critical care

A COVID-19 story

There was little information about COVID-19 when the pandemic began, but one important piece of information we did have was that the virus was not causing children to…

A new twist on diaries in the hospital setting

Patient diaries during and after hospitalization have been used to facilitate coping of both patients and family members. Patient diaries during hospitalization include comments and descriptions about the…

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,…
color black white world

Colorful antidotes for a black-and-white world

Janice Spillane, MS, RN, of Ridge, New York, started her career as a critical care nurse, working in an environment she describes as “largely black and white. To…
critically ill obstetric patients

Critically ill obstetric patients

Be prepared to care for pregnant and postpartum patients in critical care settings. Takeaways: Some critical care nurses have reported that they don’t feel prepared to care for…

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…

During an emergency: Be safe!

Thousands of accidental chemical spills and leaks take place in this country each year. Providing nurses with adequate first-receiver training can help ensure that we can care for…

Families and post-intensive care syndrome

Post-intensive care syndrome (PICS) is defined as new or increased physical, cognitive, or mental health impairment in a patient after hospitalization in a critical care unit. Similarly, post-intensive…

Helping nurses cope with postcode stress

Understanding how nurses cope following the death of a patient after CPR may help identify nurses most at risk for postcode stress and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according…

Hepatitis C: Updates and beyond

In October 2021, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) updated their hepatitis C virus (HCV) guidelines…

Infiltration of xylazine in illicit fentanyl

Be alert for the signs of this drug, a growing contributor to the opioid epidemic. Takeaways: In addition to the influx of fentanyl in the illicit drug supply,…

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…

Moral distress and end-of-life care

The power of dignity-conserving care to promote nurse and patient well-being Takeaways: When providing end-of-life care, nurses face ethical dilemmas related to the dying process and the relief…

Neuroleptic malignant syndrome

Neuroleptic malignant syndrome, a life-threatening neurologic emergency, frequently occurs with dopamine antagonists (antipsychotics and antiemetics).

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…

Postpartum hemorrhage

Freya Jenkins*, a 22-year-old woman, delivers 32 week gestation triplets via cesarean birth. In the operating room, she experienced quantitative blood loss of 1,050 mL. Ms. Jenkins had…
Is nursing a profession or a job?

Progress on nurses working environment made

A study in Critical Care Nurse reports that the health of critical-care nurses’ work environments has improved since 2013, but staffing remains a major concern. (more…)

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…

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…

Unplanned Extubation: Eliminating preventable deaths

Know the risk factors and take steps to prevent harm. Takeaways: Unplanned extubations (UEs) can be reduced through the implementation of standardization of best practices, policies and procedures…

Vancomycin flushing syndrome

Shantae Demano*, a 62-year-old woman with a history of recent total left knee surgery, is admitted to the ICU with sepsis and an infection of the knee, which…

Wernicke’s encephalopathy

Amber White*, a 35-year-old woman who’s 21 weeks pregnant, arrives in the ED with an altered level of consciousness, blurred vision, weakness, and ataxia. The nurse notes slurred…

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