Mar 172019
 
Proton pump inhibitors did not improve outcomes in ICUs (SUP-ICU trial)

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are widely prescribed to mechanically ventilated patients to prevent gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. The evidence for their use is not strong; individual randomized trials have not shown a clear benefit over histamine blockers, but when many trials were pooled into meta-analyses, PPIs do appear to be superior. The Surviving Sepsis Guidelines have [… read more]

Mar 152019
 
Time to start using newer oral anticoagulants for DVT-PE in cancer patients?

About one in five patients with cancer will develop pulmonary embolism (PE) or deep venous thrombosis (DVT), together called venous thromboembolism (VTE). Cancer patients who develop VTE are four times more likely to have experience another (recurrent) DVT or PE. Twice-daily injections of enoxaparin are advised for patients with cancer-related DVT/PE, or who are at [… read more]

Mar 152019
 
New antibiotic Omadacycline is effective for community-acquired pneumonia

by Molly Walker, Staff Writer, MedPage Today Omadacycline, a novel antibiotic in the tetracycline class, was non-inferior to standard of care for both community-acquired bacterial pneumonia and acute bacterial skin and skin-structure infections, two randomized trials found. There was no significant difference in early clinical response among patients with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia randomized to omadacycline and those [… read more]

Mar 142019
 
Register for The Hospitalist and the Resuscitationist (Montreal, May 23-24)

(From Dr. Philippe Rola) Join us for a couple of days of awesome learning in an awesome city! Back, bigger and better for its second iteration, this multispecialty cross-training exercise brings you the cutting and bleeding edge of acute care management of the sick patient, from the ED to the wards or the ICU. Combining [… read more]

Mar 102019
 
ICU stethoscopes are covered in bacteria, and you're cleaning yours wrong

Stethoscopes have always been an obvious suspect in the transmission of infections to patients by health care professionals. They’re carried room to room, come in contact with each patient, and are almost never disinfected between patient contacts. Testing has shown just what one would expect: stethoscopes are often contaminated with bacteria. One of the latest [… read more]

Mar 082019
 
How should we relate to "unreasonable" families in the ICU?

Most families have never suffered through a loved one experiencing prolonged critical illness and respiratory failure (defined as ventilator dependence for weeks, usually with a tracheostomy). But each year, more do. An estimated 400,000 people currently live with chronic critical illness in long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs) and other facilities — a population that has [… read more]

Mar 072019
 
Antibiotics excessively prescribed for asthma exacerbations; may prolong hospital stays

by Salynn Boyles, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today Treatment with antibiotics during hospitalization for asthma exacerbation was associated with longer hospital stays and higher hospital costs in a retrospective cohort study of nearly 20,000 adult patients. Mihaela Stefan, MD, PhD, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Springfield, and colleagues, found that despite guidelines recommending against routine [… read more]

Mar 032019
 
Advair Goes Generic! FDA authorizes Wixela Inhub

The U.S. FDA approved the first generic version of blockbuster drug Advair (fluticasone/salmeterol) for asthma maintenance treatment in patients aged 4 and up, and also for maintenance treatment and prevention of exacerbations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Mylan will make the generic alternative to fluticasone/salmeterol, which will be called Wixela Inhub and come in [… read more]

Feb 232019
 
Should We Stop Trending Lactate in Septic Shock?  ANDROMEDA-SHOCK Published

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “The truth is balance, but the opposite of truth, which is unbalance, may not be a lie.” -Susan Sontag Case A 49 year old man presents with two days of hemoptysis, right-sided pleuritic chest pain and a few hours of ‘confusion’ according to his teammate in a pick-up hockey league.  One [… read more]

Feb 212019
 
Theophylline as add-on therapy was no use in preventing COPD exacerbations

Theophylline is derived from methylxanthine, naturally present in tea and cocoa beans. Initially used medically in 1895 as a diuretic, theophylline was one of the first drugs for asthma and COPD/emphysema (beginning in 1922), after its bronchodilation effects were discovered. Theophylline also has cardiac and central nervous system stimulant side effects and can produce tachyarrhythmias [… read more]

Feb 172019
 
Echocardiography Does Not Correlate with Volume Status says CoDE-MiN Study

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum” -Margaret Atwood Case An 86 year old woman presents with two days of decreased intake by mouth and 3 days of melena and vomiting.  She is followed closely by her internist and cardiologist for hypertension, severe mitral regurgitation, pulmonary venous hypertension and right ventricular dysfunction with co-morbid [… read more]

Feb 172019
 
FDA approves new anti-influenza drug Xofluza; worked better than oseltamivir

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved baloxavir marboxil, an oral tablet to be marketed as Xofluza, for treatment of early acute uncomplicated influenza in adolescents and adults. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a news release, This is the first new antiviral flu treatment with a novel mechanism of action approved by the FDA [… read more]

Feb 172019
 
FDA warns of aortic dissection with fluoroquinolones

After a review of reported adverse events, the U.S. FDA is warning physicians that fluoroquinolone antibiotics may increase the occurrence of aortic dissections, resulting in aortic rupture and death. FDA used unusually direct language in advising, “Fluoroquinolones should not be used in patients at increased risk unless there are no other treatment options available.” Patients [… read more]

Feb 172019
 
Cricoid pressure no help during endotracheal intubation in large trial

Pressing fingers against the cricoid cartilage (the Sellick maneuver) during rapid sequence intubation compresses the esophagus beneath the firmer trachea. It has long been espoused that this prevents aspiration (emesis or reflux of gastric contents into the supraglottic space and airway, obscuring the operator’s view and harming the patient). The Sellick maneuver is believed to [… read more]

Feb 082019
 
Former Vanderbilt nurse arrested, charged with homicide for medication error

Tennessee law enforcement agents announced they had arrested and charged a nurse with reckless homicide and patient abuse for a fatal medication error she allegedly committed while working at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in December 2017. The charges allege that the nurse intended to provide an ordered dose of midazolam (Versed) to an anxious patient [… read more]

Feb 082019
 
Decontaminating patients did not reduce bloodstream infections

A large proportion of patients who remain in ICUs for more than a few days develop hospital-acquired infections, including bloodstream infections. Indwelling urinary or venous catheters, gut translocation, aspiration and impaired host defenses can all be causative. Bloodstream infection incidence has been reduced over time, but remains persistently ineradicable. One enticing method of prevention has been [… read more]

Feb 082019
 
Primatene Mist for asthma goes back on the market

by John Gever, Managing Editor, MedPage Today WASHINGTON — Primatene Mist, the over-the-counter epinephrine inhaler for quick asthma relief, can go back on the market in a reformulated version, the FDA said. Now using a hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) propellant in place of the banned chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) used in the original Primatene product (and most other asthma inhalers), the new [… read more]

Feb 032019
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: Blood Pressure

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] Why is blood pressure measured by units of length [i.e. millimeters of mercury – mmHg]?  What decides systolic and diastolic pressure?  What are the determinants of tissue perfusion and what are the clinical implications of this physiology?  Can we deceive ourselves into thinking a particular mean arterial pressure [MAP] is [… read more]

Feb 022019
 
FDA approves revefenacin (Yupelri) for COPD

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved revefenacin inhalation solution to be marketed as Yupelri for ongoing treatment of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Yupelri will be marketed by Theravance Biopharma. Revefenacin is the first once-daily nebulized bronchodilator approved for COPD in the U.S., according to its manufacturer. Revefenacin is a long-acting muscarinic antagonist. In randomized trials, 3 [… read more]

Jan 242019
 
For most critically ill patients, a 'starvation diet' seems just fine (TARGET trial)

Very little evidence guides nutrition in critical illness. Because of critically ill patients’ catabolic state, and probably influenced by the normalization fallacy, nutrition practices often include efforts to provide daily calories in the 1,800 – 2,000 range. However, anorexia may be adaptive during illness (since it is common to multiple disease states); greater enterally infused [… read more]