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Open Access Feasibility of a Porcine Adult Intensive Care Model

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A porcine adult ICU model would be useful for several avenues of investigation relevant to the care of critically ill patients. The purpose of the experiments reported here was to test the feasibility of such a model, using healthy swine. Swine (n = 4; body weight, 76 ± 5 kg) were instrumented with endotracheal, bladder, and central arterial and venous catheters, and were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) while undergoing mechanical ventilation under the continuous care of nurses. Cardiopulmonary parameters were monitored continuously, and serum biochemical parameters were measured intermittently. Survival was seven days in subject 1 and five and a half days in subject 2. Subjects 3 and 4 survived an abbreviated protocol (44 and 41 h, respectively). Care of the subjects was complicated by iatrogenic hemorrhage (n = 3), pneumonia (n = 2), and acute respiratory distress syndrome (n = 1). One subject was free of complications. Critically ill swine ≥ 70 kg can survive mechanical ventilation in the ICU for up to seven days. When iatrogenic injury occurs, swine respond well to clinical care protocols. Further testing is needed to develop a reproducible model and determine whether healthy swine can survive the ICU environment for longer than 41 h.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Nursing, 1100 Holcombe Boulevard, Suite 4.430, Houston, Texas 77030 2: The Texas Heart Institute

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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