The Impact of Choice Architecture on Sepsis Fluid Resuscitation Decisions: An Exploratory Survey-Based Study
MDM policy & practice. 2022;7(1):23814683221099454
BACKGROUND Discordance with well-known sepsis resuscitation guidelines is often attributed to rational assessments of patients at the point of care. Conversely, we sought to explore the impact of choice architecture (i.e., the environment, manner, and behavioral psychology within which options are presented and decisions are made) on decisions to prescribe guideline-discordant fluid volumes. DESIGN We conducted an electronic, survey-based study using a septic shock clinical vignette. Physicians from multiple specialties and training levels at an academic tertiary-care hospital and academic safety-net hospital were randomized to distinct answer sets: control (6 fluid options), time constraint (6 fluid options with a 10-s limit to answer), or choice overload (25 fluid options). The primary outcome was discordance with Surviving Sepsis Campaign fluid resuscitation guidelines. We also measured response times and examined the relationship between each choice architecture intervention group, response time, and guideline discordance. RESULTS A total of 189 of 624 (30.3%) physicians completed the survey. Time spent answering the vignette was reduced in time constraint (9.5 s, interquartile range [IQR] 7.3 s to 10.0 s, P < 0.001) and increased in choice overload (56.8 s, IQR 35.9 s to 86.7 s, P < 0.001) groups compared with control (28.3 s, IQR 20.0 s to 44.6 s). In contrast, the relative risk of guideline discordance was higher in time constraint (2.07, 1.33 to 3.23, P = 0.001) and lower in choice overload (0.75, 0.60, to 0.95, P =0.02) groups. After controlling for time spent reading the vignette, the overall odds of choosing guideline-discordant fluid volumes were reduced for every additional second spent answering the vignette (OR 0.98, 0.97, to 0.99, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS Choice architecture may affect fluid resuscitation decisions in sepsis regardless of patient conditions, warranting further investigation in real-world contexts. These effects should be considered when implementing practice guidelines. HIGHLIGHTS Time constrained clinical decision making was associated with increased proportion of guideline-discordant responses and relative risk of failure to prescribe guideline-recommended intravenous fluids using a sepsis clinical vignette.Choice overload increased response times and was associated with decreased proportion of guideline-discordant responses and relative risk of guideline discordance.Physician odds of choosing to prescribe guideline-discordant fluid volumes were reduced with increased deliberation as measured by response times.Clinicians, researchers, policy makers, and administrators should consider the effect of choice architecture on clinical decision making and guideline discordance when implementing guidelines for sepsis and other acute care conditions.
Clinical and biochemical endpoints and predictors of response to plasma exchange in septic shock: results from a randomized controlled trial
Critical care (London, England). 2022;26(1):134
BACKGROUND Recently, a randomized controlled trial (RCT) demonstrated rapid but individually variable hemodynamic improvement with therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) in patients with septic shock. Prediction of clinical efficacy in specific sepsis treatments is fundamental for individualized sepsis therapy. METHODS In the original RCT, patients with septic shock of < 24 h duration and norepinephrine (NE) requirement ≥ 0.4 μg/kg/min received standard of care (SOC) or SOC + one single TPE. Here, we report all clinical and biological endpoints of this study. Multivariate mixed-effects modeling of NE reduction was performed to investigate characteristics that could be associated with clinical response to TPE. RESULTS A continuous effect of TPE on the reduction in NE doses over the initial 24 h was observed (SOC group: estimated NE dose reduction of 0.005 µg/kg/min per hour; TPE group: 0.018 µg/kg/min per hour, p = 0.004). Similarly, under TPE, serum lactate levels, continuously decreased over the initial 24 h in the TPE group, whereas lactate levels increased under SOC (p = 0.001). A reduction in biomarkers and disease mediators (such as PCT (p = 0.037), vWF:Ag (p < 0.001), Angpt-2 (p = 0.009), sTie-2 (p = 0.005)) along with a repletion of exhausted protective factors (such as AT-III (p = 0.026), Protein C (p = 0.012), ADAMTS-13 (p = 0.008)) could be observed in the TPE but not in the SOC group. In a multivariate mixed effects model, increasing baseline lactate levels led to greater NE dose reduction effects with TPE as opposed to SOC (p = 0.004). CONCLUSIONS Adjunctive TPE is associated with the removal of injurious mediators and repletion of consumed protective factors altogether leading to preserved hemodynamic stabilization in refractory septic shock. We identified that baseline lactate concentration as a potential response predictor might guide future designing of large RCTs that will further evaluate TPE with regard to hard endpoints. Trial registration Retrospectively registered 18th January 2020 at clinicaltrials.gov (Identifier: NCT04231994 ).
A randomized-controlled trial comparing 20% albumin to plasmalyte in patients with cirrhosis and sepsis-induced hypotension [ALPS trial]
Journal of hepatology. 2022
BACKGROUND AND AIM The choice of resuscitation fluid in cirrhosis patients with sepsis-induced hypotension (SIH) is unclear. 5% albumin has been superior to normal saline in the FRISC study. We compared the efficacy and safety of 20% albumin, which has greater oncotic properties with plasmalyte in reversing SIH. METHODS Critically-ill cirrhosis(CIC) patients underwent open-label randomization to receive either 20% albumin [0.5-1.0gm/kg over 3 hours; n=50] or plasmalyte (30ml/kg over 3 hours, n=50). The primary end-point of the study was the attainment of mean arterial pressure (MAP) above 65 mmHg at three hours. RESULTS Baseline characteristics were comparable in albumin and plasmalyte groups; arterial lactate(mmol/L) [6.16±3.18 vs. 6.38±4.77; p=0.78), MAP (mmHg) [51.4±6.52 vs. 49.9±4.45; p=0.17] and SOFA score [10.8±2.96 vs. 11.1±4.2; p=0.68] respectively. Most patients were alcoholics (39%) and had pneumonia (40%). In the intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis, albumin was superior to plasmalyte in achieving the primary end-point (62% vs. 22%; p<0.001). A rapid decline in arterial lactate (P=0.03), a lesser proportion of dialysis [48% vs. 62%; p=0.16], and a higher time to initiation of dialysis (in hours) [68.13±47.79 vs. 99.7± 63.4; p=0.06] was seen with albumin. However, the 28-day mortality was not different (58% vs. 62%, p=0.57). Patients in the albumin group required discontinuation of therapy in 11 (22%) patients due to adverse effects compared to none in plasmalyte group. CONCLUSION In patients with cirrhosis and SIH, 20% albumin transiently improves the hemodynamics with early lactate clearance than plasmalyte but needs monitoring as it is more often attended with pulmonary complications. Both fluids provide comparable 28 days survival. NCT02721238 LAY SUMMARY The current randomized controlled trial performed in critically ill patients with cirrhosis and sepsis-induced hypotension highlights that 20% albumin restores hemodynamics but causes more pulmonary complications than plasmalyte. The impact on renal functions was also modest. These effects did not result in improvement in deaths at 28-days. Plasmalyte is safer and well-tolerated and can be considered for volume resuscitation in patients with cirrhosis and sepsis-induced hypotension.
Balanced Crystalloids versus Normal Saline in Adults with Sepsis: A Comprehensive Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Journal of clinical medicine. 2022;11(7)
The crystalloid fluid of choice in sepsis remains debatable. We aimed to perform a comprehensive meta-analysis to compare the effect of balanced crystalloids (BC) vs. normal saline (NS) in adults with sepsis. A systematic search of PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Sciences databases through 22 January 2022, was performed for studies that compared BC vs. NS in adults with sepsis. Our outcomes included mortality and acute kidney injury (AKI), need for renal replacement therapy (RRT), and ICU length of stay (LOS). Pooled risk ratio (RR) and mean difference (MD) with the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were obtained using a random-effect model. Fifteen studies involving 20,329 patients were included. Overall, BC showed a significant reduction in the overall mortality (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.81-0.96), 28/30-day mortality (RR 0.87, 95% CI 0.79-0.95), and AKI (RR 0.85, 95% CI 0.77-0.93) but similar 90-day mortality (RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.90-1.03), need for RRT (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.76-1.08), and ICU LOS (MD -0.25 days, 95% CI -3.44, 2.95), were observed between the two groups. However, subgroup analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) showed no statistically significant differences in overall mortality (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.82-1.02), AKI (RR 0.71, 95% CI 0.47-1.06), and need for RRT (RR 0.71, 95% CI 0.36-1.41). Our meta-analysis demonstrates that overall BC was associated with reduced mortality and AKI in sepsis compared to NS among patients with sepsis. However, subgroup analysis of RCTs showed no significant differences in both overall mortality and AKI between the groups. There was no significant difference in the need for RRT or ICU LOS between BC and NS. Pending further data, our study supports using BC over NS for fluid resuscitation in adults with sepsis. Further large-scale RCTs are necessary to validate our findings.
The effect of exchange transfusion on mortality in neonatal sepsis: a meta-analysis
European journal of pediatrics. 2021
Although antimicrobials are the cornerstone of neonatal sepsis management, adjunctive therapies are required to improve outcomes. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effect of exchange transfusion (ET) on mortality (primary outcome) in neonatal sepsis, as well as on immunoglobulin, complement and neutrophil levels and assess its complications (secondary outcomes). Databases searched include PubMed, NCBI, Google Scholar, CINHAL, Ovid and Scopus. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), controlled observational studies (COSs) and uncontrolled observational studies (UOSs) reporting mortality data from using ET in neonatal sepsis were included. Studies with additional interventions, non-septic ET indications and populations aged > 28 days were excluded. Data extracted include demographics, features of study, sepsis and ET, as well as mortality rates, immunological and laboratory changes and complications. Data was meta-analysed and displayed using forest plots. The meta-analysis of 14 studies (3 RCTs, 11 COSs) revealed a mortality benefit in septic neonates who underwent ET-RR 0.72 (CI 0.61-0.86, p = 0.01) and a significant increase in pooled immunological parameters (immunoglobulin, complement levels) (SMD 1.13, [0.25, 2.02], p = 0.02) and neutrophil levels (SMD 1.07 [0.04, 2.11], p = 0.03) compared to controls. The descriptive analysis of 9 UOSs revealed thrombocytopenia as the most frequently reported complication (n = 48). Moderate-high risk of bias was largely due to inadequate sample sizes and follow-up durations.Conclusion: Currently, the use of ET in neonatal sepsis is not directly recommended due to low certainty of evidence, inadequate power and moderate-high risk of bias and heterogeneity.Trial registration: PROSPERO (CRD42020176629) ( https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?RecordID=176629 ) What is Known: • Exchange transfusion is one of the adjunctive methods for treatment of neonatal sepsis. What is New: • The pooled analysis of all studies shows that exchange transfusion has a low certainty of evidence in the context of neonatal mortality. However, at this point, this intervention cannot be refuted or recommended due to heterogeneity of studies and inadequate power.
Balanced crystalloids versus saline in critically ill adults with low plasma bicarbonate: A secondary analysis of a clinical trial
Journal of critical care. 2021
PURPOSE We aimed to determine if balanced crystalloids compared with saline improve outcomes in critically ill adults admitted with low plasma bicarbonate. MATERIALS AND METHODS We performed a secondary analysis of the Isotonic Solutions and Major Adverse Renal Events Trial (SMART). We included patients who presented to the Emergency Department with a first measured plasma bicarbonate less than 20 mmol/L. Among these patients, we compared the effect of balanced crystalloid versus saline on the primary outcome of major adverse kidney events within 30 days (MAKE30), defined as a composite of death, new renal-replacement therapy, or persistent renal dysfunction (final inpatient creatinine ≥200% baseline). Secondary outcomes included 30 day in-hospital mortality, receipt of new RRT, persistent renal dysfunction, incident AKI, and vasopressor-free days. RESULTS Among the 2029 patients with an initial plasma bicarbonate concentration < 20 mmol/L, there was no difference in the incidence of MAKE30 between those assigned to balanced crystalloid versus saline (21.8% vs 21.3%; P = 0.93). Secondary outcomes were similar between the balanced crystalloid and saline groups. CONCLUSIONS Among critically ill adults presenting to the Emergency Department, initial plasma bicarbonate concentration does not appear to be a useful marker to guide the selection of balanced crystalloid versus saline.
Pentaglobin (immunoglobulin M-enriched immunoglobulin) as adjuvant therapy for premature and very low-birth-weight neonates with sepsis
Indian journal of pharmacology. 2021;53(5):364-370
OBJECTIVES The purpose of this research was to determine the effectiveness of Pentaglobin® as adjuvant therapy in the treatment of sepsis in preterm newborns. MATERIALS AND METHODS It was a prospective, observational, randomized study for 272 premature neonates and very low birth weight (VLBW) that were diagnosed with sepsis carried at neonatal intensive care units. The patients randomized into control group who received standard sepsis antibiotic treatments, and an intervention group who received Pentaglobin® 5 ml/kg daily for 3 consecutive days as an adjunct therapy to a standard sepsis antibiotic treatment. RESULTS Multiple organisms that isolated from culture specimens were Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-positive, and candida (56.25%, 42.28%, and 1.47%, respectively). The disease duration was distinctively longer in patients who were treated by the standard antibiotic protocol (mean ± standard deviation [SD]: 30.76 ± 3.97, odds ratio [OR]: 30.76, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 30.051, 31.473) comparing to the patients who received Pentaglobin adjuvant therapy (mean ± SD: 26.48 ± 5.55, OR: 26.48, 95% CI: 25.489, 27.477) (P < 0.000). Patients treated by standard antibiotic protocol were associated to a substantially increased risk of death (11.76%, hazard ratio 4.400, 95% CI: 1.432, 13.529, P = 0.009). CONCLUSION Neonatal sepsis is more common in premature and VLBW newborns, and Pentaglobin® management of newborn nosocomial sepsis might be used in addition to other therapies.
Comparison of 5% human albumin and normal saline for fluid resuscitation in sepsis induced hypotension among patients with cirrhosis (FRISC study): a randomized controlled trial
Hepatology international. 2021
AIMS: Sepsis and septic shock are common causes of hospitalization and mortality in patients with cirrhosis. There is no data on the choice of fluid and resuscitation protocols in sepsis-induced hypotension in cirrhosis. METHODS In this open-label trial conducted at a single center, we enrolled 308 cirrhotics with sepsis-induced hypotension and randomized them to receive either 5% albumin or normal saline. The primary endpoint was a reversal of hypotension [mean arterial pressure, MAP, ≥ 65 mmHg] at 3 h. Secondary endpoints included serial effects on heart rate, arterial lactate and urine output. RESULTS 154 patients each received 5% albumin (males, 79.8%, mean MAP 52.9 ± 7.0 mm Hg) or 0.9% saline (85.1%, 53.4 ± 6.3 mm Hg) with comparable baseline parameters and liver disease severity. Reversal of hypotension was higher in patients receiving 5% albumin than saline at the end of one hour [25.3% and 11.7%, p = 0.03, Odds ratio (95% CI)-1.9 (1.08-3.42)] and at the end of three hours [11.7% and 3.2%, p = 0.008, 3.9 (1.42-10.9)]. Sustained reduction in heart rate and hyperlactatemia (p < 0.001) was better in the albumin group. At one week, the proportion of patients surviving was higher in the albumin group than those receiving saline (43.5% vs 38.3%, p = 0.03). Female gender and SOFA ≥ 11 were predictors of non-response to fluid. CONCLUSIONS 5% human albumin is safe and beneficial in reversing sepsis-induced hypotension compared to normal saline in patients with cirrhosis improving clinically assessable parameters of systemic hemodynamics, tissue perfusion and in-hospital short-term survival of cirrhosis patients with sepsis.
High dose coupled plasma filtration and adsorption in septic shock patients. Results of the COMPACT-2: a multicentre, adaptive, randomised clinical trial
Intensive care medicine. 2021
PURPOSE This study aimed at evaluating the efficacy and safety of high-dose (> 0.2 L/kg of treated plasma per day) coupled plasma filtration-adsorption (CPFA) in treating patients with septic shock. METHODS Multicentre, randomised, adaptive trial, performed in 12 Italian intensive care units (ICUs). Patients aged 14 or more, admitted to the ICU with septic shock, or had developed it during the stay were eligible. The final outcome was mortality at discharge from the last hospital at which the patient received care. RESULTS Between May 2015, and October 2017, 115 patients were randomised. The first interim analysis revealed a number of early deaths, prompting an unplanned analysis. Last hospital mortality was non-significantly higher in the CPFA (55.6%) than in the control group (46.2%, p = 0.35). The 90-day survival curves diverged in favour of the controls early after randomisation and remained separated afterwards (p = 0.100). An unplanned analysis showed higher mortality in CPFA compared to controls among patients without severe renal failure (p = 0.025); a dose-response relationship was observed between treated plasma volume and mortality (p = 0.010). CONCLUSION The COMPACT-2 trial was stopped due to the possible harmful effect of CPFA in patients with septic shock. The harmful effect, if present, was particularly marked in the early phase of septic shock. Patients not requiring renal replacement therapy seemed most exposed to the possible harm, with evidence of a dose-response effect. Until the mechanisms behind these results are fully understood, the use of CPFA for the treatment of patients with septic shock is not recommended.
Patients aged 14 or more with septic shock, enrolled in the COMPACT-2 multicentre trial (n= 115).
High dose coupled plasma filtration-adsorption (CPFA), (n= 63).
Standard care (n= 52).
The first interim analysis revealed a number of early deaths, prompting an unplanned analysis. Last hospital mortality was non-significantly higher in the CPFA (55.6%) than in the control group (46.2%). The 90-day survival curves diverged in favour of the controls early after randomisation and remained separated afterwards. An unplanned analysis showed higher mortality in CPFA compared to controls among patients without severe renal failure; a dose-response relationship was observed between treated plasma volume and mortality. The COMPACT-2 trial was stopped due to the possible harmful effect of CPFA in patients with septic shock.
Use of hydroxyethyl starch in sepsis research: A systematic review with meta-analysis
Acta anaesthesiologica Scandinavica. 2021
BACKGROUND After being used for more than a decade the use of hydroxyethyl starch (HES) 130/0.38-0.45 in clinical practice was discouraged because of serious adverse events including bleeding, acute kidney injury and death. But could these adverse effects have been discovered sooner? By comparing the summary effect estimates of the adverse effects of HES 130/0.38-0.45 in different study designs we aimed to disclose any signal of this. METHODS We systematically searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Library and hand-searched the reference lists of relevant studies to identify studies for inclusion. Eligible trials were randomised clinical trials (RCTs) and observational studies in patients with sepsis and randomised trials in animals with induced sepsis comparing HES 130/0.38-0.45 to any type of crystalloid. Relevant outcomes were all-cause mortality at longest follow-up, renal replacement therapy (RRT), acute kidney injury (AKI) and bleeding. We extracted data, conducted conventional meta-analyses and assessed risk of bias and the quality of evidence. RESULTS We included 8 RCTs including 3,273 patients, 1 observational study including 379 patients and 5 randomised animal trials including 94 test animals. There was no suggestion of interaction in subgroup analyses comparing the different study designs for any outcomes (all-cause mortality at longest follow-up P=0.33; RRT P=0.70; AKI P=0.63; bleeding P=0.20). CONCLUSIONS We observed no interaction between the summary effect estimates of RCTs, observational studies in patients and randomised animal trials for any of the outcomes. Accordingly, we found no evidence indicating that the adverse effects of HES 130/0.38-0.45 could have been discovered sooner.