Mechanical Ventilation

May 122013
 
Killer carbapenem-resistant bacteria spreading through LTACs

Killer Carbapenem-Resistant Bacteria Spreading Across U.S. Gut-living bacteria like Klebsiella are gaining resistance to carbapenems at an alarming rate, and long-term acute care hospitals (LTACs) and nursing homes seem to be the incubators for these killer bugs spreading across the U.S. Carbapenems  like meropenem and doripenem have been the gold standard to treat infections from [… read more]

Apr 252013
 
Pulse oximetry as time machine: Lag times confuse doctors, complicate intubations (EMCrit)

image: wikimedia Pulse Oximetry: The 30-Second Time Machine Why does it seem to take so long to re-oxygenate your crashing patient? Because your pulse oximeter is lying to you, no matter how good it is. Telescopes show us how a star looked millions or billions of years ago; pulse oximeters create a similar, though tiny [… read more]

Apr 112013
 
Obesity may improve survival in ARDS, but with renal failure

In ARDS, Obesity May Protect Life (But Not Kidneys) by Blair Westerly, MD Obesity is an epidemic and common in intensive care units in the United States.  Furthermore, while acute kidney injury (AKI) is also common in critically ill patients, obese patients carry additional risk for AKI because of increased baseline comorbidities. Both obesity and [… read more]

Mar 242013
 
Passive leg raise offers promise in predicting fluid responsiveness

“Like this … kind of” Passive Leg Raise Improved Management of Patients in Shock* (*some assembly required) by Blair Westerly, MD Providing the right amount of fluid is vital in a critically ill patient, as both too little and too much can result in poor outcomes. Yet even with this understanding, the clinical assessment of [… read more]

Mar 162013
 
High frequency oscillation ventilation fails as 1st-line treatment for ARDS (RCTs)

(image: Wikipedia) High-Frequency Oscillatory Ventilation (HFOV) for ARDS Two Randomized Trials: Early HFOV Doesn’t Help, May Harm High-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV) has been proposed as a first-line therapy for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). By delivering 3-15 breaths per second of tiny tidal volumes (~70 mL), HFOV has appeal as the “ultimate” lung protective ventilator [… read more]

Mar 132013
 
Weaning from Mechanical Ventilation Update (Review)

Weaning From Mechanical Ventilation Update (See More PulmCCM Reviews) by Brett Ley, MD Nearly 800,000 patients require mechanical ventilation yearly. There’s no doubt it is a life-saving intervention, but it is one that is fraught with the potential for iatrogenesis, especially if continued for longer than necessary. That is the main message of this review in [… read more]

Mar 062013
 
Diuretics beat ultrafiltration at treating congestive heart failure with acute renal failure (RCT)

Ultrafiltration No Better Than Diuresis for CHF Exacerbations by Blair Westerly, MD Cardiorenal syndrome — simultaneous heart failure and renal failure — is a frequently encountered problem in people with acute decompensated heart failure.  Treatment with diuretics for congestive heart failure exacerbations is standard care, but diuretics may at times worsen renal function. Venovenous ultrafiltration [… read more]

Mar 032013
 
"Trach collar" beats pressure support trials for long-term ventilator weaning (RCT)

“Trach Collar” Trials Beat Pressure Support for Long-Term Ventilator Weaning By Blair Westerly, MD Patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation linger in ICUs and long-term acute care hospitals for weeks, accounting for a significant portion of intensive care unit costs and often suffering serious complications while dependent on the ventilator. Despite this issue’s rising importance, the [… read more]

Feb 272013
 
Knowing When, When Knowing Is Impossible (Paul McLean)

Knowing When, When Knowing Is Impossible By Paul C. McLean The child was her first, and there were complications and aggressive therapies from the start and for months. She was unaware that the medical team was coming to believe the baby would not survive, that aggressive treatments no longer served a therapeutic purpose and were [… read more]

Jan 182013
 
Come One, Come All – Low tidal volumes improve outcomes

Low Tidal Volumes Improve Outcomes in Non-ARDS Patients Since the landmark ARDSnet trial of low tidal volume ventilation published in the NEJM in 2000, protecting the injured lung with low tidal volumes has been widely adopted. In case you missed it, that trial showed that low tidal volume ventilation (6 ml/kg IBW) improved mortality from [… read more]

Jan 062013
 
Sedation vacations don't improve outcomes in large trial (RCT)

Do “Sedation Vacations” Really Speed Weaning From Mechanical Ventilation? Daily interruptions of sedation (“sedation holiday” or “sedation vacation”) became the standard of critical care for weaning from mechanical ventilation in ICUs around the world after J.P. Kress et al’s landmark 2000 New England Journal of Medicine paper showing daily sedation interruptions freed ~64 patients from ventilators [… read more]

Jan 062013
 
Precedex as good as Versed or Propofol, but with cardiovascular effects (RCT)

Precedex Takes Step Toward FDA Indication for Longer-Term Use Precedex (dexmedetomidine) only has existing FDA indications for short-term sedation (< 24 hours) in both mechanically ventilated and non-intubated patients. That short leash is because of dexmedetomidine’s tendency to produce  hypotension and bradycardia, and has limited Precedex’s approved uses mainly to elective surgeries and other invasive procedures. Many intensivists use Precedex off-label for critically [… read more]

Dec 312012
 
In ARDS, women and short people get higher, potentially deadly tidal volumes

In most areas of life, it helps to be tall, and needing treatment for ARDS further proves the rule. Tall people are less likely to get harmful lung-distending tidal volumes during mechanical ventilation, simply by virtue of having bigger lungs. It’s bad enough that we intensivists might discriminate against the under-six-feet crowd (of which I [… read more]

Dec 302012
 
Meet the New ARDS: Expert panel announces new definition, severity classes

(image: Wikipedia) An expert panel announced a new definition and severity classfication system for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) that aims to simplify the diagnosis and better prognosticate outcomes from the life-threatening pulmonary illness. The proposed “Berlin definition of ARDS” predicted mortality ever-so-slightly better than the existing ARDS criteria (created at the 1994 American-European Consensus [… read more]

Dec 112012
 
Predicting survival from COPD exacerbations: DECAF score shows promise

DECAF Score Predicts COPD Exacerbation Mortality, But Needs Validation By Brett Ley, MD Despite improvements in care, death during hospitalization for acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD) is not uncommon. In the UK in 2008, almost 1 in 12 people admitted with a COPD exacerbation died in-hospital. In the U.S. in 1996, about 1 in 40 [… read more]

Oct 042012
 
Post-pyloric feeding no better than usual NG tube in vented patients (RCT)

Image: EIMJM.com Evidence-based practice guidelines adopted by critical care societies in Canada, Germany, Australia and New Zealand recommend starting enteral nutrition for critical illness shortly after admission to an ICU. In observational studies, critically ill adults get only about 50-70% their caloric goals from enteral feeding; reduced gastric motility is often responsible for the limited [… read more]

Aug 112012
 
Intubation & Airway Management Review (LITFL)

When it comes to airway management skills, muscle memory rules, and there’s no substitute for hands-on experience. But in between intubations and endotracheal tube changes, what’s the best way to bolster your skills and knowledge base? Reading textbooks and journal articles provides truthful information, but I suspect it gets filed away and stashed in your [… read more]

Jul 142012
 
Talking to COPD patients about end-of-life makes them like you more?

We may see it more often, but we doctors don’t really know anything more about death than anyone else, and we find it just as scary. Yet we are expected to spontaneously discuss death-as-a-coming-event with seriously ill patients who (we assume) probably want to avoid the subject, well, like the plague. Maybe they do. But [… read more]

Jul 072012
 
GM-CSF (Leukine) for acute lung injury & ARDS (RCT)

Human recombinant granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF or Leukine) did not reduce ventilator-days in patients with acute lung injury / ARDS in a randomized trial published in the January 2012 Critical Care Medicine. Why would it have? Interestingly, patients with ARDS with higher levels of GM-CSF in their BAL fluid are more likely to survive. GM-CSF maintains [… read more]