PulmCCM - Page 20 of 46 - All the best in pulmonary & critical care
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Jun 222012
 
Palliative care exploding in U.S. hospitals (AP)

Hospitals added palliative care services at a feverish pace throughout the 2000s, the Associated Press reported in a piece picked up by news outlets across the U.S. in June. While 658 hospitals reported having palliative care programs in 2000, 1,568 reported they offered palliative care services in 2009 — that’s over 60% of the hospitals [… read more]

Jun 212012
 
Smoking is bad, quitting is good -- even for Great-Grandma

Most studies on smoking and its well-known health risks have been performed in middle-aged adults (younger than 60). In a large epidemiological study published in the June 11, 2012 Archives of Internal Medicine, Carolin Gellert, Ben Schottker, and Hermann Brenner showed that (spoiler alert!!) smoking’s excess risks extend to older adults, as well. Just as importantly, [… read more]

Jun 142012
 
Most clinical trials are too small, often underpowered

The past decade has seen an explosion in the number of clinical trials; there are now more than 10,000 new trials registered each year. Although clinical trials’ quality is improving somewhat, most are still small and single-center and a large proportion do not adhere with reporting requirements, raising serious questions as to what we are [… read more]

Jun 132012
 
No increased risk detected from smoking cessation just before surgery

Remember that weird advice we were taught as physicians-in-training to give to smoking patients before an upcoming surgery? “You should quit smoking, but not within the 2 weeks just before your surgery.” (It sounds off-key to me even as I write it now.) Based on … what? Some medical lore passed down from a decades-old study [… read more]

Jun 092012
 
COPD self-care program fail; unexplained deaths at VA hospitals (RCT)

Chronic diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) account for at least 2/3 of medical care spending in the U.S. Policy makers, payers, and many physicians recognize that the outpatient clinic-based model is poorly suited to provide support in between physician visits, when most complications or exacerbations occur. Many hospitalizations and decline in function could [… read more]

Jun 072012
 
Inhaled hypertonic saline for young kids with cystic fibrosis: no benefit? (RCT)

(image: Bennett Gamel blog) Inhaled hypertonic saline (7% NaCl) increases clearance of mucus by airway cilia, making it an attractive treatment for cystic fibrosis. Hypertonic saline has been a cornerstone of daily therapy for CF ever since a 2006 NEJM randomized trial showed that ~80 adults and kids older than 6 using hypertonic saline for [… read more]

Jun 012012
 
Bronchodilator reversibility testing in COPD: Bill for it, but don't believe it

(image: flickrCC) Why do we test chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients for bronchodilator responsiveness (besides getting to charging a few extra bucks for it)? If I am reading this article right, the answer is, there’s no good reason. Consider this: Bronchodilator responsiveness (BDR) or the lack thereof does not distinguish COPD from asthma. Bronchodilator [… read more]

May 252012
 
Fever reduction improves early mortality in septic shock? Take a closer look

by Scott Aberegg, MD, MPH It is rare occasion that one article allows me to review so many aspects of the epistemology of medical evidence, but alas Schortgen et al afforded me that opportunity in the May 15th issue of AJRCCM. The issues raised by this article are so numerous that I shall make subsections for each one. [… 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]

May 232012
 
For some LTAC patients, pessimism is the new kindness

(image: flickrCC) Half of patients transferred to long-term acute care facilities (LTACs) on prolonged mechanical ventilation will die within a year, according to a 2010 review. Only a small minority will ever go home without needing significant caregiver assistance. For those over age 65, the prognosis is even worse. It seems rude, or even cruel, [… read more]

May 172012
 
Where's the respect (and $$) for critical care research?

(image: Suburban Wino) Craig Coopersmith of Emory is an amazing guy and a prolific investigator in critical care — and it looks like he’s fed up with having his grants rejected. After some epic bean-counting, his group concludes that critical care research gets short shrift in federal research funding, compared to the huge amounts spent [… read more]

May 162012
 
Tattletales rain on private cardiologists' cash-grabbing parade

Did you know that about half of cardiologists’ $400,000+ average income comes from self-referring patients to undergo imaging studies on scanners owned in part or in whole by the physicians themselves? This type of arrangement violates the spirit but not the letter of the Stark Law, created in 1992 to address the inevitable economic and medical inequities that result when physicians are permitted [… read more]

May 132012
 
Chantix: no excess cardiovascular risk in new meta-analysis

(image: People’s Pharmacy) Sure to re-light controversy around Pfizer’s varenicline (Chantix): a new study concludes the smoking cessation drug likely carries no increased risk for cardiovascular events.  Judith Prochaska and Joan Hilton (University of California – San Francisco) report the results in the May 4 BMJ. Sonal Singh (Johns Hopkins) et al’s previous meta-analysis, reported in CMAJ [… read more]

May 122012
 
Mechanical Ventilation in ARDS: Research Update

Mechanical Ventilation in ARDS: 2014 Review (More PulmCCM Topic Updates) People with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are by definition severely hypoxemic, and nearly all require invasive mechanical ventilation. Yet mechanical ventilation itself can further injure damaged lungs (so-called ventilator-induced lung injury); minimizing any additional damage while maintaining adequate gas exchange (“compatible with life”) is the [… read more]

May 112012
 
Acetaminophen causes childhood asthma, researcher argues

(image: flickrCC) Is acetaminophen responsible for the worldwide rise in childhood asthma over the past 30 years? Citing a mounting pile of circumstantial evidence from epidemiologic observational studies, John McBride of Akron’s Children’s Hospital in Ohio believes so, and that it’s time to officially push the worry button. The theory is that the fear of aspirin-induced [… read more]