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Aug 112013
 
Low tidal volume ventilation reduces complications from abdominal surgery

Low Tidal Volume Ventilation Improves Outcomes in Elective Surgery Using low tidal volumes (6-8 mL/kg ideal body weight, or about 500 mL in the average man) during mechanical ventilation has been known for more than a decade to be lifesaving for people with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Since reducing mortality by a relative 22% [… read more]

Aug 112013
 
USPSTF Recommends Lung Cancer Screening CT; Obamacare Pays

USPSTF Endorses Lung Cancer Screening CT; New Standard of Care Begins Lung cancer screening CT took its most important step toward widespread implementation last week, when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a draft of its forthcoming recommendation that the 9 million U.S. people meeting entry criteria for the National Lung Screening Trial [… read more]

Aug 032013
 
Oral N-acetylcysteine (NAC) reduces COPD exacerbations in RCT

image: Vitacost N-acetylcysteine (NAC) Improves COPD Outcomes Oxidative stress (imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants) is part of the story of how COPD causes symptoms of cough and shortness of breath. Cigarette smoke is the main source of oxidation damage in the lungs leading to COPD, but even after they quit smoking, people with COPD still [… read more]

Aug 032013
 
Riociguat for Pulmonary Hypertension: New Kid on the Block

New Pulmonary Hypertension Drug Riociguat Proves Effective Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a rare but life-threatening illness affecting around 10,000 people in the U.S., in which ongoing remodeling of the pulmonary vasculature leads to narrowed pulmonary arteries with increased pulmonary artery pressure (pulmonary hypertension), and if untreated, eventual right heart failure and death. (The overwhelming majority [… read more]

Aug 032013
 
Riociguat improves chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH)

Riociguat Improves Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH): CHEST-1 Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is an uncommon complication of pulmonary embolism, in which the pulmonary blood vessels become occluded by the body’s ongoing reaction to residual blood clots. The result is slowly worsening shortness of breath, pulmonary hypertension, and eventually right heart failure. People with chronic [… read more]

Jul 272013
 
How to ration lung cancer screening CTs, rationally

Restrict Lung Cancer Screening CT To Highest-Risk People? The National Lung Screening Trial showed that 3 annual low-dose chest CT scans in people with heavy smoking histories (30+ pack-years) saved lives, reducing the risk of death from lung cancer by a relative 20% compared to screening with annual chest X-rays. With 160,000 lung cancer deaths [… read more]

Jul 272013
 
Diagnosing and managing obstructive sleep apnea, before and after surgery (Review)

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Perioperative Complications: A Review Obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep disorders may affect as many as 70 million U.S. adults — 1 in 4 men and 1 in 10 women. People with obstructive sleep apnea are usually obese, have other medical conditions, and are more likely to undergo surgery than people [… read more]

Jul 192013
 
Intensivists overnight in the ICU don't help, if you're already good

Nighttime Intensivist Staffing Does Not Help (Again) As I’ve said before, probably past the point of being annoying, we intensivists perform a vital service for humanity — just ask us. Numerous studies have concluded that a specialized intensivist’s presence in an intensive care unit during the day saves lives and results in better use of health [… read more]

Jul 182013
 
Biomarkers help predict COPD exacerbations

Biomarkers Predict COPD Exacerbations (Sort Of) In addition to daily breathlessness, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often experience exacerbations of shortness of breath and coughing. Those with more severe COPD tend to have more frequent and severe exacerbations, lower enjoyment of life, and more rapid loss of lung function. The strongest predictor of [… read more]

Jul 112013
 
Early parenteral nutrition does not improve survival

Early Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) Didn’t Save Lives Under the high stress of critical illness, people lose fat and muscle quickly. Obesity appears to be protective during critical illness, possibly because those extra fat reserves come in handy during this period of accelerated catabolism. The strong physiological rationale and the psychological pressure not to appear to be [… read more]

Jul 102013
 
EUS / EBUS beat transbronchial biopsies for diagnosis of sarcoidosis in RCT

image: Olympus EUS / EBUS Superior at Diagnosing Sarcoidosis This post has been edited from the original to reflect a correction. It originally reported that this trial suggested EBUS alone was superior to transbronchial biopsy; see below. Sarcoidosis affects tens of thousands of people in the U.S., but making the diagnosis can be tricky. A [… read more]

Jul 052013
 
In COPD exacerbations, 5 days steroids seem as good as 14 (REDUCE trial)

For COPD Exacerbations, 5 Days Corticosteroids As Good as 2+ Weeks COPD exacerbations — worsening of shortness of breath and cough, often requiring medical treatment — are a major problem for many people living with COPD. People with moderate or severe emphysema and chronic bronchitis (together called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) experience an average of [… read more]

Jul 042013
 
Many people with metastatic lung cancer think radiation can cure

image: cancer.gov Patients With Metastatic Lung Cancer Often Believe Radiation Could Cure Among 384 patients with metastatic lung cancer who answered a survey, two in five expressed belief that radiation therapy was “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to cure them. Eighty percent thought radiation therapy would allow them to live longer, and only one-third admitted [… read more]

Jun 272013
 
Early tracheostomy does not improve survival or other outcomes (TracMan trial)

image: CUHK Early Tracheostomy Does Not Help in Large “TracMan” Trial More than 100,000 tracheostomies are performed worldwide each year for people requiring prolonged periods of mechanical ventilation. It’s generally agreed that to avoid damaging the trachea and throat, a tracheostomy should be placed within 3 weeks of mechanical ventilation. But prior to 3 weeks, [… read more]

Jun 262013
 
FDA warns against use of Hetastarch in ICU

U.S. FDA Advises Against Hetastarch Use in ICU European Agency Recommends Ban It was probably only a matter of time. In the wake of large randomized trials suggesting hydroxyethyl starches (HES or hetastarch) cause kidney injury and death in critically ill patients from sepsis and other causes, and the European Medicines Agency formally suggesting this month [… read more]

Jun 212013
 
In intracerebral hemorrhage, rapid blood pressure reductions were safe (INTERACT2)

image: Wikipedia Rapid Blood Pressure Control Doesn’t Hurt, May Help in Intracerebral Hemorrhage Strokes caused by intracerebral hemorrhage — sudden bleeding into the brain — are as devastating as they sound. Almost half of people with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) die within a month, and most of the survivors end up in nursing homes or needing [… read more]

Jun 212013
 
High-Altitude Illness: Prediction, Prevention, Treatment

Getting Sick at High Altitude: Prevention & Treatment Rapidly ascending above altitudes of 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) from lower elevations can result in illness ranging from mild nausea and headaches, to life-threatening edema of the lungs or brain. Truth is, there is little data to help physicians prevent or treat high-altitude illnesses, or to counsel [… read more]

Jun 162013
 
Decontaminate all incoming ICU patients to reduce infections, says RCT

“Decolonizing” New ICU Patients Reduces Bloodstream Infections: NEJM This article had an erratum posted in NEJM: read more here. In humankind’s battle against bacteria, the ICU is the front line. And with MRSA infection rates doubling in the past 5 years, and the more recent and scary spread of lethal pan-resistant Enterobacteriae, lately the bugs have [… read more]

Jun 162013
 
Ultrasound in the ICU: Hypotension after a cholecystectomy (Case 1)

Ultrasound Case 1 Hypotension after a Cholecystectomy: Why? From Philippe Rola and the Critical Care & Ultrasound Institute, the first in a series of educational ultrasound cases on PulmCCM: A 64 year-old male is admitted to the ICU from the surgical ward with hypotension, 3 days post-cholecystectomy. He is intubated for airway protection following loss [… read more]

Jun 162013
 

By Dr. Philippe Rola I was recently scanning the literature in preparation for our symposium, and came across what should have been a 2003 instead of a 2013 publication in the March issue of the CCM Journal, entitled “Point-of-Care Ultrasound to estimate Central Venous Pressure:  A Comparison of Three Techniques.” I have to admit this [… read more]