CHESTBlogFrom the ICU’s Impact on the Climate to COVID-19 Lessons: Can’t-Miss Critical Care Topics at CHEST 2024

From the ICU’s Impact on the Climate to COVID-19 Lessons: Can’t-Miss Critical Care Topics at CHEST 2024

From the ICU’s Impact on the Climate to COVID-19 Lessons: Can’t-Miss Critical Care Topics at CHEST 2024

By: Madeleine Burry
June 6, 2024

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At CHEST 2024, October 6 to 9 in Boston, you’ll have your choice of 300+ educational sessions covering every aspect of clinical chest medicine. Learn more, and register today.

Dan Ouellette, MD, FCCP

Dan Ouellette, MD, FCCP

Dan Ouellette, MD, FCCP

Dan Ouellette, MD, FCCP

During CHEST 2024, taking place from October 6 to 9 in Boston, everyone involved in critical care—from respiratory therapists to intensivists to nurses—has the opportunity to be in the same place, learning and discovering current topics, the latest research, and the newest advances in management, said Dan Ouellette, MD, FCCP.

One staple on the schedule: Critical Care Year in Review. “This session is oversold every year,” said Dr. Ouellette. Everyone wants to attend it and hear about the latest advances in the field, he noted. It’s so popular that it’s split into two sessions.

As Chair of both the Critical Care Curriculum Group and Critical Care Network, Dr. Ouellette works with a team of faculty to develop the critical care curriculum for the CHEST Annual Meeting. One thing that’s clear: The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to reverberate in this field. And with new guidelines available to review, there are many can’t-miss topics Dr. Ouellette highlighted for the upcoming meeting this fall.

Lessons from COVID-19

The pandemic was a shattering event, exposing the fragility of health care systems and supercharging clinician burnout. There are lessons to be learned from this challenging moment and, in some cases, more data that can help inform future health care treatment strategies.

Updated guidelines for mechanical ventilation

“The COVID-19 pandemic taught us there are multiple strategies that we need to use with mechanical ventilation to optimally treat patients,” said Dr. Ouellette. Now, new guidelines are available for how to apply mechanical ventilation to patients.

“Coming to CHEST 2024 will allow attendees to learn what the latest advancements are and the best evidence-based guidance,” Dr. Ouellette said.

Key sessions

New Perspectives on Ventilator Liberation
Optimizing Mechanical Ventilation in Patients With Obesity: From Intubation to Liberation
Stop the Crash: Applying Airway, Ultrasound, and Mechanical Ventilation Skills to the Unstable Patient (Simulation)

Identifying and addressing disparities of care

For anyone involved in critical care, the COVID-19 epidemic made one thing very clear: The epidemic didn’t treat everyone the same way, said Dr. Ouellette. “People who lived in low economic areas, people with medical problems—they suffered much more greatly from COVID than others.”

Important sessions at CHEST 2024 will examine disparities in critical care medicine generally as well as in specific areas of the field, said Dr. Ouellette. “These sessions will help us understand how to take care of these patients going forward.”

Key sessions

Health Disparities in Critical Illness in the United States
Sepsis Care That Is Antiracist

Developing ways to avoid burnout

Along with making it clear that patients with disparities need better care, the pandemic also crystallized the fact that “we need to take better care of ourselves,” said Dr. Ouellette, pointing out the many health care workers who wore themselves out during the pandemic. “We worked tirelessly night and day,” he said. That’s valiant, but not sustainable.

“We’re going to have a session about what providers can do to improve their own psychological well-being in order to be able to continue in this profession that we all love,” said Dr. Ouellette.

Key sessions

Psychological First Aid for the ICU Clinician
Healing Our Healers: Building a Program to Manage Second Victim Syndrome, Stress, and Burnout

Digging into newer data on ECMO

Yet another change due to COVID-19 is more data on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

“ECMO has been around for a long time, but we had relatively little data about how effective it is,” noted Dr. Ouellette. But during the COVID-19 epidemic, more people were critically ill, which meant more use of ECMO and a bigger pool of data.

At CHEST 2024, attendees will have an opportunity to catch up on what’s changed. “They'll learn the management strategies for ventilators that they need to employ before they consider somebody for ECMO because they may be able to avoid using it. But they'll also learn to identify which patients might benefit from the use of ECMO, and they're going to learn specifically how to deploy ECMO in their ICUs,” said Dr. Ouellette.

Key sessions

A Bridge Too Far: ECMO Initiation in Times of Uncertainty
ECMO: When to Start, When to Stop, and Everything in Between (Simulation)
Exploring Duration Limits in Venovenous ECMO for ARDS
Extracorporeal Life Support in ARDS

New transfusion guidelines

New guidelines on the transfusion of blood products in the ICU are forthcoming, said Dr. Ouellette. This guideline will cover red blood cell transfusions, as well as giving platelets to patients who have a coagulopathy, whether or not to give coagulation factors before ICU medical procedures, and more.

The panelists presenting in this session are world-renowned experts in the field, said Dr. Ouellette.

Key session

CHEST Guidelines: Transfusion of Blood Products in the ICU

The ICU’s impact on the climate

Another intriguing session that steps away from COVID-19 lessons and guidelines: the impact of the ICU on the global climate.

“In this session, we're going to talk about the things that we do every day in the ICU and how they impact the climate,” said Dr. Ouellette. That includes the many single-use items that get trashed, the personal protective gear that gets thrown away, and even the protective plastic wrapping of devices.

Key session

Practical Strategies for Reducing the Climate Impact of the ICU

During CHEST 2024, you’ll have an opportunity to “encounter professionals in critical care medicine from a variety of backgrounds,” said Dr. Ouellette. You’ll hear from world-renowned experts, as well as up-and-coming clinicians, with new angles on practicing critical care medicine. This ability to rub elbows with such a wide variety of people and take in numerous perspectives is one of the great things about attending CHEST 2024, he added.


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