Publications by authors named "François Aptel"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Impact on antimicrobial consumption of procalcitonin-guided antibiotic therapy for pneumonia/pneumonitis associated with aspiration in comatose mechanically ventilated patients: a multicenter, randomized controlled study.

Ann Intensive Care 2021 Oct 12;11(1):145. Epub 2021 Oct 12.

Medical Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital, Besançon, France.

Background: In comatose patients receiving oro-tracheal intubation for mechanical ventilation (MV), the risk of aspiration is increased. Aspiration can lead to chemical pneumonitis (inflammatory reaction to the gastric contents), or aspiration pneumonia (infection caused by inhalation of microorganisms). Distinguishing between the two types is challenging. We tested the interest of using a decisional algorithm based on procalcitonin (PCT) values to guide initiation and discontinuation of antibiotic therapies in intubated patients.

Methods: The PROPASPI (PROcalcitonin Pneumonia/pneumonitis Associated with ASPIration) trial is a multicenter, prospective, randomized, controlled, single-blind, superiority study comparing two strategies: (1) an intervention group where threshold PCT values were used to guide initiation and discontinuation of antibiotics (PCT group); and (2) a control group, where antibiotic therapy was managed at the physician's discretion. Patients aged 18 years or over, intubated for coma (Glasgow score ≤ 8), with MV initiated within 48 h after admission, were eligible. The primary endpoint was the duration of antibiotic treatment during the first 15 days after admission to the ICU.

Results: From 24/2/2015 to 28/8/2019, 1712 patients were intubated for coma in the 5 participating centers, of whom 166 were included in the study. Data from 159 were available for intention-to-treat analysis: 81 in the PCT group, and 78 in the control group. Overall, 67 patients (43%) received antibiotics in the intensive care unit (ICU); there was no significant difference between groups (37 (46%) vs 30 (40%) for PCT vs control, p = 0.432). The mean duration of antibiotic treatment during the first 15 days in the ICU was 2.7 ± 3.8 days; there was no significant difference between groups (3.0 ± 4.1 days vs 2.3 ± 3.4 days for PCT vs control, p = 0.311). The mean number of days under MV was significantly higher in the PCT group (3.7 ± 3.6 days) than in controls (2.7 ± 2.5 days, p = 0.033). The duration of ICU stay was also significantly longer in the PCT group: 6.4 ± 6.5 days vs 4.6 ± 3.5 days in the control group (p = 0.043). After adjustment for SAPS II score, the difference in length of stay and duration of mechanical ventilation between groups was no longer significant.

Conclusion: The use of PCT values to guide therapy, in comparison to the use of clinical, biological (apart from PCT) and radiological criteria, does not modify exposure to antibiotics in patients intubated for coma. Trial registration Identifier NCT02862314.
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October 2021

Non-readmission decisions in the intensive care unit: A qualitative study of physicians' experience in a multicentre French study.

PLoS One 2021 14;16(1):e0244919. Epub 2021 Jan 14.

Department of Intensive Care, François Mitterrand University Hospital, Dijon, France.

Purpose: Deciding not to re-admit a patient to the intensive care unit (ICU) poses an ethical dilemma for ICU physicians. We aimed to describe and understand the attitudes and perceptions of ICU physicians regarding non-readmission of patients to the ICU.

Materials And Methods: Multicenter, qualitative study using semi-directed interviews between January and May 2019. All medical staff working full-time in the ICU of five participating centres (two academic and three general, non-academic hospitals) were invited to participate. Participants were asked to describe how they experienced non-readmission decisions in the ICU, and to expand on the manner in which the decision was made, but also on the traceability and timing of the decision. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analyzed using textual content analysis.

Results: In total, 22 physicians participated. Interviews lasted on average 26±7 minutes. There were 14 men and 8 women, average age was 35±9 years, and average length of ICU experience was 7±5 years. The majority of respondents said that they regretted that the question of non-readmission was not addressed before the initial ICU admission. They acknowledged that the ICU stay did lead to more thorough contemplation of the overall goals of care. Multidisciplinary team meetings could help to anticipate the question of readmission within the patient's care pathway. Participants reported that there is a culture of collegial decision-making in the ICU, although the involvement of patients, families and other healthcare professionals in this process is not systematic. The timing and traceability of non-readmission decisions are heterogeneous.

Conclusions: Non-readmission decisions are a major issue that raises ethical questions surrounding the fact that there is no discussion of the patient's goals of care in advance. Better anticipation, and better communication with the patients, families and other healthcare providers are suggested as areas that could be targeted for improvement.
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May 2021

Family perceptions of clinical research and the informed consent process in the ICU.

J Crit Care 2020 Sep 28. Epub 2020 Sep 28.

Department of Intensive Care, François Mitterrand, University Hospital, Dijon, France; Clinical Epidemiology, University of Burgundy, INSERM CIC 1432, Dijon, France; Lipness Team, INSERM Research Centre LNC-UMR1231 and LabEx LipSTIC, University of Burgundy, Dijon, France. Electronic address:

Purpose: We investigated experiences of families who provide consent for research on behalf of a loved-one hospitalized in intensive care (ICU).

Methods: Multicentre, qualitative, descriptive study using semi-directive interviews in 3 ICUs. Eligible relatives were aged >18 years, and had provided informed consent for a clinical trial on behalf of a patient hospitalized in ICU. Interviews were conducted from 06/2018 to 06/2019 by a qualified sociologist, recorded and transcribed.

Results: Fifteen relatives were interviewed; average age 50.3 ± 15 years. All emphasized their interest in clinical research, seeing it as a duty. Involving their loved-one in research allowed them to find meaning in the events. Participants underlined that trust in caregivers and communication are determinant. The strict regulation of research was perceived as a guarantee of safety. Participants felt they lacked the intellectual capacity and knowledge to question explanations. The greatest fear was not that they might incur a risk for the patient, but rather, that they might deprive the patient of a chance at a cure.

Conclusion: Acceptance of research opportunities by relatives on behalf of decisionally-incapacitated patients is underpinned by trust in the physicians and the legislative framework. Communication and the quality of information provided by the caregivers are key.
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September 2020

Daily use of extracorporeal CO removal in a critical care unit: indications and results.

J Intensive Care 2018 28;6:36. Epub 2018 Jun 28.

Medical Intensive Care Unit, Besançon, France.

Background: While outcome improvement with extracorporeal CO removal (ECCOR) is not demonstrated, a strong pathophysiological rational supports its use in the setting of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and COPD exacerbation. We aimed to describe our single-center experience of ECCOR indications and outcome.

Methods: Patients treated with ECCOR in our medial ICU, from March 2014 to November 2017, were retrospectively enrolled. Primary end point was evolution of ventilator settings during the two first days following ECCOR start.

Results: Thirty-three patients received ECCOR. Seventeen were managed with Hemolung®, 10 with Prismalung®, 4 with ILA®, and 2 with Cardiohelp®. Indications for ECCOR were mild or moderate ARDS ( = 16), COPD exacerbation ( = 11), or uncontrolled hypercapnia due to other causes ( = 6). Four patients were not intubated at the time of ECCOR start. Median duration of ECCOR treatment was 7 days [5-10]. In ARDS patients, between baseline and day 2, median tidal volume and driving pressure decreased from 5.3 [4.4-5.9] mL/kg and 10 [8-15] to 3.8 [3.3-4.1] mL/kg and 9 [8-11], respectively. Prone positioning was performed in 10 of the 16 patients, without serious adverse event. In COPD patients, between baseline and day 2, median ventilation minute and PaCO2 decreased significantly from respectively 7.6 [6.6-8.7] L/min and 9.4 [8.4-10.1] kPa to 5.8 [4.9-6.2] L/min and 6 [5.3-6.8] kPa. Four out of 11 COPD patients were extubated while on ECCOR. Device thrombosis occurred in 5 patients (15%). Hemolysis was documented in 16 patients (48%). One patient died of intracranial hemorrhage, while on ECCOR. Twenty-four patients were discharged from ICU alive. Twenty-eight day mortality was 31% in ARDS, 9% in COPD patients, and 50% in other causes of refractory hypercapnic respiratory failure.

Conclusion: ECCOR was useful to apply ultra-protective ventilation among ARDS patients and improved PaCO, pH, and minute ventilation in COPD patients.
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June 2018