Contemporary management of severe influenza disease in the intensive care unit.


Despite continued efforts to optimize vaccination composition, severe influenza disease requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission remains a clinical issue. Influenza epidemics and pandemics worldwide continue to challenge clinicians with managing infected patients requiring ICU care. While routine use of antiviral therapy is deployed in ambulatory outpatients, their use in the ICU in patients with hypoxemic respiratory failure is less well established. Additionally, these therapies primarily target the neuraminidase protein, while contemporary research is increasingly demonstrating potential therapeutic benefits of targeting the hemagglutinin protein. These data have given rise to a growing interest in the use of immune modulating therapies for treatment of severe influenza. Additionally, pandemic outbreaks have revealed the growing need for salvage management, wherein lies the potential role for venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation therapy in refractory respiratory failure. In this report, we review the contemporary ICU care of the severe influenza patient.

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Journal of critical care

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