects: Three hundred eighty-five patients with acute domestic CO poisoning.

Intervention: Patients with transient loss of consciousness (trial A, n = 179) were randomized to either 6 h of normobaric oxygen therapy (NBO; arm A0, n = 86) or 4 h of NBO plus one HBO session (arm A1, n = 93). Patients with initial coma (trial B, n = 206) were randomized to either 4 h of NBO plus one HBO session (arm B1, n = 101) or 4 h of NBO plus two 2 HBO sessions (arm B2, n = 105).

Primary endpoint: Proportion of patients with complete recovery at 1 month.

Conclusion: In patients with transient loss of consciousness, there was no evidence of superiority of HBO over NBO. In comatose patients, two HBO sessions were associated with worse outcomes than one HBO session.

Obese patients have better stroke survival

From Stroke:

Association Between Obesity and Mortality After Acute First-Ever Stroke. The Obesity–Stroke Paradox

Background and Purpose—Limited data exist concerning obesity and survival in patients after acute stroke. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between obesity and survival in patients with acute first-ever stroke.

Methods—Patients were prospectively investigated based on a standard diagnostic protocol over a period of 16 years. Evaluation was performed on admission, at 7 days, at 1, 3, and 6 months after discharge, and yearly thereafter for up to 10 years after stroke. The study patients were divided into 3 groups according to body mass index (BMI): normal weight (<25 kg/m2), overweight (25–29.9 kg/m2), and obese (≥30 kg/m2). Overall survival during follow-up was the primary end point. The secondary end point was the overall composite cardiovascular events over the study period.

Results—Based on our inclusion criteria, 2785 patients were recruited. According to BMI, 1138 (40.9%) patients were of normal weight, 1113 (41.0%) were overweight, and 504 (18.1%) were obese. NIHSS score on admission (mean, 11.28±8.65) was not different among the study groups. Early (first week) survival in obese (96.4%; 95% CI, 94.8%–97.9%) and overweight patients (92.8%; 95% CI,91.2%–94.4%) was significantly higher compared to that of normal-weight patients (90.2%; 95% CI, 88.4%–92.0%). Similarly, 10-year survival was 52.5% (95% CI, 46.4%–58.6%) in obese, 47.4% (95% CI, 43.5%–51.3%) in overweight, and 41.5% (95% CI, 39.7%–45.0%) in normal-weight patients (log-rank test=17.7; P<0.0001). Overweight (HR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.71–0.94) and obese patients (HR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.59–0.86) had a significantly lower risk of 10-year mortality compared to normal-weight patients after adjusting for all confounding variables.

Conclusions—Based on BMI estimation, obese and overweight stroke patients have significantly better early and long-term survival rates compared to those with normal BMI.

Prehospital Thoracotomy for Penetrating Trauma

From the Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection and Critical Care:

Thirteen Survivors of Prehospital Thoracotomy for Penetrating Trauma: A Prehospital Physician-Performed Resuscitation Procedure That Can Yield Good Results

Background: Prehospital cardiac arrest associated with trauma almost always results in death. A case of survival after prehospital thoracotomy was published in 1994 and several others have followed. This article describes the result of prehospital thoracotomy in a physician-led system for patients with stab wounds to the chest who suffered cardiac arrest on scene.

Methods: A 15-year retrospective prehospital trauma database review identified victims of stab wounds to the chest who suffered cardiac arrest on scene and had thoracotomy performed according to local standard operating procedures.

Results: Overall, 71 patients met inclusion criteria. Thirteen patients (18%) survived to hospital discharge. Neurologic outcome was good in 11 patients and poor in 2. Presenting cardiac rhythm was asystole in four patients, pulseless electrical activity in five, and unrecorded in the remaining four. All survivors had cardiac tamponade. The medical team was present at the time of cardiac arrest for six survivors (good neurologic outcome): arrived in the first 5 minutes after arrest in three patients (all good neurologic outcome), arrived 5 minutes to 10 minutes after arrest in two patients (one poor neurologic outcome), and in one patient (poor neurologic outcome) the period was unknown. Of the survivors, seven thoracotomies were performed by emergency physicians and six by anesthesiologists.

Conclusions: Prehospital thoracotomy is a well-established procedure in this physician-led prehospital service. Results from this and other similar systems suggest that when performed for the subgroup of patients described, significant numbers of survivors with good neurologic outcome can be expected.