Most Popular Articles

Caring for hospitalized patients with alcohol withdrawal syndrome

Elliott, Dolores Y.

Nursing Critical Care. 14(5):18-30, September 2019.

Alcohol use disorder can lead to the potentially life-threatening alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS). Assessing for AWS is an important skill for frontline nurses in all hospital units. This article includes screening tools and tips to individualize patient treatment.

Performing a respiratory assessment

Mehta, Marjaana

Nursing Critical Care. 5(3):45-47, May 2010.

Follow the steps in this illustrated guide to performing a thorough respiratory assessment through inspection, palpation, percussion, auscultation, and taking a complete patient history.

Does a high WBC count guarantee infection?

George, Elisabeth L.; Panos, Angela

Nursing Critical Care. 1(1):14-16, January 2006.

Taken alone, the WBC count may have little value unless nurses correlate it to the patient's clinical condition and analyze the WBC differential.

Getting involved in policy and politics

Oestberg, Fredrik

Nursing Critical Care. 8(3):48, May 2013.

By knowing how the political system works and which strategies can effectively influence policy, any nurse can become an advocate at the local, state, or federal level.

Prone positioning for patients with ARDS

Hudack, Michael E.

Nursing Critical Care. 7(2):20-24, March 2012.

Although not common in ICUs, proning may help improve oxygenation for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Find out about the science behind this technique and how to incorporate it into a plan of care.

Using pain to assess neurologic response

Lower, Judith "Ski"

Nursing Critical Care. 5(4):11-12, July 2010.

This illustrated guide explains various techniques for assessing a patient's neurologic response through painful stimuli, which are used when a patient doesn't respond to verbal stimuli or gentle shaking.

Measuring serum lactate

Antinone, Richard; Kress, Terri

Nursing Critical Care. 4(5):56, September 2009.

A serum lactate level, which measures the level of lactic acid in the blood, is a fairly reliable and accurate indication of tissue hypoperfusion and hypoxia. Learn about this test, how to interpret results, and what your patient needs to know.

BIS monitoring migrates from OR to ICU

Franges, Ellie Z.

Nursing Critical Care. 1(5):58-61, September 2006.

Bispectral index (BIS) monitoring has recently been used in the ICU to provide objective measures of the level of sedation in patients.

Assessing the abdomen

Mehta, Marjaana

Nursing Critical Care. 5(1):47-48, January 2010.

Use sight, sound, and touch to assess your patient's abdomen for abnormalities. This article provides step-by-step photos to help you improve your technique.

A guide to critical appraisal of evidence

Fineout-Overholt, Ellen

Nursing Critical Care. 14(3):24-30, May 2019.

How do nurses assess the quality of clinical research? This article outlines a stepwise approach to critical appraisal of research studies' worth to clinical practice: rapid critical appraisal, evaluation, synthesis, and recommendation. When critical care nurses apply a body of valid, reliable, and applicable evidence to daily practice, patient outcomes are improved.

Determining the level of evidence: Experimental research appraisal

Glasofer, Amy; Townsend, Ann B.

Nursing Critical Care. 14(6):22-25, November 2019.

The first installment in this series provides a basic understanding of research design to appraise the level of evidence of a source. This article reviews appraisal of randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental research.

What is medical futility?

Angelucci, Patricia A.

Nursing Critical Care. 2(1):20-21, January 2007.

Confusion surrounds the concept of medical futility. Conflicts persist as to how to determine what's really futile in particular circumstances.

Understanding ventilator waveforms—and how to use them in patient care

Lian, Jin Xiong

Nursing Critical Care. 4(1):43-55, January 2009.

Ventilator waveforms provide real-time information about patient ventilator interaction and ventilator function. Learn the basics of ventilator waveforms, how they're interpreted, and how you can use this information when caring for your patient.

Caring for patients with burn injuries

Culleiton, Alicia L.; Simko, Lynn M.

Nursing Critical Care. 8(1):14-22, January 2013.

Caring for a patient with severe burn injuries offers many challenges for critical care nurses. Find out about various types of burns and providing initial resuscitative care for a patient if treatment in a designated burn center facility or burn ICU isn't possible.

Patient readiness for PACU discharge

Pusey-Reid, Eleonor

Nursing Critical Care. 13(5):31-34, September 2018.

Prematurely discharging patients from the postanesthesia care unit (PACU) can lead to poor patient outcomes. To achieve optimal patient outcomes, nurses need to be familiar with evidence-based practices surrounding safe patient discharge from the PACU.

Inhaled epoprostenol for acute respiratory distress syndrome

Schroeder, Nicole M.; Castiello, Danielle R.; Siemianowski, Laura A.

Nursing Critical Care. 13(4):6-13, July 2018.

This article describes the safe and effective use of inhaled epoprostenol in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) by examining the current literature published on this topic.

How to recognize and respond to refeeding syndrome

Yantis, Mary Ann; Velander, Robyn

Nursing Critical Care. 4(3):14-20, May 2009.

Restarting nutrition in malnourished patients can pose lethal consequences. Here's what you need to know about assessing your patient and avoiding problems.

Tracheostomy Care

Parker, Laura C.

Nursing Critical Care. 9(6):38-41, November 2014.

The longer a patient requires mechanical ventilation, the more likely it is that the patient will have a tracheostomy. Read about indications, benefits, potential complications, and nursing care associated with tracheostomies.

What is Brown-Séquard syndrome?

Franges, Ellie

Nursing Critical Care. 4(3):36-41, May 2009.

Also know as lateral cord syndrome, this type of spinal cord injury results from an incomplete transection of the cord. Find out about this uncommon condition and how to care for your patient.

Improve your professional etiquette

Pagana, Kathleen D.

Nursing Critical Care. 5(6):48, November 2010.

Professional etiquette is critical for presenting yourself as a polished, confident, and professional nurse. These seven tips can help you stand out and improve your chances for career success.

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: The nurse's role in patient care

Bergeron, Amanda; Holifield, Linda

Nursing Critical Care. 15(3):6-14, May 2020.

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is increasingly being used with adult patients in respiratory failure or cardiac failure. ECMO is a complex treatment that requires diligent nursing care. Critical care nurses with the knowledge and ability to identify complications of ECMO can potentially reduce morbidity and mortality in these high-acuity patients.

Uncontrolled atrial fibrillation in adults

Wietbrock, Mary Ann

Nursing2019 Critical Care. 10(4):6-11, July 2015.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a chaotic, rapid, irregular heartbeat that often causes poor perfusion. The atria can beat above 400 times/minute. Currently, 33.5 million people worldwide suffer from AF.

Sepsis-3: The new definitions

Seckel, Maureen A.

Nursing Critical Care. 12(2):37-43, March 2017.

Sepsis definitions were recently revised by the Third International Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock (Sepsis-3) to better align with current understanding of the research, physiology, and management of patients with sepsis. This article reviews the new definitions and other recent changes in sepsis management.

Nurse-driven protocols

Barto, Donna

Nursing Critical Care. 14(4):18-24, July 2019.

Without nurse-driven protocols, nurses must contact a physician or NP for intervention orders. The sense of autonomy nurses derive from nurse-driven protocols can contribute to increased nursing job satisfaction and retention rates. This article outlines the step-by-step process of designing and implementing a new protocol in the hospital setting.

Caring for the patient with schizophrenia

Iannaco, Dodi

Nursing Critical Care. 6(5):20-22, September 2011.

Caring for a patient with schizophrenia includes ensuring that prescribed medications are administered as directed. You'll also monitor for adverse drug reactions, in addition to addressing the medical problem that brought the patient to the ICU.

Myasthenia gravis and myasthenic crisis

Vacca, Vincent M. Jr.

Nursing Critical Care. 12(5):38-46, September 2017.

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is the most commonly encountered autoimmune disease of the postsynaptic neuromuscular junction of skeletal muscles, affecting an estimated 700,000 individuals worldwide. Approximately 15% to 20% of patients with MG will experience a myasthenic crisis (MC), typically within 2 years of diagnosis. Nurses must be knowledgeable about this disease and prepared to assist with pharmacologic testing and/or MC to ensure maximum safety for patients with MG before, during, and after evaluation.

Interpreting and using the arterial blood gas analysis

Lian, Jin Xiong

Nursing Critical Care. 5(3):26-36, May 2010.

This article reviews the physiology behind ABGs and describes a 5-step approach to ABG interpretation. The 5-step approach is then applied to case studies that illustrate how to use ABGs to manage patients, particularly those on mechanical ventilation.

Prone positioning: Improving oxygenation in patients with ARDS

Kennison, Monica; Yost, Wilbert III

Nursing Critical Care. 4(3):42-46, May 2009.

Although not standard therapy, prone positioning can help recruit collapsed alveoli and improve oxygenation in patients with ARDS when mechanical ventilation doesn't help. Whether accomplished manually or mechanically, proning could turn things around for your patient.

The importance of patient advocacy

Maine, Jillian

Nursing2019 Critical Care. 10(4):48, July 2015.

As a student nurse, the author learned two powerful lessons: addressing concerns gets results, and you always need to be a voice for your patients, whether it's for their physical health or getting their meal requests right!

Managing a patient with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome PART 2: ARDS

Lian, Jin Xiong

Nursing Critical Care. 6(1):31-40, January 2011.

In the second and final part of this series, the author describes how to handle refractory hypoxemia and how to use information gleaned from ventilator waveforms to optimize ventilation for patients with ARDS.

Acute respiratory failure and COPD: Recognition and care

Siela, Debra

Nursing Critical Care. 13(1):28-37, January 2018.

First, review the pathophysiology of COPD, signs and symptoms, and diagnosis. Then, learn how COPD exacerbations can lead to acute respiratory failure and hospitalization in these patients. A case study illustrates one patient's treatment plan.

Correct that calcium

Avent, Yvonne

Nursing Critical Care. 2(4):14-17, July 2007.

Hypocalcemia and hypercalcemia can have many varied causes and clinical symptoms. Knowledge of medical management and nursing interventions is critical.

What is urine specific gravity?

Flasar, Cathy

Nursing Critical Care. 3(6):9, November 2008.

Measuring urine specific gravity is an easy and convenient way to gauge a patient's hydration status, as well as the functional ability of the kidneys.

Six steps to ABG analysis

Woodruff, David W.

Nursing Critical Care. 2(2):48-52, March 2007.

The arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis is a lab test that measures the acid-base balance and oxygenation of an arterial blood sample, usually obtained by direct arterial puncture. Nurses can learn valuable information about their patients by analyzing the ABG results.

The cold truth about postcardiac arrest targeted temperature management: 33°C versus 36°C

Knippa, Sara; Butler, Jana; Johnson, Lauren; More

Nursing Critical Care. 15(3):16-23, May 2020.

This article provides nurses with up-to-date evidence empowering them to contribute to the 33°C versus 36°C discussion in postcardiac arrest targeted temperature management (TTM). Presented in debate format, this article addresses the pros and cons of various target temperatures as it applies the evidence around TTM to clinical scenarios.

Acute acetaminophen toxicity in adults

Saccomano, Scott J.

Nursing Critical Care. 14(5):10-17, September 2019.

Although acetaminophen is a safe and effective analgesic and antipyretic agent when taken in the recommended dosage, an overdose can cause hepatotoxicity. This article reviews the stages of acetaminophen toxicity, recommended treatments, and nursing considerations, including patient education recommendations.

Current sepsis research: What nurses need to know

Seckel, Maureen A.

Nursing Critical Care. 15(2):6-13, March 2020.

Despite recently published definitions and guidelines that provide a framework for the care of patients with sepsis, there is no strong consensus among experts about many aspects of sepsis screening or the assessment and care of patients with sepsis. This article highlights current evidence revealed by some recent significant research studies and discusses the implications for nursing practice.

Deceased donor organ donation: The critical care nurse's role

O'Leary, Geraldine M.

Nursing Critical Care. 13(4):27-32, July 2018.

Critical care nurses are instrumental in the process of identifying potential organ donors. As such, nurses must be familiar with the criteria used to determine brain death and best practices when communicating with the families of potential donors.

Music therapy: Nursing interventions with a beat

Crowley, Jessica

Nursing Critical Care. 8(2):15-17, March 2013.

Research has shown that older adults can benefit from music therapy and that this therapy doesn't need to be formal to be effective. This article focuses on interventions you can use to help patients.

Caring for a patient after coronary artery bypass graft surgery

Mullen-Fortino, Margaret; O'Brien, Noreen

Nursing Critical Care. 4(1):22-27, January 2009.

Every year, some 427,000 patients in the United States have coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. A patient undergoing CABG has complex healthcare needs. We'll outline your role in patient care by body system.

Start with a PICOT question to make your case

Echevarria, Ilia M.; Walker, Susan

Nursing2019 Critical Care. 10(3):14-16, May 2015.

PICOT is an acronym for five key components that help nurses ask clinical or researchable questions with an evidence-based practice framework.

Electrolyte series: Magnesium

Hiner, Amy

Nursing Critical Care. 13(1):15-19, January 2018.

The latest installment in our Electrolyte Series explores the second most abundant intracellular divalent cation. Magnesium is crucial to over 300 enzymatic processes. This article covers magnesium regulation, hypermagnesemia, hypomagnesemia, and evidence-based practices regarding this electrolyte.

Recognizing amiodarone-induced hypothyroidism

Mosher, Mary C.

Nursing Critical Care. 7(3):27-32, May 2012.

Amiodarone is often prescribed for ventricular and atrial dysrhythmias. The signs and symptoms of amiodarone-induced hypothyroidism (AIH) can be missed or misdiagnosed in a patient with a complex clinical condition. Here's what you need to know.

Vasoactive agents in shock

Griffiths, Carrie L.; Vestal, Mark L.; Hertel, Kristie A.

Nursing Critical Care. 13(2):6-13, March 2018.

Vasoactive agents, such as vasopressors and inotropes, are frequently needed to manage the patient in shock and prevent adverse outcomes. This article reviews the clinical manifestations of shock, as well as the vasoactive agents used to manage shock and what critical care nurses need to know about these important drugs.

Keeping electrolytes & fluids in balance part 1

Culleiton, Alicia L.; Simko, Lynn C.

Nursing Critical Care. 6(2):30-35, March 2011.

This is the first part of a general overview of the electrolytes tested and I.V. fluids used in critical care areas. The article focuses on imbalances in sodium and water, and describes the common causes, signs and symptoms, and available treatments for correcting electrolyte abnormalities and fluid imbalances.

Recognizing pulmonary hypertension on the ECG

Barto, Donna

Nursing Critical Care. 6(2):11-13, March 2011.

Clues on your patient's ECG can alert you to the presence of pulmonary hypertension, which increases right ventricular workload.

Determining the level of evidence: Nonexperimental research designs

Glasofer, Amy; Townsend, Ann B.

Nursing Critical Care. 15(1):24-27, January 2020.

The next installment in this series provides critical care nurses with guidance to identify key features of the most-common nonexperimental research designs.

Recognizing the red flags of low back pain

McDevitt, Louise; Davis, Matthew A.

Nursing Critical Care. 6(1):24-29, January 2011.

Low back pain usually is benign, but can also signal a serious underlying problem. The authors describe "red flags" that can help nurses recognize patients who need a more in-depth clinical evaluation.

Tegmen tympani defect: A hidden danger

Vacca, Vincent M. Jr.

Nursing2019 Critical Care. 10(4):43-47, July 2015.

A tegmen tympani defect is a tear in either the right or left side of the tegmen tympani, or the roof of the middle ear, which disrupts communication between the intracranial and extracranial sections. Any delay in diagnosis increases the risk of seizures, meningitis, encephalitis, or cerebral abscess.

Postoperative pulmonary complications

Thanavaro, Joanne L.; Foner, Barbara J.

Nursing Critical Care. 11(1):38-47, January 2016.

Postoperative pulmonary complications are a major contributor to the overall risk of noncardiac surgery. They can cause deleterious clinical outcomes after surgery, may lead to serious health issues, and contribute to long-term mortality.

Mechanical ventilation weaning: An evidence-based review

Hetland, Breanna; Heusinkvelt, Jennifer; Krabbenhoft, Lisa; More

Nursing Critical Care. 13(6):5-16, November 2018.

Mechanical ventilation weaning is an ongoing challenge in critical care nursing. This article reviews evidence-based guidelines on common ventilator modes and settings, the weaning process, complications, and symptom management.

Electrolyte series: Calcium and phosphorus

Madiraca, Jessica; Hoch, Christine

Nursing Critical Care. 13(2):24-31, March 2018.

The latest installment in our Electrolyte Series explores the reciprocal relationship between calcium and phosphate, the main circulating form of phosphorus. Critical care nurses need to understand the significance of calcium and phosphorus imbalances to achieve optimal patient outcomes.

Palliative care in a critical setting: A case study

Burdette-Taylor, Shelly R.

Nursing Critical Care. 2(5):64, September 2007.

Nurses are using more discretion when suggesting curtailing aggressive care for cure and instead are focusing on promoting aggressive care for comfort.

Posttraumatic stress disorder in critical care nurses

Danella, Nicole; Hamilton, Sharece; Heinrich, Chelsea

Nursing Critical Care. 12(3):40-46, May 2017.

This article summarizes the research on and evidence-based practice for posttraumatic stress disorder in critical care nurses. Precipitating factors and diagnostic criteria as well as best practices for prevention and treatment are addressed. The authors also look to military history and research to illustrate potential solutions.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Nursing care and considerations

Vacca, Vincent M. Jr.

Nursing Critical Care. 15(1):6-14, January 2020.

This neurodegenerative disease is rapidly progressive and always fatal, although treatment can help slow disease progression. This article includes the etiology and pathophysiology of, signs and symptoms of, diagnosis of, and treatment for ALS, and special nursing considerations to help patients at end of life.

Managing PICCs

Argame, Jerome

Nursing Critical Care. 9(2):48, March 2014.

Learn about using, maintaining and removing peripherally inserted central catheters or PICCs and who benefits most from using them and who should avoid them.

Acute ischemic stroke: The golden hour

Anderson, Jane A.

Nursing Critical Care. 11(3):28-36, May 2016.

Acute ischemic stroke is a medical emergency resulting from an embolic or thrombotic occlusion of an intracranial artery. This article provides acute care nurses with a summary of recent updates on the rapid evaluation and workup for patient selection and treatment with I.V. fibrinolysis.

Music helps heal mind, body, and spirit

Thomas, Linda S.

Nursing Critical Care. 9(6):28-31, November 2014.

Heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen consumption decease when the right type of music is played. This auditory stimulus positively affects the patient physiologically and psychologically.

Take a rapid treatment approach to cardiogenic shock

Gorman, Diane; Calhoun, Kim; Carassco, Maria; More

Nursing Critical Care. 3(4):18-27, July 2008.

Cardiogenic shock is a major and frequently fatal complication of a variety of acute and chronic disorders. Recognition of early signs and symptoms of cardiogenic shock and rapid interventions enable the nurse and treatment team to prevent complications and assist the patient to recovery.

Meningitis: the inflamed brain

Burnet, Sophary; Huntley, Ann; Kemp, Kelda M.

Nursing Critical Care. 2(4):28-36, July 2007.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges of the brain, which is caused by various pathogens. Critical care nurses are the first-line clinicians to observe these patients in the ICU, thus, they're an integral part of the prevention of major complications. Therefore, revisit the anatomy, epidemiology, and types of meningitis, as well as prevention, nursing care, and treatment for the disease.

Evidence-based practice for red blood cell transfusions

Fredrich, Nanci L.

Nursing Critical Care. 11(1):31-37, January 2016.

Research regarding the best use of transfusion of all types of blood components has grown over the last 20 years, resulting in numerous studies to support evidence-based practice in transfusion medicine. Current research has compared the use of transfusion thresholds or triggers in various patient populations and the effect of a restrictive or liberal strategy on patient outcomes, adverse events, and complications.

Burn injuries in the ICU: A case scenario approach

Simko, Lynn Coletta; Culleiton, Alicia L.

Nursing Critical Care. 12(2):12-22, March 2017.

This article uses a case scenario to review various types of burn injuries, burn pathophysiology, and what nurses need to know to provide comprehensive assessment and resuscitative care to patients with this type of injury.

Assessing cardiovascular status

Mehta, Marjaana

Nursing Critical Care. 5(2):37-39, March 2010.

Perfect your cardiac assessment with this illustrated guide to assessing your patient's cardiovascular status through sight, sound, and touch.

Ventilator waveforms: Clues to the patient-ventilator system

Pruitt, Bill

Nursing Critical Care. 15(2):29-36, March 2020.

Mechanical ventilation supports patients by decreasing the work of breathing, supporting and improving gas exchange, and recruiting collapsed alveoli. However, mechanical ventilation can cause harm by opening the door for infection, contributing to muscle atrophy and ventilator dependence, contributing to an increased work of breathing, or damaging the fragile lung tissues. This article examines how ventilator waveforms can help achieve the delicate balance of providing ventilatory support while avoiding harm in adults and give clues to how well the patient-ventilator system is functioning.

A Case Report: Complete lung whiteout

Lian, Jin Xiong

Nursing Critical Care. 4(4):42-45, July 2009.

Lung whiteout occurs when the black in a lung field on X-ray is replaced by white, indicating that less air is getting into the alveoli. Follow this case study to learn about the causes of lung whiteout and how to respond.

Assessing the anion gap

Campana, Theresa

Nursing Critical Care. 4(2):15-17, March 2009.

Arterial blood gas results and serum electrolyte values let you assess the anion gap so you can diagnose and treat acid-base imbalances in critically ill patients.

A new look at managing hyperkalemia in high-risk patients

Earl, Grace

Nursing Critical Care. 15(3):25-34, May 2020.

Two medications that bind potassium in the gastrointestinal tract are indicated for hyperkalemia management. Patiromer and sodium zirconium cyclosilicate have been studied in patients with chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and heart failure. Recent studies have examined the role of potassium binders as maintenance therapy to control hyperkalemia in high-risk patients.

Managing a severe acute asthma exacerbation

Lian, Jin Xiong

Nursing Critical Care. 4(2):32-39, March 2009.

Caring for a patient with an acute asthma exacerbation can be challenging. Review the pathophysiology and management of a severe asthma exacerbation and learn how to intervene appropriately should the patient's clinical status deteriorate rapidly.

End-tidal CO2 readings useful in ventilator weaning

Erickson, Lisa

Nursing Critical Care. 2(1):10-15, January 2007.

End-tidal carbon dioxide monitoring and capnography have become an integral part of the daily management of critically ill patients.

Monitoring liver function

Schoch, Lisa; Whiteman, Kim

Nursing Critical Care. 3(5):5-6, September 2008.

Liver function tests are used to monitor liver function or to investigate specific signs and symptoms. Testing may be ordered before a patient starts therapy with a drug that's metabolized by the liver.

Managing a patient with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome PART 1: ARDS

Lian, Jin Xiong

Nursing Critical Care. 5(6):17-27, November 2010.

Despite substantial advances in knowledge and improvements in treatments, mortality from ARDS remains high, ranging from 15% to 75%. This article, the first in a two-part series, discusses the pathophysiology of ARDS and how to use lung-protective strategies for mechanical ventilation.

Time management for the nurse leader

Hackworth, Terry

Nursing Critical Care. 3(2):10-11, March 2008.

Creating an effective time management plan and utilizing time management techniques will enable nurses to keep the scales balanced in their favor.

Making a change to pediatric nursing

Mason, Kimberly

Nursing2019 Critical Care. 10(6):48, November 2015.

One nurse changes careers from adult cardiology to pediatric nursing and shares her thoughts about the challenges and rewards.

Reducing your liability risk

Nursing Critical Care. 7(4):4, July 2012.

Are you doing everything you can to reduce your liability risk? A recent report sheds light on areas where you must stay vigilant to keep yourself and your patients safe.

Pediatric nasogastric tube placement

Wathen, Beth; Peyton, Christine

Nursing Critical Care. 9(3):14-18, May 2014.

The lifesaving, blind procedures of nasogastric or orogastric tube placement performed at bedside on children aren't without risks.

Know the facts of mechanical ventilation

Lian, Jin Xiong

Nursing Critical Care. 3(5):43-49, September 2008.

Mechanical ventilation (MV) is one of the core components of supportive therapies for critically ill patients, but its application may lead to ventilator-induced lung injury. A sound knowledge of MV and a patient's condition enables clinicians to maximize the benefits of ventilatory support.

Basics of general anesthesia for the critical care nurse

Greenberg, Kendra; Morrison, Suzanne

Nursing Critical Care. 12(4):36-42, July 2017.

Critical care nurses play an integral role in the care of surgical patients. A more thorough understanding of what general anesthesia entails may enable the critical care nurse to tailor care to patients following surgery. This article describes the stages of general anesthesia, along with related medications, potential adverse reactions, and what nurses need to know to provide optimal care.

Encephalitis in adults: Outcomes in critical care

Vacca, Vincent M. Jr.

Nursing Critical Care. 11(2):14-22, March 2016.

Encephalitis can lead to alterations in level of consciousness, cognition, and behavior as well as fever, headache, seizures, cranial nerve disorders, and motor deficits. Despite advances in technology and pharmacology, encephalitis remains challenging to diagnose and difficult to treat.

Update: 2015 AHA BLS and ACLS guidelines

Craig-Brangan, Karen Jean; Day, Mary Patricia

Nursing Critical Care. 11(2):24-29, March 2016.

The American Heart Association Guidelines Update for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care includes new strategies for resuscitation.

Acute hyperglycemic emergencies: Diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state

Kubacka, Beata T.

Nursing Critical Care. 14(2):10-21, March 2019.

As diabetes prevalence rises, critical care nurses must be prepared to encounter acute hyperglycemic emergencies in the ED or ICU. This article discusses the diagnosis, treatments, and nursing considerations associated with diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state.

Delirium in critical care patients

Laske, Rita Ann; Stephens, Barbara

Nursing Critical Care. 11(1):18-23, January 2016.

Delirium can impact up to 80% of CCU patients and increases their length of stay and cost of hospitalization. Often, delirium may be misdiagnosed as dementia, depression, or other psychiatric disorders.

Uncommon causes of noncardiogenic pulmonary edema

Simko, Lynn Coletta; Culleiton, Alicia L.

Nursing Critical Care. 14(2):22-29, March 2019.

This article reviews the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnostics, treatment, and nursing considerations associated with several uncommon causes of noncardiogenic pulmonary edema, including transfusion-related acute lung injury, neurogenic pulmonary edema, preeclampsia/eclampsia, opioid overdose, high altitude pulmonary edema, and pulmonary embolism.