How to monitor cardiovascular function in critical illness in resource-limited settings.
Sivakorn C., Schultz MJ., Dondorp AM.
Purpose of reviewHemodynamic monitoring is an essential component in the care for critically ill patients. A range of tools are available and new approaches have been developed. This review summarizes their availability, affordability and feasibility for hospital settings in resource-limited settings.Recent findingsEvidence for the performance of specific hemodynamic monitoring tools or strategies in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) is limited. Repeated physical examination and basic observations remain a cornerstone for patient monitoring and have a high sensitivity for detecting organ hypoperfusion, but with a low specificity. Additional feasible approaches for hemodynamic monitoring in LMICs include: for tissue perfusion monitoring: urine output, skin mottling score, capillary refill time, skin temperature gradients, and blood lactate measurements; for cardiovascular monitoring: echocardiography and noninvasive or minimally invasive cardiac output measurements; and for fluid status monitoring: inferior vena cava distensibility index, mini-fluid challenge test, passive leg raising test, end-expiratory occlusion test and lung ultrasound. Tools with currently limited applicability in LMICs include microcirculatory monitoring devices and pulmonary artery catheterization, because of costs and limited added value. Especially ultrasound is a promising and affordable monitoring device for LMICs, and is increasingly available.SummaryA set of basic tools and approaches is available for adequate hemodynamic monitoring in resource-limited settings. Future research should focus on the development and trialing of robust and context-appropriate monitoring technologies.