GI and Nutrition

Sep 282018
 
2018 IDSA Guidelines for Clostridium Difficile Infection: fecal transplant gets its moment in the sun

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] with illustrations by Carla M Canepa MD [@_carlemd_] “My reputation’s never been worse, so …” -Taylor Swift Case A 54 year old woman with lupus nephritis – treated with mycophenolate mofetil and prednisone – is admitted with pancytopenia and worsening confusion.  She was recently discharged after receiving levofloxacin and clindamycin [… read more]

Jul 252018
 
FDA approves new hyperkalemia drug Lokelma

The FDA approved oral sodium zirconium cyclosilicate (ZS-9), to be marketed as Lokelma, for the treatment of hyperkalemia. The drug seems to work better than sodium polystyrene sulfonate (Kayexalate), reducing serum potassium levels within an hour and restoring normal levels after about 2 hours in most patients. The drug was tested against placebo (not Kayexalate) [… 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]

Jan 172018
 
Vitamin D improved asthma symptoms and reduced exacerbations

Multiple randomized trials have suggested that vitamin D supplementation might improve asthma control and reduce severity of asthma attacks. A new meta-analysis bolsters that hypothesis, and may encourage more physicians and people with asthma to consider vitamin D supplements for low vitamin D levels. In a study in Lancet Respiratory Medicine, authors analyzed the experience [… read more]

Dec 132017
 
Real-world bleeding risks of new anticoagulants similar to warfarin (or lower)

New-generation oral anticoagulants (NOACs) like dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and apixaban all had similar efficacy and bleeding risk compared to warfarin in the randomized trials that led to their FDA approval. That didn’t stop trial lawyers from filing bundles of lawsuits on behalf of patients experiencing hemorrhages after taking NOACs. (The large brand-name pharmaceutical manufacturers advertising new [… read more]

Oct 132017
 
Don't give Kayexalate within 3 hours of other drugs, says FDA

The FDA is warning physicians not to provide other enterally-absorbed drugs within 3 hours before or after giving sodium polystyrene sulfonate (Kayexalate, Concordia Pharmaceuticals) for hyperkalemia. In testing performed 59 years after its launch, it was discovered that Kayexalate can bind to many prescription drugs, potentially rendering them ineffective. For patients with gastroparesis or ileus, FDA [… read more]

Jun 042017
 
Tight blood sugar control did not help critically ill kids

Remember when intensive glucose control in adults became all the “lifesaving” rage — and was then revealed to actually be harmful? Well, it doesn’t seem to work in kids either. Tight glucose control in critically ill children with hyperglycemia failed to reduce ICU days as compared with a higher target glucose range, in a large randomized [… read more]

Mar 292017
 
Could vitamin C save lives in sepsis? These hospitals aren't waiting for proof.

After hundreds of trials failing to show benefit of drug treatments for sepsis, could a simple, cheap and effective treatment — high-dose vitamin C — be hiding in plain sight? A respected leader in critical care medicine thinks so, and his hospital system is all in. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is depleted during sepsis. That might be bad, [… read more]

Jul 142016
 
Intra-abdominal Pressure and Renal Function: The Venous Side of the Road

Jon-Emile S. Kenny [@heart_lung] “An’ it ain’t no use in turnin’ on your light, babe, I’m on the dark side of the road …” -Bob Dylan A 44 year old man with cryptogenic cirrhosis is admitted with large ascites and acute kidney injury.  A 50 mL, diagnostic paracentesis reveals 12 PMNs and he is admitted from the [… read more]

May 282015
 
Restricting calories by 50% during critical illness results in no harm

Everyone agrees that providing adequate nutrition in critical illness is vitally important. The problem is, no one knows for sure what “adequate” means. Caloric targets are not based on evidence from randomized trials with meaningful clinical outcomes. They emerge as consensus from educated guesses by researchers conducting physiology studies. One camp believes that extra calories should [… read more]

Jan 112015
 
Nutrition in severe pancreatitis: none at all (for 3 days) worked fine

Image: Wikipedia Acute pancreatitis is a common and usually self-limited illness resolving after a few days of rest and not eating. A minority of people develop severe pancreatitis with necrosis, which can transform pancreatitis into an ordeal lasting weeks or months, characterized by multi-organ failure, infections, and a >15% mortality rate. Those infections are believed to be caused by [… read more]

Oct 142014
 
Total parenteral nutrition vs enteral nutrition: no difference in critically ill? (CALORIES trial)

Feeding patients enterally (nasogastric or nasojejunal tube feedings) has been the standard of care for critically ill patients, based on weak evidence that it reduces infection rates; hence the adage “feed the gut, if you can.” That last caveat is included because so many critically ill patients have gastric motility impairment (with inability to achieve [… read more]

May 162014
 
How to provide nutrition for critically ill patients (Review)

Nutritional Support During Critical Illness This PulmCCM topic review will be periodically updated and expanded as new research is published. Originally published 22 September 2013. Most recent update: 13 January 2015. During critical illness, catabolism (breakdown of muscle protein, fat and other complex molecules) occurs faster than anabolism (synthesis of these same macromolecules). Historically, the major [… read more]

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]

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 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]

Jul 112013
 
Early parenteral nutrition does not improve survival

Early Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) Didn’t Save Lives Under the high stress of critical illness, people lose fat and muscle quickly. Obesity appears to be protective during critical illness, possibly because those extra fat reserves come in handy during this period of accelerated catabolism. The strong physiological rationale and the psychological pressure not to appear to be [… read more]

Mar 102013
 
Hope floats: Fecal transplants cure >90% of recurrent C. difficile (RCT)

Fecal Transplants Cure C. difficile Infections, When Drugs Can’t Antibiotics are what cause Clostridium difficile infection to emerge in the first place, so it’s perhaps no surprise that the usual treatment — more antibiotics — often fails. From 15-25% of patients with C. difficile are not permanently cured by their initial treatment with metronidazole, and among those [… read more]