N Engl J Med Archives - Page 4 of 8 - PulmCCM
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N Engl J Med Articles

Dec 042012
 
Linezolid (Zyvox) good for MDR, XDR tuberculosis (RCT)

Linezolid (Zyvox) for XDR-TB: New Hope, New Caution Approved by the FDA in 2000 for drug-resistant gram positive bacterial infections, linezolid (Zyvox, Pfizer) has in clinical practice been mainly used for skin infections and the occasional pneumonia due to methicillin-resistant Staph aureus (MRSA). Now linezolid looks to be effective as an adjunct therapy for multi-drug resistant [... read more]

Nov 202012
 
New pleural mesothelioma biomarker can speed diagnosis

(image: Wikipedia) Pleural Mesothelioma Biomarker Fibulin-3: Could It Improve Care? Pleural mesothelioma (malignant mesothelioma) has a dismally sad prognosis of about a year after diagnosis. Earlier detection of this lethal pleural cancer could conceivably result in earlier treatment and some improvement in life expectancy. Researchers report in the October 11, 2012 New England Journal of [... read more]

Nov 162012
 
Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT): Initial Diagnosis and Treatment (Review)

Supraventricular Tachycardia, Initial Diagnosis and Treatment When supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) causes symptoms, it requires immediate medical attention.  Although many physicians believe that the precise type of SVT must be identified before providing treatment, this is not true: treatment can often be started safely and effectively without knowing the exact SVT, by tailoring it to the [... read more]

Nov 142012
 
New lung tissue growth can occur in adults, defying previous belief

New Lung Tissue Growth Discovered: Is Some Lung Regeneration Possible? Lung regeneration has never been thought possible in adults. But Steven Mentzer et al from Brigham and Women’s at Harvard reported a case of a 33 year old woman who had an apparent 64% increase in the number of functioning alveoli in her left lung, during [... read more]

Oct 312012
 
Hospital-acquired infections: stopping Gov't payment did not reduce their incidence

Preventing Hospital Acquired Infections: Stopping Payment Had No Effect In October 2008, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) stopped paying for two hospital-acquired infections: urinary infections due to indwelling catheters (UTIs) and central catheter-associated bloodstream infections (CABSI). At the time the policy was announced years ago, it was described as an incentive [... read more]

Sep 042012
 
Hyperosmolar Therapy for Increased Intracranial Pressure (Review)

Hypertonic Saline & Mannitol for Raised Intracranial Pressure (More PulmCCM Topic Updates) Acute brain injuries of all sorts increase the pressure inside the skull (intracranial pressure). Traumatic brain injury, bleeding in or around the brain, severe ischemic stroke, and acute hepatic failure all raise intracranial pressure, and increased intracranial pressure often becomes the most severe [... read more]

Aug 022012
 
How many times has giving empiric antibiotics saved your professional behind?

Physicians who liberally prescribe empiric antibiotics are often maligned as irresponsible or unthinking by condescending colleagues and policy wonks. But are these doctors actually courageous and prudent, saving countless lives every year by refusing to bend to misguided pressure from antibiotic-conserving paper-pushers? As antibiotic resistance has emerged, many hospitals have begun requiring physicians to provide [... read more]

Jul 162012
 
Managing opioid overdose in the ICU (Review)

Management of Opioid Overdose in the ICU: Review (More PulmCCM Topic Updates) Thanks to a 700% increase in the number of opioid prescriptions for pain management, combined with a perhaps greater rise in the rate of prescription opioid abuse, the number of serious opioid overdoses in the US has climbed dramatically over the past decade. [... read more]

Jul 062012
 
NSCLC: Anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy breaks ground, buys time for some

Immunotherapy — creating antibodies to tumor markers, then activating the immune system to selectively kill cancer cells — is the newest and most-hyped frontier of oncology. And with some justification: the mechanism is cleaner and kinder than chemotherapy, and being a whole new treatment modality, can complement and augment traditional therapies. Results of immunotherapy in [... read more]

Jul 032012
 
Dynamic extrathoracic airway obstruction

For a great video example of dynamic extra-thoracic airway obstruction, click the below link to the July 5, 2012 New England Journal of Medicine. This 53-year-old woman had a traumatic laryngeal fracture as a child, and presented with daytime somnolence and inspiratory stridor. On laryngoscopy, she had proliferation of the mucosa over the vocal cords, [... read more]

Jun 272012
 
Pertussis underdiagnosed; adult booster-vaccine prevents "whoop" & infant deaths

This gentleman (not pictured in the photo) graciously allowed himself to be videotaped in the midst of a severe whooping cough episode caused by Bordetella pertussis; the video is posted on the New England Journal’s website. He had not been vaccinated: vaccination during childhood greatly reduces the risk of severe or life-threatening pertussis infection, and reduces [... read more]

May 242012
 
U.S. Gov't purse strings may be tightening on GME programs

(image: arstechnica) The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services fund graduate medical education (GME) in the U.S. through payroll taxes — to the tune of $9.5 billion per year. Only a portion of that actually goes to paying house staff salaries, though. The rest, academic medical centers have traditionally been free to spend more or [... read more]

Apr 052012
 

The Joint Commission (previously called “JCAHO”) launched its new “Tobacco Cessation Performance Measure Set” on January 1, 2012. Like most New Years’ resolutions, we all promptly ignored it. But it’s time to pay attention — your hospital might be. Wasn’t there already a smoking cessation performance measure? Yes, in 2004 hospitals were required to report the proportion [... read more]

Mar 222012
 

Mazen Albeldawi and Rohit Makkar of the Cleveland Clinic bring us a free image in the New England Journal of what the bronchial tree looks like when a barium swallow test goes horribly awry. This patient had a very poor outcome, particularly unfortunate since this was an elective test. The New England Journal also ran a previous [... read more]

Mar 152012
 

Diaphragmatic dysfunction can result from nerve damage, primary muscle problems, or problems with the muscle’s interaction with the chest wall. The true incidence of diaphragmatic paralysis is unknown, since many patients are asymptomatic. Treatment for diaphragmatic dysfunction usually consists of watchful waiting, addressing underlying causes, with mechanical ventilation if respiratory failure develops. Causes of Diaphragmatic [... read more]

Mar 072012
 

When someone with a pneumothorax lies supine — as in the 23-year old man described in this New England Journal mini-case from Saweera Sabbar and Eric James Nilles of Rashid Trauma Center in Dubai, UAE — air rises laterally and caudally, and creates displacement downward and medially of the hemidiaphragm, displaying as the “deep sulcus [... read more]

Feb 282012
 

For unclear reasons, people receiving chemotherapy for solid tumors are at particularly increased risk for deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (DVT/PE). Semuloparin is an ultra-low-molecular weight heparin with a long half life of 16-20 hours that (like enoxaparin) is renally excreted. Sanofi, makers of Lovenox, report in the February 16 New England Journal of [... read more]

Feb 222012
 
Restrictive blood transfusion was fine for high-CV-risk patients after hip fracture repair (RCT, NEJM)

There’s not much data to guide the transfusion of red blood cells. In 1999, there was the beautifully executed and practice-changing Transfusion Requirements in Critical Care (TRICC) trial, which showed that a restrictive transfusion strategy (hemoglobin trigger of 7 g/dL) in ICU patients resulted in a non-stat.significantly lower mortality (19% vs. 23%) compared to a [... read more]

Feb 172012
 
Tobacco warnings, free speech, and "in-activist" judges (NEJM)

Legal eagle Kevin Outterson explains the latest twists in the saga of the FDA’s quest to get large, scary pictures on every cigarette package under its new regulatory muscle of the 2009 Obama-authorized Tobacco Control Act. R.J. Reynolds sued, and federal judge Richard Leon took their side in November 2011, deciding to apply the more [... read more]