Microcirculation refers to very small blood vessels that control oxygen and nutrient delivery and removal of waste products from our tissues and organs. Previous research has shown that a decrease in either the number of vessels, or blood flow through these vessels, can be seen in patients who are very sick as a result of infections, blood loss or heart failure. Changes in microcirculation are associated with how sick a patient is and whether or not they recover from illness. However, only small numbers have been included in other studies.
The principle hypothesis of this research is that abnormalities of the microcirculation -- identified with sidestream dark field (SDF) imaging not necessarily discernable with global measure of perfusion -- will correlate with ongoing organ dysfunction in shocked critically unwell patients.READ MORE