Infectious Disease and Sepsis

Apr 162019
 
More than 90% of sepsis deaths are unpreventable, study concludes

“Nihilist” is one of the harshest insults that can be lobbed at a physician. Even while one knows intellectually that every patient can’t be saved, it’s considered odious to openly acknowledge that actuarial reality. Accepting the truth that some patients will inevitably die despite our best efforts is seen by some as the threshold of [… read more]

Apr 072019
 
Early norepinephrine improved septic shock, prevented pulmonary edema

Guidelines advise physicians give large boluses of intravenous crystalloid infusions (two to three liters, generally) to patients with septic shock. Vasopressors are typically begun only if patients’ blood pressure remains low after fluid administration. A vocal minority of researchers have advised against delaying vasopressors in septic shock, arguing that norepinephrine, not intravenous fluid, is the [… read more]

Mar 152019
 
New antibiotic Omadacycline is effective for community-acquired pneumonia

by Molly Walker, Staff Writer, MedPage Today Omadacycline, a novel antibiotic in the tetracycline class, was non-inferior to standard of care for both community-acquired bacterial pneumonia and acute bacterial skin and skin-structure infections, two randomized trials found. There was no significant difference in early clinical response among patients with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia randomized to omadacycline and those [… read more]

Mar 102019
 
ICU stethoscopes are covered in bacteria, and you're cleaning yours wrong

Stethoscopes have always been an obvious suspect in the transmission of infections to patients by health care professionals. They’re carried room to room, come in contact with each patient, and are almost never disinfected between patient contacts. Testing has shown just what one would expect: stethoscopes are often contaminated with bacteria. One of the latest [… read more]

Mar 072019
 
Antibiotics excessively prescribed for asthma exacerbations; may prolong hospital stays

by Salynn Boyles, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today Treatment with antibiotics during hospitalization for asthma exacerbation was associated with longer hospital stays and higher hospital costs in a retrospective cohort study of nearly 20,000 adult patients. Mihaela Stefan, MD, PhD, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Springfield, and colleagues, found that despite guidelines recommending against routine [… read more]

Feb 232019
 
Should We Stop Trending Lactate in Septic Shock?  ANDROMEDA-SHOCK Published

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “The truth is balance, but the opposite of truth, which is unbalance, may not be a lie.” -Susan Sontag Case A 49 year old man presents with two days of hemoptysis, right-sided pleuritic chest pain and a few hours of ‘confusion’ according to his teammate in a pick-up hockey league.  One [… read more]

Feb 172019
 
FDA approves new anti-influenza drug Xofluza; worked better than oseltamivir

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved baloxavir marboxil, an oral tablet to be marketed as Xofluza, for treatment of early acute uncomplicated influenza in adolescents and adults. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a news release, This is the first new antiviral flu treatment with a novel mechanism of action approved by the FDA [… read more]

Feb 172019
 
FDA warns of aortic dissection with fluoroquinolones

After a review of reported adverse events, the U.S. FDA is warning physicians that fluoroquinolone antibiotics may increase the occurrence of aortic dissections, resulting in aortic rupture and death. FDA used unusually direct language in advising, “Fluoroquinolones should not be used in patients at increased risk unless there are no other treatment options available.” Patients [… read more]

Feb 082019
 
Decontaminating patients did not reduce bloodstream infections

A large proportion of patients who remain in ICUs for more than a few days develop hospital-acquired infections, including bloodstream infections. Indwelling urinary or venous catheters, gut translocation, aspiration and impaired host defenses can all be causative. Bloodstream infection incidence has been reduced over time, but remains persistently ineradicable. One enticing method of prevention has been [… read more]

Jan 232019
 
Is Critical Care Medicine becoming a Cargo Cult of Vitamin C?

By Nicholas Mark, MD During the 1940s, many Melanesian cultures were profoundly altered as the Second World War was waged in the Pacific around them. Western soldiers constructed airstrips out of the jungles and the natives witnessed vast wealth in the form of manufactured goods literally rain down from the skies on parachutes or carried [… read more]

Jan 092019
 
Hospitals should not implement one-hour sepsis bundles, say SCCM and ACEP

In an unusual turn, the Society for Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) is advising against implementation of the one-hour sepsis bundle originally advocated in Spring 2018 by committee members of its Surviving Sepsis Campaign. SCCM and American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) issued a joint statement in which they acknowledged “concerns expressed about the recently released Surviving [… read more]

Jan 012019
 
Best of 2018 on PulmCCM

Best of 2018:       Prone positioning for severe ARDS advised by major societies    2018 Update to Surviving Sepsis Guidelines: Cue Backlash   Management of Ground Glass and Subsolid Pulmonary Nodules: Review   Vasopressors and Inotropes for Shock Syndromes: Review     Prophylactic Precedex prevented delirium in ICU patients   Corticosteroids do help [… read more]

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]