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Apr 202015
 
FDA warns against use of OTC homeopathic asthma treatments

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising the public not to use over the counter homeopathic asthma products. Thanks to protection from friendly legislators, the multibillion dollar homeopathic and supplement industry is allowed to mislead the public by labeling homeopathic products as “promoting lung health,” or even advertising them specifically as “providing relief [… read more]

Apr 192015
 
Do long-acting beta agonists for asthma cause birth defects?

Or, How to Treat Asthma in Pregnancy Do long-acting beta agonists cause birth defects when taken by pregnant women? A new study can’t settle the question, but might give women and their doctors more peace of mind when LABAs are necessary to control asthma during pregnancy. Current guidelines for treating asthma during pregnancy advise that for [… read more]

Apr 122015
 
Antibiotics for community-acquired pneumonia: Is azithromycin out?

Is it time for a change in the standard treatment of community-acquired pneumonia? A new Dutch study says, maybe. The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) says, not so fast. IDSA’s guidelines for treatment of community acquired pneumonia were last updated in 2007. For patients admitted to the hospital but not needing the ICU, they have [… read more]

Mar 282015
 
Surviving Sepsis Says EGDT Not Needed in All Patients with Septic Shock

As regular PulmCCM readers know, the ProCESS, ARISE and ProMISe randomized trials showed no benefit of protocolized early goal-directed therapy as compared to usual conscientious care in the treatment of severe sepsis and septic shock. In response to ProCESS and ARISE, the influential Surviving Sepsis Campaign now advises that measurement of central venous pressure (CVP) and [… read more]

Mar 272015
 
Endovascular therapy helps in ischemic stroke, again (ESCAPE)

Endovascular Therapy Improves Outcomes from Ischemic Stroke By Parth Rali, MD and Igor Titoff, DO Endovascular therapy for ischemic stroke has long been an attractive treatment modality for ischemic strokes, but until recently large randomized trials have not confirmed a benefit [1,2,3]. Two of these—IMS III1 and SYNTHESIS2—failed to prove the benefit of endovascular therapy (with-or-without tissue plasminogen activator) [… read more]

Mar 202015
 
ProMISe Trial for Sepsis: Usual Care 3, Goal-Directed Therapy 0*

* (since 2014) The ARISE (Australasia) and ProCESS (U.S.) trials, published in 2014, each demonstrated no advantage of protocolized care for sepsis over conscientious usual care. For those remaining unconvinced, the U.K.-based ProMISe trial is available in the New England Journal of Medicine. ProMISe extends the growing global footprint of what some will call the [… read more]

Mar 192015
 
ICU Physiology in 1,000 Words: The Right Ventricular Afterload (Part 2 of 2)

ICU Physiology in 1000 Words The Right Ventricular Afterload [Part 2 of 2] Jon-Emile S. Kenny M.D. [@heart_lung] Having considered the short-comings of Laplace’s Law and the PVR with respect to the RV afterload in part 1, we will now turn to each of the following in turn: the pulmonary arterial input impedance, a measureable [… read more]

Mar 152015
 
How safe is thoracentesis? Giant case series sheds light

Thoracentesis for pleural effusion — that is, inserting a long needle between someone’s ribs to drain a fluid collection from the chest — has always come with a scary menu of potential risks, including pneumothorax, hemothorax and pulmonary edema. A new study reports a low complication rate from thousands of thoracenteses. But debate will remain whether the safety results — achieved [… read more]

Mar 132015
 
ICU Physiology in 1,000 Words: Right Ventricular Afterload (Part 1 of 2)

ICU Physiology in 1,000 Words: The Right Ventricular Afterload (Part 1 of 2) By Jon-Emile S. Kenny M.D. With my trusted-resident – Dr. Lina Miyakawa – at my side we watched as our patient could not maintain his oxygen saturation above 82%. The patient had terrible aspiration pneumonia superimposed upon horrendous methamphetamine-related pulmonary arterial hypertension [… read more]

Mar 092015
 
FDA warns: drinking on Chantix may have unexpected effects

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that varenicline (Chantix) can alter people’s reaction when drinking alcohol, potentially causing a lowered tolerance, blackouts, and aggressive behavior. Oh, and watch out for seizures too (these were rare). The warnings come as advance notice of a label change, based on FDA’s review of cases reported over time by Pfizer [… read more]

Mar 062015
 
Chlorhexidine baths in ICU don't prevent infections in large trial

Throwing the Baby out with the (Chlorhexidine) Bathwater? New Data on Disinfectant Baths By Lekshmi Santhosh, MD As a critical care community, we’ve been forever searching for a magic bullet to eradicate healthcare-acquired infections. So when the pair of 2013 NEJM trials on daily chlorhexidine bathing showed statistically significant reductions on the incidence of hospital-acquired [… read more]

Mar 052015
 
E-cigarettes double smokers' quit rates vs placebo: meta-analysis

Electronic cigarettes containing nicotine can double smokers’ rates of quitting at one year, compared to e-cigarettes without nicotine (placebo), according to a new small meta-analysis published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. The rates of smoking cessation using nicotine-containing e-cigarettes (9%) were roughly comparable to that seen with other forms of nicotine replacement therapy in past trials. The [… read more]

Mar 042015
 
Lung-RADS launches: New system for lung cancer screening chest CTs

The American College of Radiology has started implementing its new system for risk-stratifying the findings on low dose chest CTs performed for lung cancer screening. The ACR’s new system is called Lung-RADS™, and it emulates the ACR’s familiar Bi-RADS’s 0-4 scoring system for mammography: Lung-RADS 0: Incomplete, meaning previous chest CTs are still being located [… read more]

Feb 222015
 
Who needs mediastinoscopy after negative EBUS staging for lung cancer?

image: Olympus Most lung cancers spread to the lymph nodes in the chest first. Unless distant spread to other organs (metastasis) is obvious, biopsy of any suspicious intrathoracic lymph nodes is necessary to stage and prognose lung cancer. The presence or absence of cancerous lymph nodes, and their location in relation to the lung cancer, determine [… read more]

Feb 192015
 
Chantix works even if you're just thinking of quitting smoking

“Set a quit date to stop smoking,” goes the old bit of doctor’s advice. Experts argue people need to psyche themselves up, get serious, commit to quitting before the last butt goes in the ashtray. A new study in JAMA suggests that advice may be outdated. Smokers unready to quit who took the cessation drug varenicline (Chantix) for several months, [… read more]

Feb 132015
 
The PulmCCM App Re-Re-Launches, Again

Longtime readers of PulmCCM will remember, there once was an app for iPhone and Android phones. Then, one day, there wasn’t. Technical difficulties, etc. Then, just when everyone had almost forgotten about it, the app was back! Most people had moved on with their lives, but a few were touched by this digital comeback story. Then — [… read more]

Feb 122015
 
FDA approves ceftolozane/tazobactam (Zerbaxa); 4th new antibiotic in 2014

The U.S. FDA continued its flurry of new antibiotic approvals to close out 2014, giving the nod to ceftolozane with tazobactam. The drug will be marketed as Zerbaxa by the pharmaceutical company Cubist. Ceftolozane is a novel cephalosporin, combined with the existing β-lactamase inhibitor tazobactam in the new product. Zerbaxa has broad activity against gram-negative [… read more]

Feb 112015
 
Medicare will pay for lung cancer screening chest CT -- now up to age 77

Medicare will pay for annual low-dose chest CT for lung cancer screening, for former and current heavy smokers between the ages of 55 and 77. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the decision last week. CMS had previously signaled they would set the upper age limit at 74, the same as in the National Lung Screening Trial [… read more]

Feb 062015
 
E-cigarettes fuss over formaldehyde: don't believe the hype (yet)

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) work via a heating element that the user activates while inhaling. Nicotine, along with a liquid solvent (usually propylene glycol), flavorings and whatever else is in the solution are vaporized (aerosolized, really) at the high temperature and inhaled by the user. E-cigarette sales are now a $1.5 billion/year business, growing by an [… read more]

Feb 012015
 
PulmCCM Journal Vol. 1, Issue 2 Now Available

On behalf of the PulmCCM Journal editorial board, it is with great pleasure that I announce the publication of the second issue of PulmCCM Journal, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal in pulmonary and critical care medicine. You can read the new issue online at pulmccm.org/journal, or click “Journal” in the menu bar above. PulmCCM Journal’s mission is to [… read more]