Inotropes for Bemused Medical SHOs

Yesterday, I attended the first of what looks as if it’s going to be high quality and useful series of lectures aimed at the medical trainees in my hospital. The whole series is on issues that are seen in patients requiring care at what we call Level 2. That broadly means High Dependency Units and Coronary Care Units, although there are a very few other units that are able to do a limited number of Level 2 interventions.

The lectures were organised by one of the medical trainees who I’ve been working with recently, which is how I managed to finagle my way onto the list despite not currently being a trainee. I was keen to attend them because I feel as if the whole area is a gaping hole in my knowledge at the moment. I won’t easily forget the night in FY2 when I turned up to be the so-called senior surgical nightshift cover for my hospital and had to start by getting an HDU nurse to teach me about noradrenaline infusions.

Obviously, I haven’t yet started CMT and some of these things may well be covered in the formal curriculum and teaching when I do. But I don’t think I’m the only person to be grateful for more teaching in these areas — a conference room was filled last night, all people who had had a busy day at work and yet were still awake and engaged when the session ended at 8pm.

PDF: Notes on Level 2 Care – Optimising Organ Perfusion (+/- Inotropic Support)

I learned a lot of really useful things. I didn’t make verbatim notes and so this isn’t comprehensive, but I took away some key points which have started to demystify the topic of inotropic support for me and I’m posting those notes up here. Because they were made principally for my own use, they are informal and peppered with colloquialisms. If you spot any factual errors, those are my own fault and not that of our excellent lecturer.

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