Jan 202018
Prone positioning for severe ARDS advised by major societies

In case you missed it, major professional societies in critical care now strongly recommend prone positioning for patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), with a PaO2-to-FiO2 (P/F) ratio of ≤ 100. The recommendation marks a major shift in advised care for ARDS. Prone positioning improves ventilation-perfusion matching (transferring delivered oxygen into the bloodstream more [… read more]

Jan 182018
FDA Approves Benralizumab for Severe Asthma

by Salynn Boyles Contributing Writer, MedPage Today The FDA has approved AstraZeneca’s biologic drug benralizumab (Fasenra) for the add-on maintenance treatment of patients age 12 years and over with severe asthma with an eosinophilic phenotype, the drugmaker announced. Approval was based on pivotal trials showing up to a 51% reduction in the annual asthma exacerbation [… 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]

Jan 152018
Weekend hospital admissions associated with increased risk of death

“Don’t get admitted to the hospital on a weekend.” Listen, and you might hear that rueful advice muttered under the breath of a frustrated physician unable to get a prompt Saturday consultation or procedure, the requested specialist being at another hospital, or maybe her son’s soccer game. The weekend effect — patients admitted on a [… read more]

Jan 152018
N-acetylcysteine (NAC), sodium bicarbonate no help in preventing contrast nephropathy

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and sodium bicarbonate are commonly provided to patients undergoing angiographic procedures with intravenous contrast. Small randomized trials had suggested NAC or bicarbonate or both could prevent kidney injury from so-called contrast nephropathy. That practice has no benefit, based on results of a large randomized trial showing neither NAC nor bicarb improved outcomes after [… read more]

Jan 152018
Annual Asthma-Related Expenditures in U.S. Exceed $80 Billion

by Salynn Boyles, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today  Asthma costs the U.S. economy more than $80 billion a year in medical expenditures, missed school and work days, and deaths, according to CDC researchers. The condition is responsible for 8.7 million lost workdays and 5.2 million lost school-days annually, at an estimated cost of around $3 billion, reported Tursynbek [… read more]

Jan 072018
Management of Ground Glass and Subsolid Pulmonary Nodules: Review

Authors: Samuel Copeland, MD; Ebtesam Islam, MD, PhD Pulmonary nodules are small, generally spherical abnormalities, commonly noted incidentally on chest radiography or computed tomography1. Ground glass opacifications (GGO) are a subset of pulmonary nodules or masses with non-uniformity and less density than solid nodules. GGO are usually described as either pure ground glass or part solid [… read more]

Jan 042018
Apply for the ALiEM Faculty Incubator Before Feb 3!

Junior faculty members: Looking for a way to bolster your academic credentials and engage/network with an established community of medical educators? The ALiEM (Academic Life in Emergency Medicine) Faculty Incubator is a yearlong online faculty development program (limited to 30 participants yearly), nearly exclusively done with online asynchronous interactions through the Slack platform. The incubator [… read more]

Jan 012018
Best of 2017 on PulmCCM

Here are the top articles from 2017 on PulmCCM: Meta-analysis confirms EGDT for sepsis is unhelpful and wasteful (PRISM) Could vitamin C save lives in sepsis? These hospitals aren’t waiting for proof. Surviving Sepsis Guidelines: A Review and Analysis Intubation during CPR was associated with worse survival and brain health FDA Approves Angiotensin-II for Septic [… read more]

Dec 262017
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: Visualizing Heart-Lung Interaction

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “Upward, not northward.” -E. A. Abbott A pressure chamber within a pressure chamber; the heart within the thorax.  These are two pumps beating in-and-out of time, varying in physiology and pathophysiology between patients and within any one patient during the arc of an illness.  As such, when we inspect the [… 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 222017
FDA approves low-dose rivaroxaban for long-term PE/DVT prevention

The long-term management of recurrent venous thromboembolism continues to evolve with the FDA’s approval of once-daily low-dose rivaroxaban, now indicated for patients with recurrent deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism who have completed at least six months of anticoagulation. FDA approved low-dose rivaroxaban based on data from 3,395 patients in the EINSTEIN-CHOICE study. Both 20 [… read more]

Dec 212017
FDA: No excess risk of asthma death from LABA/ICS inhalers; warnings removed

Combination inhalers for asthma and COPD containing long-acting beta agonists (LABA) drugs along with inhaled corticosteroids can lose their black-box warnings about their previously-theorized risk of asthma-related death, the FDA announced. The original boxed warning came in 2011 in the wake of a small number of asthma-related deaths among patients taking LABA monotherapy (without inhaled [… 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 142017
Sedation interruptions were even more helpful in surgical patients

Most good medical intensive care units have incorporated interruptions in sedation (so-called ‘sedation vacations’) into standard care for patients receiving mechanical ventilation. Avoiding excessive sedation in general is believed to reduce prolonged mechanical ventilation in ICUs. However, there is surprisingly little data about effects of sedation (or over-sedation) on critically ill postoperative patients in the [… 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]

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]

Dec 082017
FDA Approves First Nebulized LAMA for COPD

by Salynn Boyles, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today The FDA approved a nebulized formulation of glycopyrrolate (Lonhala Magnair) for long-term maintenance treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe COPD, said manufacturer Sunovion Pharmaceuticals. It’s the first long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) to be sold in this form. Recommended dosing is 25 mcg twice daily. The approval was made on the strength [… read more]

Dec 022017
A Great Lecture on Applied Respiratory Physiology

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] -What is the world record for longest breath hold? -Why does the diagnosis of brain death require a rise in PaCO2 to at least 60 mmHg? -What minute ventilation can a human achieve? -What’s the difference between an elevated PaCO2 in someone who ‘won’t’ versus ‘can’t’ breathe? I’d like to [… read more]