Infectious Disease and Sepsis

Dec 072018
 
More labeled warnings on fluoroquinolones ordered by FDA

Fluoroquinolone warning labels keep getting longer. In 2018 the U.S. FDA ordered stronger cautions about mental health side effects, and severe hypoglycemia causing coma and death. Mental health disturbances now attributed to fluoroquinolones include: Attention disturbances Disorientation Agitation Nervousness Short-term memory loss Delirium The risk of hypoglycemic coma now gets a specific mention on the [… read more]

Dec 072018
 
Why are obese people more likely to survive infections and sepsis?

Obese people are significantly more likely to survive severe illness due to infections, as compared to people with normal weights, according to analyses of three large data sets presented at a European conference. Among more than 1.5 million hospitalizations for pneumonia in the U.S. between 2013-2014, obese patients (BMI > 30) were 29% more likely [… read more]

Nov 262018
 
Hydrocortisone, Ascorbic Acid and Thiamine (HAT) Therapy in Sepsis: A Question & Answer with Dr. Paul Marik

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] with illustrations by Carla M Canepa MD [@_carlemd_] “I’ve never known any trouble than an hour’s reading didn’t assuage.” -Schopenhauer The last few decades have infamously boasted numerous failed therapies for sepsis and septic shock.  Because sepsis represents an explosive and chaotic cacophony of pro and anti-inflammatory mediators – treatments which [… read more]

Nov 042018
 
Don't use procalcitonin to withhold antibiotics in severe COPD exacerbations

Procalcitonin (PCT) is an FDA-approved test for use in guiding clinical decisions on starting, continuing, or stopping antibiotics in patients with lower respiratory tract infections, such as community-acquired pneumonia. Procalcitonin is also approved for use in determining whether to stop antibiotics. Most of the small studies testing procalcitonin-driven algorithms have shown the method to be generally safe [… read more]

Oct 142018
 
Procalcitonin strategy in the ED did not reduce antibiotic use (ProACT)

Procalcitonin-driven algorithms did not lead to lower antibiotic use for suspected pneumonias in the emergency department, in a large randomized trial. The multicenter ProACT trial enrolled 1,656 patients presenting with symptoms of pneumonia at multiple emergency departments. Patients were randomized to receive care guided by procalcitonin results (with thresholds to guide initiation or withholding of antibiotics), [… read more]

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]

Aug 192018
 
Seven days of antibiotics were as good as 14 for gram-negative bacteremia

Two-week antibiotic courses have been considered standard care for most patients with bacteremia who do not have sepsis or an untreated primary source (e.g. endocarditis). No good evidence ever supported the practice, which was supported mainly by retrospective data in patients with sepsis. A new study suggests that treating gram-negative bacteremia for seven days is [… read more]

Aug 162018
 
Extended antibiotic infusions could save lives: Here's how to do it

By Thomas C. Neal, PharmD According to a meta-analysis of randomized trials, prolonged infusions of antipseudomonal beta-lactam antibiotics could save lives. However, obstacles to implementing pharmacodynamically optimized administration practices have slowed the adoption of this practice in most ICUs:1 The requirement for IV pumps, preferably smart IV pumps, is potentially problematic in resource-limited settings or on wards [… read more]

Jul 232018
 
Sodium Bicarbonate Administration in Severe Metabolic Acidemia: the BICAR-ICU Trial

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “What is REAL?” -Velveteen Rabbit A 42 year old woman with poorly-controlled type II diabetes is admitted with a severe soft tissue infection of her left lower extremity.  She is hypotensive with altered sensorium and she is noted to have a rapidly progressing border of deep, crimson erythema and edema [… read more]

Jul 152018
 
Should antibiotics for sepsis be given in the ambulance?

Observational studies of patients in sepsis strongly suggest that outcomes are improved by giving antibiotics as soon as possible after recognition of sepsis. The Surviving Sepsis Campaign recently decided everyone with suspected sepsis should receive antibiotics within one hour of emergency department arrival. So why not give antibiotics before the patient even arrives to the [… read more]

Jul 082018
 
Ceftazidime and avibactam (Avycaz) approved for hospital-acquired pneumonias

The FDA approved a new indication for the antibiotic combination ceftazidime and avibactam (marketed as Avycaz), for treatment of hospital-acquired pneumonia and ventilator-associated pneumonia in adults. The drug was approved originally in 2015 for complicated intra-abdominal infections (in combination with metronidazole) and got another indication in 2017 for complicated urinary tract infections and pyelonephritis. The [… 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 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 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]

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]

Apr 232018
 
Lectures from the Inaugural 'Hospitalist and the Resuscitationist' Conference in Montreal, Canada

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “The real process of education should be the process of learning to think through the application of real problems.” -John Dewey On April 18 & 19, 2018, I had the pleasure of participating in the inaugural conference “The Hospitalist and the Resuscitationist” in Montreal.  The entirety of this meeting was [… 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]

Apr 042018
 
Are balanced crystalloids better than saline? SMART Talk with Dr. Michael Pinsky

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] with illustrations by Carla M Canepa MD “Each time new experiments are observed to agree with the predictions, the theory survives and our confidence in it is increased; but if ever new observation is found to disagree, we have to abandon or modify the theory.” — Stephen Hawking A 47 [… 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
 
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]