CICM Second Part Exam Practice SAQs 26042018

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


A 62-year-old male is admitted to the ICU post-operatively having undergone a transthoracic oesophagectomy for squamous cell carcinoma of the oesophagus. The patient was extubated at the end of the operation but requires re-intubation two days post-surgery due to respiratory failure.


  1. List the likely underlying causes of respiratory failure specific to this clinical situation (30%)
  2. List the pros and cons of non-invasive ventilation in this clinical situation (30%)
  3. Briefly outline the principles of management of an anastomotic leak in this patient (40%)

Learn more here:


A 45-year-old woman received a tracheostomy while she recovered from a cerebellar haemorrhage. She has made good progress and is deemed ready for decannulation.

1. What are your criteria for determining readiness for tracheostomy decannulation? (50%)

She develops laryngospasm immediately after decannulation.

2. Outline your approach to the management of this situation. (50%)

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You are called to the Emergency Department to assist in the management of a 45-year-old man with respiratory distress. He is a known HIV patient with Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia and an allergy to sulphonamides.

On examination:

  • Temperature 38.8 C
  • Mucous membranes appear cyanotic Respiratory rate 35/min
  • Heart rate 125/min
  • Blood pressure 90/50 mmHg
  • SpO2 82% on 8L/min oxygen via Hudson mask


Initial arterial blood gas analysis (ABG) is as follows:

  1. Interpret the ABG report. (20%)
  2. What is the likely diagnosis? (10%)
  3. Outline your management of this patient (70%)

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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