CICM Second Part Exam Practice SAQs 11052016

As prepared by Chris Nickson, here are the practice questions from the last written exam practice session at The Alfred ICU, with recommended reading from’s Critical Care Compendium and other FOAM sources:

Q1. (CICM 2nd Part Exam SAQ 2014.1 Q7)


A 50-year-old patient was admitted to the ICU for airway observation following a difficult parathyroidectomy. No immediate airway problems were evident. About 24 hours later, the patient was noted to be in fast atrial fibrillation, and complained of difficulty in breathing with generalised aches and pains.

  1. What is the likely explanation for the patient’s symptoms?
  2. List your specific management for this problem.


List three causes for the following combination of findings observed on a serum sample:



List two causes for the following combination of findings observed on a serum sample:



The following haemodynamic and metabolic data were obtained from a patient admitted to the ICU with sepsis.

Pulmonary artery catheter data:
  • CI 4.2 L/min/m2
  • DO2 900 ml/min
  • VO2 190 ml/min
Indirect calorimetry data:
  • VO2 220 ml/min
  • VCO2 290 ml/min
  1. Why is the VO2 different between the two methods? (Assume no measurement errors.)
  2. What changes in patient management will you consider based on the indirect calorimetry data?

Learn more here:

Q2. (CICM 2nd Part Exam SAQ 2013.2 Q12)

A 67-year-old female has presented acutely with a diagnosis of tetanus. She sustained a laceration one week earlier while gardening and has now developed generalised spasms and respiratory distress.

Outline your specific management of this patient including management of the anticipated complications of tetanus.Outline your approach to this request.

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Q3. (CICM 2nd Part Exam SAQ 2012.2 Q4)

A 65-year-old man had an out of hospital cardiac arrest secondary to a large anterior ST elevation myocardial infarction. His ICU stay has been complicated by aspiration pneumonia. He is now day 14 from admission, with a tracheostomy in situ, and has started weaning from ventilation.

You have been asked to review him as he is communicating that he ‘can’t get enough air’ despite ongoing mechanical ventilatory support.

How would you manage this patient who reports being breathless on a ventilator?

Learn more here:

You can access all the previous practice questions since 2014 here:
See this link on INTENSIVE for exam resources:

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