PulmCCM

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

Jul 082018
 
Hospitalists Are the New Intensivists

Intensivists may get all the credit, but over 37,000 hospitalists provide much of the care for ICU patients in the U.S. According to a recent survey, they often do it without the presence or availability of intensivists for consultation or support, especially outside urban centers. The internists aren’t happy about it, feeling uncomfortable, unsupported and [… read more]

Jun 242018
 
DVT-PE in cancer: Oral anticoagulant edoxaban non-inferior to enoxaparin

Most patients with cancer-associated deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) in the U.S. are treated indefinitely with subcutaneous injections of low-molecular weight heparin (LMWH), like enoxaparin. LMWH has been shown to be better than warfarin at preventing DVT/PE in cancer patients, with similar rates of bleeding. A new generation of oral anticoagulants have [… read more]

Jun 242018
 
FDA Warns of Pneumothorax, Death Associated With High-Tech Nasogastric Tubes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned health care teams about the risk of pneumothorax caused by certain enteral feeding tubes that use technology to guide their insertion, also called enteral access systems (EAS). It issued a safety communication stating, Most reports indicate these pulmonary events required urgent intervention, including needle decompression or chest [… read more]

Jun 142018
 
Vitamin C cocktail for sepsis: randomized trials to test efficacy

Since Marik et al announced exceptional survival rates among patients with septic shock given a cocktail of vitamin C, thiamine, and hydrocortisone, physicians taking care of septic patients have expressed both enthusiasm and skepticism about the cocktail’s reported lifesaving effects. Soon, more rigorous testing from randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trials should provide harder data about the [… read more]

Jun 132018
 
Bougies for all intubations led to high success rates, even on difficult airways

Bougies are long, stiff plastic wands inserted into the trachea through the glottis during direct laryngoscopy (DL), providing a “guidewire” over which an endotracheal (ET) tube can then be more easily advanced into the trachea. Bougies have traditionally been used after one or more failed intubation attempts with direct laryngoscopy, at which point the airway [… read more]

Jun 072018
 
Prolonged infusions of beta-lactam antibiotics save lives in sepsis: meta-analysis

Infusing antipseudomonal beta-lactam antibiotics over longer periods could save lives in sepsis over intermittent bolus dosing, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. Vardakas et al aggregated data from studies of patients with sepsis receiving infusions of carbapenems, cephalosporins, and penicillins with antipseudomonal activity. Studies included compared prolonged infusion (over at least three [… read more]

Jun 052018
 
Varenicline May Increase Cardiovascular Risk

by Salynn Boyles, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today Cardiovascular event risk may increase in smokers who start using the cessation-assist drug varenicline (Chantix), according to findings from an observational study. The retrospective analysis of medical records for close to 57,000 new users of varenicline living in Ontario, Canada, showed a statistically significant 34% increased risk for [… read more]

Jun 032018
 
Malignant pleural effusions: pleural catheters vs pleurodesis, again

Another study shows that indwelling pleural catheters and talc pleurodesis appear equivalent in efficacy, each with its own pros and cons in hospital length of stay and adverse event risk. Malignant pleural effusions tend to recur increasingly frequently, such that repeated thoracentesis becomes an inviable option. For these patients, talc pleurodesis or placement of an [… read more]

Jun 032018
 
Sepsis blood test with high accuracy may be coming to your hospital

In February 2017, the FDA approved Immunexpress’s SeptiCyte, a molecular test with an indication for diagnosing sepsis on the first day of ICU treatment. The test isn’t widely available, but that may change soon: the manufacturer announced a partnership with Biocartis, whose rapid-PCR testing platform could bring SeptiCyte into use in ICUs throughout the developed [… read more]

Jun 032018
 
Pittsburgh International Lung Conference: Register Today

The Pittsburgh International Lung Conference is an educational conference held every other year to increase awareness of the medical and scientific advances being made in treating lung disease. The 2018 Pittsburgh International Lung conference will be hosted by the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, a leader in Pulmonary Medicine, [… read more]

May 242018
 

Introduction Respiratory failure is a commonly encountered disease process in both the emergency department (ED) and intensive care (ICU) setting.  Respiratory failure most frequently results from exacerbations of congestive heart failure (CHF) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), respiratory infections, encephalopathy, or a combination of these etiologies. Obesity, with or without obesity hypoventilation syndrome, reduces [… read more]

May 022018
 
2018 Update to Surviving Sepsis Guidelines: Cue Backlash

In their 2018 update, the Surviving Sepsis Campaign’s guidelines attempt to accelerate care delivery for sepsis, advising that within one hour, physicians and health care teams should collect blood cultures and lactate, begin 30 ml/kg fluid resuscitation for hypotension or lactatemia, and start vasopressors for selected patients. Previously, these interventions were advised within three- and [… read more]

May 012018
 
Catheter-Directed Lysis Adds Risk, Not Benefit, for Proximal DVT

by Crystal Phend, Senior Associate Editor, MedPage Today Thrombolytics delivered to acute proximal deep-vein thrombus (DVT) with clot removal did not reduce the risk of post-thrombotic syndrome but did raise major bleeding risk over anticoagulant treatment alone in the Acute Venous Thrombosis: Thrombus Removal with Adjunctive Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis (ATTRACT) clinical trial. The proportion of patients with post-thrombotic [… read more]

Apr 192018
 
Checking procalcitonin in the ICU saves lives? Maybe

Procalcitonin (PCT) levels can be useful (although limited) in deciding whether and when to start, de-escalate, and stop antibiotic therapy in patients with suspected infection. Physicians’ use of procalcitonin in antibiotic decisions has exploded since the FDA approval of a PCT assay whose manufacturer provides specific (albeit oversimplified) cut-off values at which to consider infection [… read more]

Mar 222018
 
Noninvasive ventilation improves heart function in obesity hypoventilation syndrome

Bi-level noninvasive ventilation (NIV) in patients with obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) can help reverse left ventricular hypertrophy, according to a study from Spain. Patients with OHS treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) did not experience the same benefits. Bi-level NIV (commonly referred to by its most popular trade name, BiPAP) is known to improve pulmonary [… read more]

Mar 182018
 
Regular Aspirin Use May Slow COPD Progression

By Salynn Boyles, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today Regular aspirin use was associated with a more than 50% reduction in emphysema/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) progression in an elderly cohort over a decade in a longitudinal analysis of data from a large lung study. The association was seen across aspirin doses, and was greatest in older study participants [… read more]

Mar 142018
 
FDA warns clarithromycin could cause death in patients with heart disease

The U.S. FDA is warning physicians against prescribing the antibiotic clarithromycin to patients with coronary artery disease. In long-term follow up of a randomized controlled trial, there was an unexpectedly higher rate of death in patients who received a two-week treatment course of clarithromycin, compared to placebo. FDA has added a new warning to clarithromycin’s [… read more]

Mar 092018
 
At-Home Breath Training Improves Asthma Quality of Life

By Salynn Boyles, Contributing Writer, MedPageToday Self-taught breath retraining proved to be an effective, readily available and cost efficient strategy for improving quality of life among patients with asthma in a randomized trial. The training involved video instruction designed to teach patients breathing exercises such as diaphragmatic breathing, nasal breathing, slow breathing, controlled breath holds, and relaxation [… read more]

Mar 092018
 
Does Piperacillin-Tazobactam Cause Renal Failure?

The combination of the antibiotics piperacillin-tazobactam and vancomycin is so often used as empirical antibiotic coverage for severe infections in hospitalized patients that it’s been dubbed “Vosyn.” Vancomycin’s nephrotoxicity is well-known, requiring close monitoring of serum levels; pip-tazo has been seen to prolong increased creatinine levels (without significant known direct nephrotoxicity).  Reports have surfaced in [… read more]