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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]

Dec 142013
 

The Glycocalyx: An Overview for the Clinician. by Dr. Phillipe Rola Ok, so I’d had a couple of glimpses at articles in the past few years which referred to the glycocalyx, but, in truth, I tend to read most of the “bench” studies a little, well…quickly. So basically, when I listened to Paul’s (Marik) recent lecture at [... read more]

Dec 112013
 
Management of obstructive sleep apnea: New guideline from ACP

The American College of Physicians released a new clinical practice guideline for the management of obstructive sleep apnea, published in Annals of Internal Medicine. ACP advises people with obstructive sleep apnea should use CPAP therapy or other airway opening devices such as mandibular advancement devices, and should be encouraged and assisted in losing weight. The guideline was [... read more]

Dec 082013
 
Ventilator-Induced Lung Injury Review (Part 2 of 2)

Prevention and Management of Ventilator-Induced Lung Injury See also Part 1: Mechanisms of Ventilator-Induced Lung Injury The recognition that lifesaving mechanical ventilation can also be harmful, even lethal, has led to a sea change in the use of mechanical ventilation in critically ill patients — at least in theory. For people with acute respiratory distress [... read more]

Dec 072013
 
Ventilator-Induced Lung Injury Review (Part 1 of 2)

Mechanisms of Ventilator-Induced Lung Injury (Part 1) See also Part 2: Prevention and Management of Ventilator-Induced Lung Injury Although invasive mechanical ventilation saves tens of thousands of lives each year, it can also be harmful, especially when misapplied. The repetitive stretching of lung tissue during positive pressure ventilation can damage fragile alveoli already made vulnerable [... read more]

Dec 012013
 
Do colloids save lives in hypovolemic shock?

So, your patient’s in shock: quick, give some fluids. But colloids or crystalloids? How to choose? They both raise blood pressure, they both improve organ perfusion — but one’s less filling, the other tastes great (what, you haven’t tried them?). It’s no wonder the question makes your head hurt; the evidence base is a jumble. The [... read more]

Nov 282013
 
CPAP for sleep apnea improved drug-resistant hypertension

Most people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have high blood pressure (hypertension), but treating OSA with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) has been shown to reduce blood pressure only minimally (by about 2.5 mm Hg). A randomized trial in the November 2013 Chest suggests that in people with severe drug-resistant hypertension with OSA, CPAP can [... read more]

Nov 232013
 
Hypothermia did not help after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, in largest study yet

No Improvement in Cardiac Arrest Outcomes With Hypothermia Therapeutic hypothermia, or targeted temperature management, has become a standard component of post-cardiac arrest care. The evidence supporting this practice came from two small-to-medium-sized randomized trials, both published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002: Among 273 patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest due to shockable [... read more]

Nov 222013
 
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis linked to herpesvirus infection

Is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Caused by a Virus? The cause(s) of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis have vexed researchers for decades. Although risk factors (smoking, familial gene mutations) provide clues, the actual trigger for the proliferative, fibrotic cellular process resulting in usual interstitial pneumonitis (on biopsy specimens) and IPF (clinically) have remained frustratingly elusive. But an exciting [... read more]

Nov 162013
 
Shock Review: Mechanisms and Therapies

Shock Review (Part 1 of 2) (See also Shock Review Part 2: Goals of Therapy) Jean-Louis Vincent, editor in chief of Critical Care, has a new review article on circulatory shock in the New England Journal of Medicine, where he’s also the editor of their new critical care section. Daniel De Backer co-authors. (See also [... read more]