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]

Jul 082018
 
Hospitalists Are the New Intensivists

Intensivists may get all the credit, but over 37,000 hospitalists provide much of the care for ICU patients in the U.S. According to a recent survey, they often do it without the presence or availability of intensivists for consultation or support, especially outside urban centers. The internists aren’t happy about it, feeling uncomfortable, unsupported and [… read more]

Jun 242018
 
DVT-PE in cancer: Oral anticoagulant edoxaban non-inferior to enoxaparin

Most patients with cancer-associated deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) in the U.S. are treated indefinitely with subcutaneous injections of low-molecular weight heparin (LMWH), like enoxaparin. LMWH has been shown to be better than warfarin at preventing DVT/PE in cancer patients, with similar rates of bleeding. A new generation of oral anticoagulants have [… read more]

Jun 242018
 
FDA Warns of Pneumothorax, Death Associated With High-Tech Nasogastric Tubes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned health care teams about the risk of pneumothorax caused by certain enteral feeding tubes that use technology to guide their insertion, also called enteral access systems (EAS). It issued a safety communication stating, Most reports indicate these pulmonary events required urgent intervention, including needle decompression or chest [… read more]

Jun 182018
 
Driving Pressure in Airway Pressure Release Ventilation: a fool’s errand?

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.” -Bertrand Russel I read with great interest a recent letter penned by Taylor and Camporota in response to an investigation on airway pressure release ventilation [APRV] by Zhou and colleagues.  Their brief [… 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 132018
 
Bougies for all intubations led to high success rates, even on difficult airways

Bougies are long, stiff plastic wands inserted into the trachea through the glottis during direct laryngoscopy (DL), providing a “guidewire” over which an endotracheal (ET) tube can then be more easily advanced into the trachea. Bougies have traditionally been used after one or more failed intubation attempts with direct laryngoscopy, at which point the airway [… 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 052018
 
Varenicline May Increase Cardiovascular Risk

by Salynn Boyles, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today Cardiovascular event risk may increase in smokers who start using the cessation-assist drug varenicline (Chantix), according to findings from an observational study. The retrospective analysis of medical records for close to 57,000 new users of varenicline living in Ontario, Canada, showed a statistically significant 34% increased risk for [… read more]

Jun 032018
 
Malignant pleural effusions: pleural catheters vs pleurodesis, again

Another study shows that indwelling pleural catheters and talc pleurodesis appear equivalent in efficacy, each with its own pros and cons in hospital length of stay and adverse event risk. Malignant pleural effusions tend to recur increasingly frequently, such that repeated thoracentesis becomes an inviable option. For these patients, talc pleurodesis or placement of an [… 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]

Jun 032018
 
Pittsburgh International Lung Conference: Register Today

The Pittsburgh International Lung Conference is an educational conference held every other year to increase awareness of the medical and scientific advances being made in treating lung disease. The 2018 Pittsburgh International Lung conference will be hosted by the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, a leader in Pulmonary Medicine, [… read more]

May 242018
 

Introduction Respiratory failure is a commonly encountered disease process in both the emergency department (ED) and intensive care (ICU) setting.  Respiratory failure most frequently results from exacerbations of congestive heart failure (CHF) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), respiratory infections, encephalopathy, or a combination of these etiologies. Obesity, with or without obesity hypoventilation syndrome, reduces [… read more]

May 232018
 
A Free On-Line Hemodynamic Curriculum Grows

Jon-Emile S Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “What is memory but a story about how we have lived?” -Mark Doty During the recent ‘Hospitalist and the Resuscitationist’ conference in Montreal, there were discussions around the hemodynamics of prone positioning as well as using venous Doppler as a hemodynamic metric.  Much of this discussion was generated and driven [… read more]

May 162018
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: Airway Pressure Release Ventilation – Part 3

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] Lung Stress in Pulmonary & Extrapulmonary ARDS Initially described in the late 1990s, the distinction between direct pulmonary insults [i.e. pulmonary ARDS] and indirect pulmonary insults [i.e. extra-pulmonary ARDS] is important [1].  Additionally, direct pulmonary injury such as gastric acid aspiration may have a different molecular phenotype from indirect, extra-pulmonary [… read more]

May 152018
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: Airway Pressure Release Ventilation – Part 2

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] In the previous segment, time constants [t] – and their limitations – were described as a lesson in applied respiratory physiology for setting T-Low and prediction of auto-PEEP in airway pressure release ventilation [APRV].  In this brief missive an alternative approach to titrating T-low is described and critiqued.  As well, [… read more]

May 142018
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: Airway Pressure Release Ventilation – Part 1

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] While the lung in the throes of acute respiratory distress syndrome [ARDS] is shrunken, edematous and inflamed, a basic management maneuver is to ‘recruit’ lost pulmonary surface area.  In other words, unfold alveolar-capillary units with the ventilator like a respirothoracic party horn.  One ‘unconventional’ method of maximizing and maintaining lung [… 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]