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Feb 152014
 
Tight glycemic control in critically ill kids: benefits, risks still unclear

Intensive insulin therapy for critically ill adults was rapidly adopted as standard care after 2001 when an apparent benefit was established after cardiac surgery, then medical ICU patients. Eleven years later, after a wave of minor harm signals, the NICE-SUGAR study confirmed for most intensivists that the excess hypoglycemia from intensive glucose control was potentially lethal in adults, and [... read more]

Feb 112014
 
Vitamin D: no relationship to COPD exacerbations

After a stupefying amount of research on vitamin D — with 70 vitamin D studies published in PubMed in January 2014 alone — there is no consistent signal tying vitamin D supplementation to improvement in any health condition. A recent “futility analysis” (a form of meta-analysis) of 40 randomized trials suggests vitamin D does not [... read more]

Feb 092014
 
Should limited email ads finance PulmCCM's future? SURVEY RESULTS

Hello colleagues, PulmCCM has been doing great traffic-wise, but that hasn’t translated into financial health. PulmCCM took a net loss of $1,600 for 2013, including my annual salary of $700 (nope, no omitted zeroes there). That’s OK — making money has never been what this project is about. However, PulmCCM does need continuous funding to [... read more]

Feb 092014
 
Sedation and Analgesia in the Critically Ill (Review)

Pain, agitation, and delirium are all extremely common in ICU patients–so much so that they’ve been termed the “ICU triad.” No one knows exactly how common each is, because ICU patients are often too delirious to complain of pain; or their agitation hides their delirium; or their unidentified pain may cause their agitation; or …. [... read more]

Feb 042014
 
Can pulmonologists do their own on-site cytopathology during bronchoscopy?

On-site, intra-procedure cytopathologic examination of aspirated tissue during transbronchial needle aspiration (either by EBUS or “blind” approach) is probably helpful during bronchoscopy. Why wouldn’t it be? You’ve got a trained professional there to tell you when you’ve made the diagnosis and can stop taking biopsies. Diagnostic yield should go up, complications down. Randomized trials have [... read more]

Feb 012014
 
Spiriva and heart attack risk: new safety kerfuffle

Last year, PulmCCM reported on the TIOSPIR safety trial comparing the Spiriva dry-powder HandiHaler against the Respimat mist-delivery device. TIOSPIR showed no difference in all-cause mortality or composite cardiovascular risk endpoints between either Spiriva preparation. But this week, a group of drug safety researchers report their granular analysis of TIOSPIR data shows the Respimat device [... read more]

Jan 292014
 
CCUS 2014: 7th Annual Critical Care Ultrasound Symposium

For the 7th edition of our Annual Symposium, we’ve assembled a great cast of characters to bring your bedside ultrasound game to a whole new level! Whether you’re a novice or have some experience in bedside ultrasound, we’re sure you’ll find our program very interesting, as the perspective we have chosen to take is patient-based, [... read more]

Jan 292014
 
Choosing Wisely's five top "no-no's" in critical care

Choosing Wisely is an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) with the stated goal of “promoting conversations between physicians and patients by helping patients choose care that is supported by evidence, not duplicative, free from harm, and truly necessary.” Sounds good, huh? Politically, ABIM’s Choosing Wisely seeks to demonstrate to policymakers responsible [... read more]

Jan 262014
 
US Gov't pronounces lung cancer screening the standard of care

It’s official: the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announced its formal recommendation for yearly low-dose chest CT screening for lung cancer in high-risk individuals on December 30, 2013. The final grade B recommendation (“Suggestion: offer or provide this service”) was virtually unchanged from the draft recommendations the USPSTF made in July 2013. It advises [... read more]

Jan 262014
 
Antibiotics don't improve cough in acute bronchitis

Acute bronchitis with cough is overwhelmingly often due to viral infection, but that doesn’t stop coughers from seeking antibiotics, or their doctors from obligingly prescribing them. Most patients who ask for antibiotics get them, and the millions of excess antibiotic doses worldwide each year are believed to contribute to rising antibiotic resistance. Doctors seem almost [... read more]

Jan 192014
 
Macitentan for IPF falls short in MUSIC trial

Blair Westerly, MD Effective treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis continues to elude patients and clinicians alike.  Multiple classes of medications have been studied, none with convincing data demonstrating efficacy.  Because of the proposed  contribution of endothelin-1 to the pathogenesis of IPF, receptor antagonists of this growth factor have previously been evaluated in IPF, but with [... read more]

Jan 182014
 
Implantable tongue-buzzer improves obstructive sleep apnea by 70%

Source: Inspire Med Systems Update: Inspire’s hypoglossal nerve stimulator was approved by the FDA in April 2014. Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation Markedly Improves OSA An estimated 15% of men and 6% of women in the U.S. have clinically significant obstructive sleep apnea, meaning it worsens their daytime cognitive functioning, cardiovascular risk, or both. In obstructive sleep [... read more]

Jan 122014
 
Cognitive impairment after critical illness as bad as Alzheimer's

People who survive critical illness often experience long-term cognitive impairment, even among those with normal or near-normal pre-hospital brain function. Cognitive impairment after critical illness is poorly understood; relatively few prospective clinical trials in critical care have followed patients after hospital discharge, and measuring cognitive impairment and determining its onset is difficult. Cognitive impairment reduces [... read more]

Jan 122014
 
Hypothermia might harm, not help, in bacterial meningitis

Hypothermia No Help for Bacterial Meningitis by Blair Westerly, MD Therapeutic hypothermia got “hot” after trials in the early 2000′s showed improvement in neurological outcomes in global cerebral hypoxia after cardiac arrest. (Any benefit of targeted temperature management below 36° Celsius is in serious doubt after a much larger randomized trial contradicted those earlier, smaller trials, showing no [... read more]

Jan 072014
 
Brain death equals death: says who?

Scott Aberegg, M.D., M.P.H. Oh, my, what a predicament.  Jahi McMath has been released from Oakland Hospital to the custody of the coroner and her family.  She has been issued a death certificate.  And she’s being transferred to an undisclosed care center, where it is hoped she will begin receiving artificial nutrition.  This is the height [... read more]

Jan 052014
 
Acute Liver Failure: Causes & Initial Management (Part 1 of 2)

Acute Liver Failure: Causes and Initial Management See also: Treatment of Acute Liver Failure Acute liver failure, also called fulminant liver failure, has been defined as “a severe liver injury, potentially reversible in nature and with onset of hepatic encephalopathy within 8 weeks of the first symptoms in the absence of pre-existing liver disease.” Acute [... read more]

Jan 052014
 
Acute Liver Failure: Treatment (Part 2 of 2)

Acute Liver Failure: Treatment (Part 2 of 2) See also: Acute Liver Failure: Causes & Initial Management Management of acute liver failure is largely supportive critical care for the multiorgan failure that frequently results. Severe acute liver failure results in rapidly progressive hepatic encephalopathy and lethal cerebral edema; this complication requires special vigilance and expert [... read more]

Dec 152013
 
Overdiagnosis rate with lung cancer screening CT is 18%

Low-dose CT screening reduced death from lung cancer by about 20% in the National Lung Screening Trial, and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force signaled it would recommend CT screening for most people with a heavy smoking history. The Affordable Care Act stipulates that USPSTF-recommended screening tests be completely free to consumers, so lung cancer screening will [... read more]