Patients with TBI (traumatic brain injury) often have concomitant systemic injuries that complicate the management of the TBI. How does the practitioner balance the needs of the hypotensive resuscitation with CPP? How does ICP affect emergent operative needs? Thoracic injuries complicate cerebral oxygenation - are there effective management strategies? Where is the best place to care for these patients?

Direct download: W_knigh.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

Rory Staunton was a healthy 12-year old boy, known for his smile and his work standing up for others. A simple fall during basketball practice caused an abrasion on his arm, which is the suspected beginning of a cascade of events that led to his death from sepsis. Rory was seen by both his pediatrician and a local emergency department, and was sent home with a diagnosis of a viral illness. He returned the next day in septic shock and died shortly thereafter.
A review of the medical records revealed that there were errors that occurred during his emergency department visit. These errors were the focus of a controversial article in the New York Times, that included both details of the case, as well as the name of the physician that provided care. A backlash from the medical community occurred leading to multiple physician-written op-ed pieces, as well as over 1600 comments on the online version of the article.
This talk will attempt to move away from the controversy of the actual article and instead focus on how these common errors could have occurred during any busy shift and what we can do to prevent them in the future.
My intention in giving this talk is to continue to use this case to raise awareness of both pediatric sepsis and common medical error and hopefully lead to fewer outcomes like Rory’s.

Direct download: Jo_Anna_Leuck_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

Describing the importance of patient handover and the critical time when the pre-hospital practitioner will give this information to the receiving hospital staff. Using an analogy of the characters that appear in cowboy films, the preacher stands out as one who usually plays a small but significant role in getting his message across. We will compare this to the modern day practitioner and how they should achieve the objective of giving a good handover to the receivers, who may or may not be believers

Direct download: Kieran_Henry.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

Sepsis is the life-threatening condition that arises when the body's response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs. It can lead to shock, failure of multiple organs, and death. Organ failure and death are more likely if sepsis is not recognized early and not treated promptly. Sepsis is the leading cause of death from infection around the world and contributes to or causes half of all deaths occurring in hospitals in the USA.
Many people who survive severe sepsis recover completely and their lives return to normal. But some people, especially those who had pre-existing chronic diseases, may experience permanent organ damage, the common problems that afflict those who have recovered from sepsis have been termed the post-sepsis syndrome.
Longer term effects of sepsis include
• Sleep disturbance including insomnia
• Experiencing nightmares, hallucinations, flashbacks and panic attacks
• Muscle and joint pains which can be severe and disabling
• Extreme tiredness and fatigue
• Inability to concentrate
• Impaired mental (cognitive) functioning
• Loss of confidence and self-belief

Direct download: Simon_Finfer_edited.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

To cool or not to cool. Traumatic brain injury is a major cause of mortality and long term morbidity. Hypothermia has been suggested as a potential treatment to limit secondary brain injury and improve outcomes. However, this currently remains controversial. Despite many small studies and meta-analyses suggesting benefit this has not been reflected in the recent larger studies. This may have been due to significant methodological limitations. The Eurotheum study completed last year which examine hypothermia as a rescue therapy suggested that we should abandon hypothermia in our traumatically brain injured patients. Before our community discards this potentially beneficial treatment after almost 50 years of investigation it is important to understand the limitations of the previous studies and the opportunities that currently ongoing studies have to address this question.

Direct download: Alistair_Nicholl.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

It’s been two decades since NINDS and MAST and ECASS and the other clot-busting lore cluttering up your brain. Have we learned anything in the interim? Are we using tPA more safely, more appropriately – or just more? And, what now, of endovascular therapy, CT perfusion, and patient-level predictive modeling – are you ready for the next decade of evolution in stroke care?

In this talk, we’ll go into the most recent trial evidence relating to saving neurons, and whether we should be suspicious or celebratory of their outcomes. On one hand, we have clinicians putting the low-tech non-contrast CT in a mobile stroke unit to treat more patients, while other clinicians are using rapid MRI and CT perfusion to precisely target treatment. We’ve also seen endovascular treatment finally hit prime-time after years of false starts, and systems of stroke care re-organized around its delivery. The pace of practice change – and the reliability of the evidence – is enough to give you a stroke!

Finally, we’ll look at the clinical trials underway, which may produce zero, subtle, or huge changes in practice. At the minimum, we’ll at least get a handful of new acronyms to file away.

Direct download: Ryan_Radecki.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

Undertaking a decompressive crainectomy is perhaps one of the most challenging decisions we face within critical care, we don't know if we should do the operation, and even if we think we should we don't know when, or even how. Perhaps more importantly we don't do the operation, the neurosurgeons do, but we frequently put them in the position of doing the operation when we are at our wits end, or they do the operation without asking us when we still feel we have space to play. How can we resolve this, in a workplace environment which is already fraught with competing interests, beliefs, values and approaches? Evidence based medicine isn't going to provide an answer soon and it is unlikely that a superficial approach to improving teamwork will either. An important component will be the future structure of clinical training, our current systems reflect the way hospitals worked decades ago and the specialties we now have exist almost independently of the training which leads to consultant posts. Training should involve exposure to collegiate decision making and consensus building but this will be difficult to achieve within our current nationally co-ordinated training schemes.

Direct download: Ronan_OLeary.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

Almost fifty years since the concept of brain death was first introduced, some individuals and whole nations still struggle with its concept and justification. Many controversies continue to surround brain death, although there is broad consensus that human death is ultimately death of the brain. This crucially involves the irreversible loss of the capacity for consciousness combined with the irreversible loss of the capacity to breathe since, taken together, these elements represent the most basic manner in which a human being can interact with their environment.

Confusingly brain death is defined in two different ways based on ‘whole’ brain and ‘brainstem’ formulations, although the clinical determination of both is identical. It is not widely appreciated that death is a process, and this leads to misunderstanding by both the public and professionals; reports of brain dead patients ‘being kept alive’ on a ventilator are familiar. Pragmatically, once a threshold of irreversibility in the dying process has been reached, and brain death is such a point, it is not necessary to wait for the death of the whole organism for the inevitable consequence of its biological death to be certain.

The majority of countries specify that a clinical diagnosis of brain death is sufficient for the determination of death in adults, but there are major international differences in the criteria for the determination of brain death. There is unanimity that confirmation of absent brainstem reflexes is fundamental, but wide variations in requirements for the apnoea test. The diagnosis of brain death is robust when established diagnostic criteria are strictly applied but, somewhat worryingly, deviation from jurisdiction-specific diagnostic guidance is relatively common.

This lecture will discuss the history and development of the concepts and diagnosis of brain death internationally, examine current challenges and controversies, and make the case for an international consensus.

Direct download: Martin_Smith.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

Hazel Talbot provides an insightful look at neonatal and paediatric retrieval in her talk "Small Packages, Big Lessons"

Direct download: Hazel_Talbot.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

A bare knuckle pit fight between Oli Flower & Simon Finfer over when to transfuse in acute brain injury...
Oli argues that the transfusion threshold should be 90 g/L, whereas Simon takes 70 g/L to be a more appropriate trigger to transfuse blood in the context of acute brain injury.
The transfusion trigger is remarkable heterogeneous around the world and even within individual institutions and this drives crit care professionals mad - surely there must be a "right" number. Unfortunately there isn't, which is where understanding all the relevant aspects to the argument becomes important.
Enjoy listening to these two duke it out and then make up your mind - what will your number be?

Direct download: BRAIN_05.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am AEST