Critical Care and Shock

Is my patient really brain dead?

Abstract The diagnosis of brain death can be fraught with multiple challenges ranging from the presence of complex motor movements to inappropriate patient screening, e.g.

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Traumatic pneumomediastinum

A previously-healthy thirty-year old man presented to the Emergency Department at Hawke’s Bay Hospital with central chest pain, following blunt chest trauma whilst SCUBA diving. He was at a depth of approximately five metres, during his ascent, when he was dumped onto a rock by a wave, hitting the left side of his chest. Several hours later, he developed central chest tightness and mild dyspnoea. He had no dysphagia or abdominal pain. Examination findings showed normal vital signs, reduced air entry over left chest wall, and a “crunchy” systolic murmur.

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Haemodynamic Stability and Vasopressor Use During Low-dose Spinal Anaesthesia in the High Risk Elderly

Surgical repair of traumatic fractured neck of femur (DHS or hemiarthroplasty) in elderly patients is a frequent procedure performed in acute theatres in New Zealand. National data using public theatre coding statistics show that close to 2800 procedures for surgical repair of fractured neck of femur are performed per annum in New Zealand. This number has more than doubled over the past 5 years. International data on fractured neck of femur predict a 3-4 fold increase in the numbers presenting by 2050. (1) These rising trends are related to our aging population.

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