Infectious Disease and Sepsis

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 efficacy. Now the sepsis cocktail is about to undergo more rigorous testing in randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trials. [… 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]

Mar 082018
 
Hydrocortisone plus fludrocortisone improved survival from septic shock (APROCCHSS trial)

Patients with septic shock who received hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone together had improved survival compared to patients receiving placebo, according to a large randomized trial (APROCCHSS) published in the New England Journal of Medicine. From 2008-2015, investigators enrolled 1,241 patients in France with septic shock for less than 24 hours to receive either hydrocortisone 50 mg [… read more]

Mar 022018
 
Corticosteroids do help in sepsis: ADRENAL trial

Stress-dose corticosteroids appear safe and generally beneficial in patients with septic shock undergoing mechanical ventilation, without improving survival. That’s the takeaway from the ADRENAL trial recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Investigators (led by the famed ANZICS collaborative) randomized 3,800 patients with septic shock requiring mechanical ventilation in 69 medical-surgical ICUs around the [… read more]

Feb 222018
 
The Great Lactate Debate Part 2: can we ‘myth-bust’ the strong ion approach?

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” -Oscar Wilde In part 1, the crux of this ‘Great Lactate Debate’ was distilled into the unclear origin of the proton in the setting of ‘lactic acidosis.’  Is the [H+] secondary to biochemical work and ATP hydrolysis or is the proton from [… read more]

Feb 192018
 
The Great Lactate Debate Part 1: should we be counting protons or strong ions?

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “….  She was here on earth to grasp the meaning of its wild enchantment and to call each thing by its right name …” -Boris Pasternak Background Over the last half-decade, there has been a distinct shift in the approach to lactate elevation.  The long-held belief that elevated serum lactate [… read more]

Feb 112018
 
Vasopressors and Inotropes for Shock Syndromes: Review

Overview Vasopressors and inotropes are cornerstones in the management of shock syndromes. Understanding vasopressors’ receptor activity and resultant pharmacological response enables clinicians to select the ideal vasopressor(s) for a patient suffering from shock. The following table outlines common vasopressors/inotropes and their general receptor activity profiles.1,2 Drug Dose α1 ß1 ß2 DA V1 V2 cAMP Norepinephrine [… read more]

Dec 222017
 
FDA Approves Angiotensin-II for Septic Shock

The FDA approved angiotensin-II (Giapreza) as a new intravenous vasopressor for septic shock and other forms of distributive shock. The first new FDA-approved vasopressor in decades, angiotensin-II could significantly change the management of severe septic shock. FDA based its expedited approval (under priority review) on the ATHOS-3 trial enrolling 321 patients with shock refractory to [… read more]

Dec 182017
 
Esmolol in Sepsis: Microcirculatory Savior or Autoregulation Annihilator?

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] Background If venous pressure were always the downstream pressure of an artery, then when flow is zero, the arterial pressure should equal the venous pressure.  For example, if one were to measure the coronary artery pressure and coronary sinus pressure at zero flow, their pressures should be equal.  Yet, this [… read more]

Dec 082017
 
Meropenem-vaborbactam (Vabomere), a new combination antibiotic + inhibitor, now available

Intensivists have another antibiotic combination to treat severe infections caused by gram-negative bacteria with the FDA’s approval of Vabomere (meropenem, combined with the beta-lactamase inhibitor called vaborbactam). FDA approved Vabomere only for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections (such as pyelonephritis). However, licensed U.S. physicians routinely prescribe FDA-approved antibiotics “off-label” for other indications. Meropenem-vaborbactam [… read more]

Nov 262017
 
Sepsis, Diastolic Dysfunction & Hypernatremia

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] with illustrations by Carla M Canepa MD “… And you may ask yourself … well, how did I get here? … And you may tell yourself … my God!  What have I done?” -David Byrne A 92 year old woman is transferred to the coronary care unit for treatment of pulmonary edema.  She [… read more]

Nov 012017
 
Doctors aren't complying with the CMS sepsis quality measure

When the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its 2015 performance measure for the treatment of sepsis — called SEP-1 or the Severe Sepsis/Septic Shock Early Management Bundle, physicians responded with general befuddlement: the measure demanded they follow such unusual practices as giving 3-liter boluses of saline to anuric, hypertensive, hypoxemic patients with [… read more]

Oct 252017
 
Empiric micafungin didn't save lives in ICU-acquired sepsis

The antifungal micafungin is often given empirically to patients in ICUs with sepsis who are also at high risk for invasive fungal infections. IDSA guidelines endorse the use of empiric antifungals for patients with unresolving ICU-acquired sepsis, but any benefits of this are unknown. A randomized trial published in JAMA sheds light on the practice. French [… read more]