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Apr 132012
 
Vitamin D supplements don't prevent COPD exacerbations in RCT (Ann Intern Med)

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many chronic medical conditions, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In some cases, more severe vitamin D deficiency is associated with more severe chronic illness. However, it’s never been shown that vitamin D deficiency supplemenation improves or prevents illness; i.e., that vitamin D deficiency causes or exacerbates [… read more]

Apr 122012
 
Release the data on Relenza and Tamiflu, Cochrane implores Pharma (NYT)

Antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) made big bucks for Roche and GSK respectively during the H1N1 influenza pandemic: Roche reportedly sold  about $3 billion of Tamiflu in 2009. Although sales have dropped off precipitously, the drugs are still recommended by CDC for serious cases of seasonal influenza. But do Relenza and Tamiflu even [… read more]

Apr 112012
 
Lack of ICU beds has no effect on mortality ... in Canada? (Arch Intern Med)

What happens when the “Rapid Response Team” is called for an acutely deteriorating patient, but there’s no ICU bed available to send her to? In Alberta, Canada, not much, apparently. Henry Stelfox, Brenda Hemmelgarn, and Braden Manns analyzed 3,494 consecutive patients with “Code MET (medical emergency team)” rapid-response activations in Calgary between 2007 and 2009. [… read more]

Apr 062012
 

The 5-year results of the Danish Lung Cancer Screening Trial (DLCST) were reported in the April 2012 Thorax, and they show no mortality benefit from annual screening for lung cancer with chest CT. Rather, it appeared that more harmless early stage cancers were identified through screening — “overdiagnosis” of cancers that would never have advanced [… read more]

Apr 052012
 

A large proportion of primary care doctors were easily fooled by numbers that seemed to support cancer screening, but were actually irrelevant. Just as bad, they ignored data supporting screening that would genuinely save lives, in a questionnaire simulation published in the March 6 Annals of Internal Medicine. 412 primary care docs were given surveys testing [… 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]

Apr 022012
 

This post was featured on KevinMD.com; an excerpt follows. “Full code” is the universal default status for patients who haven’t chosen otherwise. Yet I suspect most physicians believe this policy is wrong. We feel in our hearts we’re doing harm when we perform CPR on poor souls whose bodies are trying to naturally end their [… read more]

Apr 012012
 

You might think you’re just writing a prescription and signing your name. But the innocent ink (or pixels) you leave behind in your daily routine turns into liquid gold for an entire industry that makes big profits from understanding and interpreting your behavior to pharmaceutical and insurance companies. As Lawrence Gostin points out in a [… read more]

Mar 252012
 

“The average length of medical training could be reduced by about 30% without compromising physician competence or quality of care,” writes Ezekiel Emanuel, Obama’s former health care advisor who’s now back at University of Pennsylvania in a big-thinker job spanning ethics, economics and medicine. In a JAMA essay with co-author Viktor Fuchs, they opine that [… read more]

Mar 242012
 

(Comments by first author James T. Good follow this post.) For 58 patients with refractory asthma at National Jewish, James Good et al devised a systematic, bronchoscopy-driven approach that they feel resulted in improved asthma symptoms and identification of potential phenotypes of refractory asthma among the enrolled subjects. Their methodology was highly detailed and time- and labor-intensive. It included using [… read more]

Mar 232012
 

An observational trial by Jim Kutsoguiannis, Cathy Alberda, Daren Heyland et al published in the December 2011 Critical Care Medicine showed no difference in 60-day survival among critically ill, mechanically ventilated patients started on parenteral nutrition (TPN) “early” (within 48 hours of ICU admission) or “late” (after 48 hours). Only 258 patients were included in the [… 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 192012
 

This post was featured on KevinMD.com; an excerpt follows: An essay in JAMA by Vinay Prasad (Northwestern of Chicago), Adam Cifu (U. of Chicago) and John Ioannidis (Stanford) should be required reading for every medical student, resident, and to pass every board certification exam in any specialty. In my humble opinion. John Ioannidis became one [… read more]

Mar 182012
 

Sleep docs don’t come off looking so hot in this recent NPR story, which paints some of them as opportunistic plunderers of the nation’s health care dollars, over-ordering expensive sleep studies to make a buck. As reporter Jenny Gold points out, the number of sleep studies performed in the U.S. has quadrupled over the past [… 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 142012
 

The National Lung Screening Trial (NSLT) showed a 20% reduction in death from lung cancer, but with a number needed to screen of 320 to prevent one death, a false-positive rate of 96% and each abnormal scan generating costs of ~$45,000, the risk / benefit / cost accounts are far from settled. Few insurers (e.g. [… read more]

Mar 112012
 

The content previously here was removed at the request of the American College of Chest Physicians. For the ACCP 9th edition clinical practice guidelines for prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE), please visit the ACCP website. PulmCCM is not affiliated with ACCP or Chest.