This special edition of Critical Care Advisor provides you with relevant information that can be used in your practice immediately. American Nurse Journal is committed to delivering authoritative research translated into content that keeps nurses up to date on best practices. Articles are written by nurses…for nurses in all clinical specialties and practice settings. Read on to help maximize patient outcomes.

Critical Care Advisor

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Critical Care

Pediatric malignant hyperthermia

Daniel Sanchez*, an 8-year-old boy, arrives in the pediatric recovery unit after an appendectomy. You note that his electronic health record (EHR) indicates Daniel weighs 57 lbs (25.8 kg) and that he’s in good overall health with no significant medical history. After he’s extubated, his parents enter the room.

Do polio and smallpox present a threat?

The 2022 reemergence of polio and smallpox in the United States has many healthcare providers wondering if they should prepare for a potential outbreak. Nurses need to know what lies ahead and how best to protect themselves and their patients if they encounter either of these viruses in their practice. (See 2022 outbreak.)

Subarachnoid hemorrhage

Karen Thompson*, a 55-year-old woman, ar­rives in the ED via ambulance. She reports the worst headache of her life and sensitivity to light. She has no significant medical history.
The stroke activation team completes the National Institute of Health stroke scale and orders a computed tomography (CT) scan.

Recognizing oncologic emergencies

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2023 over 1.9 million individuals will receive a diagnosis of some form of cancer. Many will seek care for oncologic emergencies related to chemotherapy, radiation treatment, biological therapies, local tumors, and metastases.

Resuscitation after cardiac surgery: Best practice recommendations

According to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, 0.7% to 8% of patients who’ve had cardiac surgery suffer from cardiac arrest. Ventricular fibrillation (VF), the most common cause, accounts for 25% to 50% of cardiac arrests. VF treatment begins with defibrillation—up to three shocks at 150 joules.

Acute kidney injury: A nursing challenge

The renal system comprises the kidneys, ureters, and urethra, which maintain homeostasis via filtration and excretion of waste products, participate in acidbase balance, produce renin for maintaining hemodynamics, and produce erythropoietin to stimulate red blood cell production.


Heart failure management: Updated guidelines

The 2022 heart failure management update includes patient-centric recommendations focused on stages, primary prevention, left ventricular ejection fraction classification, pharmacologic management, and comorbidity management.

Mobile stroke units

Mobile stroke units (MSUs), ambulances equipped to evaluate, diagnose, and treat strokes in the prehospital environment, decrease door-to-thrombolytic administration time, cut door-to-thrombectomy time, reduce the risk of mortality and long-term disability, and improve patient outcomes.

Time is brain

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), more than 795,000 Americans experience a stroke each year, and first-time strokes account for over three-quarters of them. An acute stroke, whether ischemic or hemorrhagic, is a clinical emergency that requires urgent intervention