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1.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 12(8)2022 Aug 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1987684

ABSTRACT

Cryptococcal superinfection is a rare but potentially fatal complication, especially if its detection and subsequent treatment are delayed. Histopathological findings of pulmonary parenchyma from a deceased patient with these complications were acquired. Quite interestingly, only a minimal inflammatory reaction could be seen in an individual with no previously known immune suppression, indicating a disturbance of the immune system. This finding was well in concordance with the described changes in cellular immunity in COVID-19. We report the case of a 60 year old male with critical coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) complicated by cryptococcal pneumonia and multiorgan failure. Both X-ray and CT scans revealed lung infiltrates corresponding with COVID-19 infection early after the onset of symptoms. Despite receiving standard treatment, the patient progressed into multiple organ failure, requiring mechanical ventilation, circulatory support, and haemodialysis. Cryptococcus neoformans was detected by subsequent BAL, and specific antifungal treatment was instituted. His clinical status deteriorated despite all treatment, and he died of refractory circulatory failure after 21 days from hospital admission. Histopathological findings confirmed severe diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) caused by COVID-19 and cryptococcal pneumonia. Timely diagnosis of cryptococcal superinfection may be challenging; therefore, PCR panels detecting even uncommon pathogens should be implemented while taking care of critical COVID-19 patients.

2.
Crit Care ; 26(1): 221, 2022 07 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938336

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Providing palliative care at the end of life (EOL) in intensive care units (ICUs) seems to be modified during the COVID-19 pandemic with potential burden of moral distress to health care providers (HCPs). We seek to assess the practice of EOL care during the COVID-19 pandemic in ICUs in the Czech Republic focusing on the level of moral distress and its possible modifiable factors. METHODS: Between 16 June 2021 and 16 September 2021, a national, cross-sectional study in intensive care units (ICUs) in Czech Republic was performed. All physicians and nurses working in ICUs during the COVID-19 pandemic were included in the study. For questionnaire development ACADEMY and CHERRIES guide and checklist were used. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to analyse possible modifiable factors of moral distress. RESULTS: In total, 313 HCPs (14.5% out of all HCPs who opened the questionnaire) fully completed the survey. Results showed that 51.8% (n = 162) of respondents were exposed to moral distress during the COVID-19 pandemic. 63.1% (n = 113) of nurses and 71.6% of (n = 96) physicians had experience with the perception of inappropriate care. If inappropriate care was perceived, a higher chance for the occurrence of moral distress for HCPs (OR, 1.854; CI, 1.057-3.252; p = 0.0312) was found. When patients died with dignity, the chance for moral distress was lower (OR, 0.235; CI, 0.128-0.430; p < 0.001). The three most often reported differences in palliative care practice during pandemic were health system congestion, personnel factors, and characteristics of COVID-19 infection. CONCLUSIONS: HCPs working at ICUs experienced significant moral distress during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Czech Republic. The major sources were perceiving inappropriate care and dying of patients without dignity. Improvement of the decision-making process and communication at the end of life could lead to a better ethical and safety climate. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT04910243 .


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Palliative Care , Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Czech Republic/epidemiology , Death , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Morals , Pandemics , Stress, Psychological , Surveys and Questionnaires
3.
Trials ; 23(1): 35, 2022 Jan 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635071

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since December 2019, SARS-CoV-2 virus has infected millions of people worldwide. In patients with COVID-19 pneumonia in need of oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilation, dexamethasone 6 mg per day is currently recommended. However, the dose of 6 mg of dexamethasone is currently being reappraised and may miss important therapeutic potential or may prevent potential deleterious effects of higher doses of corticosteroids. METHODS: REMED is a prospective, open-label, randomised controlled trial testing the superiority of dexamethasone 20 mg (dexamethasone 20 mg on days 1-5, followed by dexamethasone 10 mg on days 6-10) vs 6 mg administered once daily intravenously for 10 days in adult patients with moderate or severe ARDS due to confirmed COVID-19. Three hundred participants will be enrolled and followed up for 360 days after randomization. Patients will be randomised in a 1:1 ratio into one of the two treatment arms. The following stratification factors will be applied: age, Charlson Comorbidity Index, CRP levels and trial centre. The primary endpoint is the number of ventilator-free days (VFDs) at 28 days after randomisation. The secondary endpoints are mortality from any cause at 60 days after randomisation; dynamics of the inflammatory marker, change in WHO Clinical Progression Scale at day 14; and adverse events related to corticosteroids and independence at 90 days after randomisation assessed by the Barthel Index. The long-term outcomes of this study are to assess long-term consequences on mortality and quality of life at 180 and 360 days. The study will be conducted in the intensive care units (ICUs) of ten university hospitals in the Czech Republic. DISCUSSION: We aim to compare two different doses of dexamethasone in patients with moderate to severe ARDS undergoing mechanical ventilation regarding efficacy and safety. TRIAL REGISTRATION: EudraCT No. 2020-005887-70. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04663555. Registered on December 11, 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Adult , COVID-19/drug therapy , Dexamethasone/adverse effects , Humans , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Prospective Studies , Quality of Life , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/diagnosis , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
4.
Trials ; 22(1): 172, 2021 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622253

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The primary objective of this study is to test the hypothesis that administration of dexamethasone 20 mg is superior to a 6 mg dose in adult patients with moderate or severe ARDS due to confirmed COVID-19. The secondary objective is to investigate the efficacy and safety of dexamethasone 20 mg versus dexamethasone 6 mg. The exploratory objective of this study is to assess long-term consequences on mortality and quality of life at 180 and 360 days. TRIAL DESIGN: REMED is a prospective, phase II, open-label, randomised controlled trial testing superiority of dexamethasone 20 mg vs 6 mg. The trial aims to be pragmatic, i.e. designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention in conditions that are close to real-life routine clinical practice. PARTICIPANTS: The study is multi-centre and will be conducted in the intensive care units (ICUs) of ten university hospitals in the Czech Republic. INCLUSION CRITERIA: Subjects will be eligible for the trial if they meet all of the following criteria: 1. Adult (≥18 years of age) at time of enrolment; 2. Present COVID-19 (infection confirmed by RT-PCR or antigen testing); 3. Intubation/mechanical ventilation or ongoing high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) oxygen therapy; 4. Moderate or severe ARDS according to Berlin criteria: • Moderate - PaO2/FiO2 100-200 mmHg; • Severe - PaO2/FiO2 < 100 mmHg; 5. Admission to ICU in the last 24 hours. EXCLUSION CRITERIA: Subjects will not be eligible for the trial if they meet any of the following criteria: 1. Known allergy/hypersensitivity to dexamethasone or excipients of the investigational medicinal product (e.g. parabens, benzyl alcohol); 2. Fulfilled criteria for ARDS for ≥14 days at enrolment; 3. Pregnancy or breastfeeding; 4. Unwillingness to comply with contraception measurements from enrolment until at least 1 week after the last dose of dexamethasone (sexual abstinence is considered an adequate contraception method); 5. End-of-life decision or patient is expected to die within next 24 hours; 6. Decision not to intubate or ceilings of care in place; 7. Immunosuppression and/or immunosuppressive drugs in medical history: a) Systemic immunosuppressive drugs or chemotherapy in the past 30 days; b) Systemic corticosteroid use before hospitalization; c) Any dose of dexamethasone during the present hospital stay for COVID-19 for ≥5 days before enrolment; d) Systemic corticosteroids during present hospital stay for conditions other than COVID-19 (e.g. septic shock); 8. Current haematological or generalized solid malignancy; 9. Any contraindication for corticosteroid administration, e.g. • intractable hyperglycaemia; • active gastrointestinal bleeding; • adrenal gland disorders; • presence of superinfection diagnosed with locally established clinical and laboratory criteria without adequate antimicrobial treatment; 10. Cardiac arrest before ICU admission; 11. Participation in another interventional trial in the last 30 days. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Dexamethasone solution for injection/infusion is the investigational medicinal product as well as the comparator. The trial will assess two doses, 20 mg (investigational) vs 6 mg (comparator). Patients in the intervention group will receive dexamethasone 20 mg intravenously once daily on day 1-5, followed by dexamethasone 10 mg intravenously once daily on day 6-10. Patients in the control group will receive dexamethasone 6 mg day 1-10. All authorized medicinal products containing dexamethasone in the form of solution for i.v. injection/infusion can be used. MAIN OUTCOMES: Primary endpoint: Number of ventilator-free days (VFDs) at 28 days after randomisation, defined as being alive and free from mechanical ventilation. SECONDARY ENDPOINTS: a) Mortality from any cause at 60 days after randomisation; b) Dynamics of inflammatory marker (C-Reactive Protein, CRP) change from Day 1 to Day 14; c) WHO Clinical Progression Scale at Day 14; d) Adverse events related to corticosteroids (new infections, new thrombotic complications) until Day 28 or hospital discharge; e) Independence at 90 days after randomisation assessed by Barthel Index. The long-term outcomes of this study are to assess long-term consequences on mortality and quality of life at 180 and 360 days through telephone structured interviews using the Barthel Index. RANDOMISATION: Randomisation will be carried out within the electronic case report form (eCRF) by the stratified permuted block randomisation method. Allocation sequences will be prepared by a statistician independent of the study team. Allocation to the treatment arm of an individual patient will not be available to the investigators before completion of the whole randomisation process. The following stratification factors will be applied: • Age <65 and ≥ 65; • Charlson Comorbidity index (CCI) <3 and ≥3; • CRP <150 mg/L and ≥150 mg/L • Trial centre. Patients will be randomised in a 1 : 1 ratio into one of the two treatment arms. Randomisation through the eCRF will be available 24 hours every day. BLINDING (MASKING): This is an open-label trial in which the participants and the study staff will be aware of the allocated intervention. Blinded pre-planned statistical analysis will be performed. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): The sample size is calculated to detect the difference of 3 VFDs at 28 days (primary efficacy endpoint) between the two treatment arms with a two-sided type I error of 0.05 and power of 80%. Based on data from a multi-centre randomised controlled trial in COVID-19 ARDS patients in Brazil and a multi-centre observational study from French and Belgian ICUs regarding moderate to severe ARDS related to COVID-19, investigators assumed a standard deviation of VFD at 28 days as 9. Using these assumptions, a total of 142 patients per treatment arm would be needed. After adjustment for a drop-out rate, 150 per treatment arm (300 patients per study) will be enrolled. TRIAL STATUS: This is protocol version 1.1, 15.01.2021. The trial is due to start on 2 February 2021 and recruitment is expected to be completed by December 2021. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study protocol was registered on EudraCT No.:2020-005887-70, and on December 11, 2020 on ClinicalTrials.gov (Title: Effect of Two Different Doses of Dexamethasone in Patients With ARDS and COVID-19 (REMED)) Identifier: NCT04663555 with a last update posted on February 1, 2021. FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol (version 1.1) is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest of expediting dissemination of this material, the standard formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Dexamethasone/administration & dosage , Glucocorticoids/administration & dosage , Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , COVID-19/complications , Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic , Disease Progression , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Equivalence Trials as Topic , Humans , Length of Stay , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , SARS-CoV-2
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