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Recognizing and Managing Life Threatening Complications

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Course Description

As acuity levels of patients continue to rise, today’s healthcare providers are confronted with patients developing life threatening complications with more and more frequency. This two-day seminar covers a variety of commonly seen and clinically significant patient pathologies including sepsis, ARDS, acute kidney injury and life threatening coagulation disorders. Critical thinking skills are challenged using a variety of complex case studies.

Program Learning Outcomes

This program prepares the learner to:

  • Discuss current sepsis bundle recommendations and the nurse’s responsibilities.
  • Describe the common etiologies, presentation and treatment modalities for the patient with acute adrenal insufficiency.
  • Describe the presentation for the patient with acute pancreatitis, laboratory assessment and the nurse’s role in treatment.
  • Differentiate the syndrome of HIT from the DIC patient including presentation and treatment.
  • Discuss acute renal causes, presentation and interventions, as well as determining the etiology of renal failure by examining lab values.
  • Differentiate between the presentation and treatment of ARDS from other acute respiratory failure causes.
  • Differentiate between cardiogenic and hypovolemic shock, including clinical presentation and current treatment interventions.


Sign-in begins at 7:30 am. Each day includes a one-hour lunch (on your own), as well as a morning and afternoon break of 15 minutes each. The order of lectures presented and break times may vary according to speaker preference.

Day 1, 8:00 am to 3:30 pm

  • The Clinical Continuum of Sepsis
    Terminology | Chemical Mediators | Systemic Complications | Cellular Oxygenation Research Findings | New Treatment Options | Antibiotics and Source Control
  • Acute Adrenal Insufficiency
    Etiology, Pathophysiology, Presentation | Treatment Options
  • Interpreting the Chest X-Ray
  • Acute Pancreatitis
    Etiologies, Pathophysiology | Clinical Presentation and Lab Findings | Treatment Options
  • Life Threatening Coagulopathies: Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation
    Types, Pathophysiology, Laboratory Markers | Clinical Presentation | Interventions: Anticoagulation vs. Replacement Therapy, AT-III Concentrates
  • Life Threatening Coagulopathies: Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia and Thrombosis Syndrome
    Etiologies, Pathophysiology | Clinical and Laboratory Presentation | Therapeutic Interventions Including New Drug Therapies

Day 2, 8:00 am to 3:30 pm

  • Acute Kidney Injury
    Types, Etiologies, Pathophysiology | Clinical and Lab Findings | Medical Therapy | Indications for Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy and Hemodialysis
  • Laboratory Interpretation
    RBC Indices, Diagnosis of Anemias | WBC Differential | Electrolyte Imbalances, Calcium Correction | ABG Interpretation | Metabolic Acidosis and Anion GAP: Implications for Diagnosis and Treatment | Metabolic Alkalosis
  • Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome
    Oxygenation Variables | Inflammatory Mediators | Pathophysiology, Clinical Presentation | Protective Lung Ventilation: The Pros and Cons of Conventional, Bilevel, HFOV | Experimental Interventions: Proning, Liquid Ventilation, Nitric Oxide
  • Acute Coronary Syndromes and Cardiogenic Shock
    Etiologies, Pathophysiology | Ischemic Changes Seen on ECG with Inferior, Posterior, Anterior, Lateral and Septal MIs | Clinical Presentation, Hemodynamic Findings | Anticipating and Preparing for Complications | Treatments: Drug Therapies, Mechanical Circulatory Assist Devices