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The American Journal of Critical Care is the premier source for evidence-based critical care practice. The journal's mission is to provide its readers with clinically relevant content in every issue and to serve as a vehicle for the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses to achieve its mission of improving the care of critically ill patients and their families.

Articles From the Current Edition ofAJCC

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Diagnosing Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia in Critically Ill Patients With Sepsis. Timely diagnosis and prognostic assessment of ventilator-associated pneumonia remain major challenges in critical care.  

Patients’ Characteristics Associated With Readmission to a Surgical Intensive Care Unit. Readmission within 48 hours is a leading performance indicator of the quality of care in an intensive care unit. 

Editorial

Awakening (Mis)conceptions About Brain Death.

Clinical Pearls

Clinical Pearls. Guidelines for appropriate patient assessments after procedures are often not evidence based.

Families in Critical Care

CNE Article: Psychological Symptoms of Family Members of High-Risk Intensive Care Unit Patients. Problems persist with surrogate decision making in intensive care units, leading to distress for surrogates and treatment that may not reflect patients’ values. 

Nurse-Led Intervention to Improve Surrogate Decision Making for Patients with Advanced Critical Illness. Problems persist with surrogate decision making in intensive care units, leading to distress for surrogates and treatment that may not reflect patients’ values. 

Critical Care Techniques

Communication by Nurses in the Intensive Care Unit: Qualitative Analysis of Domains of Patient-Centered Care. High-quality communication is a key determinant and facilitator of patient-centered care. Nurses engage in most of the communication with patients and patients’ families in the intensive care unit. 

Challenges in the Critical Care Workplace 

CNE Article: Building a Nursing Productivity Measure Based on the Synergy Model: First Steps. The Synergy Model describes nurses’ work on the basis of the individual needs of patients and their families. 

Cardiovascular Critical Care

Cardiac Tamponade After Removal of Temporary Pacer Wires. After removal of temporary pacemaker wires, nurses measure vital signs frequently to assess for cardiac tamponade; however, evidence for this procedure is limited. 

Critical Care Eveluation

CNE Article: Slim Stroke Scales for Assessing Patients With Acute Stroke: Ease of Use or Loss of Valuable Assessment Data? Scientific guidelines recommend the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale for ischemic stroke assessment. However, many nurses find “slim” National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale versions or the Glasgow Coma Scale easier to use.