PulmCCM

The PulmCCM team writes the posts under this moniker. Read the About page for more of the PulmCCM story.

Mar 092017
 
LABA safety studies for asthma saw no increased risk in Advair or Symbicort

After the Serevent Nationwide Surveillance (SNS) and SMART trials both appeared to link the use of long-acting beta agonists (LABAs) to an increased risk of asthma-related death, routine asthma care got scary. The FDA slapped a black box warning on LABAs like Serevent (salmeterol) and Foradil (formoterol) and also the combination treatments containing them (Advair, [… read more]

Mar 082017
 
Pulmonologist incomes down in 2016; self-employed make more

The 2016 Medscape Physician Compensation Report relates that orthopedic surgeons and cardiologists earn on average the most of those physicians surveyed ($443,000 and $410,000 annually) (1). Pulmonologists and critical care physicians fell in the middle of the spectrum of physician incomes ($281,000 and $306,000 respectively). Allergists were at the lower end ($205,000). Physicians in each category earned [… read more]

Mar 022017
 
Therapeutic hypothermia? No benefit in cooling kids after in-hospital cardiac arrest (THAPCA)

Cooling kids to 33ºC after resuscitation from in-hospital cardiac arrest brought no benefits compared to fever prevention (maintenance at 36.8°C), in the large THAPCA randomized trial. After one year, survival was 39% with hypothermia and 36% with management of body temperature in the normal range. There were no differences in neurologic outcomes or any other [… read more]

Mar 012017
 
Are ventilator-associated pneumonia rates plummeting, or unchanged?

In 2008 hospitals were informed they would no longer be paid for treating hospital acquired infections like ventilator associated pneumonia. Miraculously, the rates of VAP (self-reported by hospitals to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) fell dramatically by 60 to 70% between 2006 and 2012, to less than one VAP per 1,000 ventilator days [… read more]

Feb 262017
 
PulmCCM Partners With MedPage Today

Dear colleagues, Since 2012, PulmCCM has sought to bring you “all the best in pulmonary and critical care”: up-to-date, useful information in our specialties, presented in the most efficient way. To that end, I am pleased to announce a new partnership between PulmCCM and MedPage Today, the leading medical news service for health-care professionals. This relationship will [… read more]

Feb 232017
 
The Normalization Fallacy: why much of "critical care" may be neither

By Scott Aberegg, MD, MPH Like many starry-eyed medical students, I was drawn to critical care because of the high stakes, its physiological underpinnings, and the apparent fact that you could take control of that physiology and make it serve your goals for the patient. On my first MICU rotation in 1997, I was so swept [… read more]

Feb 222017
 
Simple qSOFA score predicts sepsis as well as anything else

Sepsis is sneaky. Physicians, nurses, and epidemiologists struggle to accurately identify patients with sepsis in the emergency department, hospital ward, and in data sets. The so-called SIRS criteria were abandoned as insensitive and nonspecific in the most recent iteration of sepsis care. Sepsis is instead now defined as “life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated [… read more]

Feb 152017
 
Oxygen saturation in critical illness: could low-normal be best?

Oxygen is essential for life, but by forming superoxides and free radicals, supplemental oxygen can also inflict damage on lung and other body tissues. The sweet spot for oxygen delivery in critically ill patients is unknown, but increasing evidence suggests that when it comes to blood oxygen saturation during critical illness, “normal” levels might actually [… read more]

Feb 092017
 
Reslizumab (CINQAIR) worked as add-on treatment for severe asthma with eosinophilia

Reslizumab (CINQAIR) is a humanized, anti-IL-5 biologic agent approved by FDA in March 2016 as add-on treatment for asthma with peripheral blood eosinophilia, uncontrolled by usual treatments. In two randomized trials, reslizumab improved lung function and asthma symptoms in patients meeting these criteria. Patients without high eosinophil count in peripheral blood did not experience clinically [… read more]

Feb 082017
 
Early renal replacement therapy in critical illness did not improve outcomes (AKIKI)

When is the optimal time to initiate renal-replacement therapy in the ICU? Patients with acute renal failure (a.k.a. acute kidney injury or AKI) in the ICU experience worse outcomes than patients who do not. As the kidneys shut down, toxic electrolytes and metabolic waste products build up in the blood. Intuition says — screams, really [… read more]

Feb 022017
 
CDC Releases Ventilator-Associated Events Criteria

A new term has been coined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ventilator-associated events (VAEs)¹. In 2011, the CDC convened a working group composed of members of several stakeholder organizations to address the limitations of the definition of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) definition². The organizations represented in the Working Group include: the Critical Care [… read more]

Feb 012017
 
Passive leg raise test: helpful maneuver, or ICU parlor trick?

Patients who arrive at the hospital with hypotension will almost all receive intravenous fluid resuscitation (one hopes). When signs of hypoperfusion occur later in a patient’s hospital course, it can be much harder to decide if additional fluid will be helpful. Physical exam is unreliable, and no available technology can accurately identify how much water is [… read more]

Feb 012017
 
Advanced Critical Care Simulation Conference: Feb 17-18 in Phoenix (Register)

Register Now! PulmCCM is not affiliated with Banner University or the University of Arizona. SHARPEN YOUR LIFE-SAVING CRITICAL-CARE SKILLS Focusing on the clinical situations of highest concern to bedside intensivists, including the emergency evaluation of the patient with undifferentiated shock, the failed airway, refractory ARDS and obstetrical code arrest, this conference will bring participants up-to-date [… read more]

Jan 182017
 
Azithromycin was no help in asthma exacerbations (AZALEA)

Adding azithromycin to usual treatment for asthma exacerbations in adults did not improve asthma symptoms or speed their resolution, investigators reported in the AZALEA randomized clinical trial. Patients getting azithromycin also had no improvement in lung function. Azithromycin is known to have some activity against viruses that infect bronchial cells; viruses are causative or contributory [… read more]

Dec 162016
 
Inferior vena cava filters are overused. What's the harm?

Inferior vena cava filters (IVCF) are placed to prevent deep venous thromboses (DVT) from traveling to the heart and lungs, causing pulmonary embolism (PE). IVC filters’ rationale makes sense, but despite their wide use, the benefits and risks of IVCF remain unclear. With about 50,000 IVC filters placed annually in the U.S., that’s a lot of unclarity. [… read more]

Dec 072016
 
New 2017 GOLD Guidelines for COPD Released

The Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD – because GIOLD sounded weird) is an international collaboration of experts in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Every so often the GOLD gang releases another update of their standard-setting GOLD guidelines. (Read PulmCCM’s 2014 GOLD guideline review and our COPD Review.) Get the full 2017 GOLD guidelines or the 36 page [… read more]

Dec 012016
 
Targeted molecular therapies for non-small cell lung cancer: Clinical Update

For too long, treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer was brutally simple: platinum chemotherapy and a trip to the attorney to get one’s affairs in order. Fortunately for patients, it’s not quite so straightforward anymore. Effective targeted molecular therapies for non-small cell lung cancer are now available, often taken orally with fewer side effects than traditional cytotoxic [… read more]

Nov 252016
 
Life-sucking power of electronic health records measured, reported, lamented

Feel like you spend twice as much time on your electronic health record as you do with patients? You may be doing better than half of your colleagues. In a new work study funded by the American Medical Association, researchers observed 57 physicians in internal medicine, family medicine, cardiology, and orthopedics over hundreds of hours. They discovered [… read more]

Nov 232016
 
Breo Ellipta beat usual care for COPD in real-world study

GlaxoSmithKline recently got a boost for fluticasone-furoate + vilanterol (Breo Ellipta), its new once-daily COPD maintenance inhaler. Patients with COPD randomized to Breo Ellipta (called Relvar Ellipta in Europe), instead of usual care, had 8% fewer exacerbations and no increased risk for serious adverse events over one year. GSK presented the data at the ERS [… read more]