Apr 032011
 

Lettieri et al prospectively observed 210 patients with obstructive sleep apnea, who were diagnosed & titrated in-lab or at home. Those who were diagnosed and titrated at home and managed through their primary care clinic had equivalent adherence with CPAP therapy (~70% of nights; ~4.5 hrs/night; regular use ~52%) to those diagnosed and titrated in-lab [… read more]

Apr 032011
 

Workshop on molecular diagnostics for respiratory tract infections: Procalcitonin shows promise as a biomarker for differentiating bacterial from viral pneumonias, and to assess response to therapy. Rapid PCR for MRSA in sputum may become available after further development & testing. Molecular tests for S. pneumonia in respiratory secretions currently are uninterpretable in practice, due to [… read more]

Mar 312011
 

An excess amount of the chaos and stress endemic to ICUs is due to poor systems engineering (think alarm fatigue); a rational, integrated approach to design & technology selection is needed to make ICUs more effective and safer for patients, argue Mathews & Pronovost. Academic health systems should fill the leadership vacuum, organize stakeholders and [… read more]

Mar 272011
 

Efficient private systems like Geisinger and Kaiser outperform academic institutions on accepted measures of quality . Dhalla & Detsky say that’s because academic docs aren’t trying, because thanks to misguided incentives, their careers suffer if they do. They encourage hospitals and payers to take the lead to reward quality improvement, since universities are unlikely to. [… read more]

Mar 262011
 

Almost half of 115 Philadelphia veterans diagnosed with lung cancer had recently quit smoking, at a median 2.7 years prior to their lung cancer diagnosis; only 11% recalled having any symptoms of lung cancer at the time of quitting. J Thorac Oncol 2011;6:517-524.

Mar 232011
 

(1–>3) Beta-D-glucan, or BDG, is a component of the cell wall of most fungi (not Zygomycetes or Cryptococcus though). Karageorgopoulos et al pooled 16 studies, including 2,979 patients with definite or likely fungal infections, that reported the test characteristics of serum BDG. The pooled sensitivity of serum BDG for invasive fungal infection was 77% and [… read more]

Mar 222011
 

Sadaka et al add their two cents and a cohort study to the Xigris efficacy/safety debate. In their retrospective, propensity-matched analysis of 563 patients sourced from the Project IMPACT database, the 108 who received activated protein C had 35% mortality, vs 54% for the 108 who did not (p=0.005). There were unusually low rates of [… read more]

Mar 212011
 

The EMShockNet team previously claimed in JAMA that hyperoxia (paO2>300) after cardiac arrest could be deadly (63% in-hospital mortality vs 45% in normoxic patients). After looking at 12,108 database records in Australia/New Zealand, Bellomo et al beg to differ. By applying severity of illness/propensity models, they found no increased risk of death in those with [… read more]

Mar 202011
 

Hooman et al pooled 5 randomized trials with 112 patients, who had 184 episodes of elevated intracranial pressure. They concluded hypertonic saline is better at reducing ICP; but the relative-risk-for-ICP-control confidence interval was 1.0-1.3 and the mean ICP reduction included zero (-1.6 to 5.7 mm Hg). So, maybe. Crit Care Med 2011;39:554-559.

Mar 192011
 

THIS STUDY HAS BEEN RETRACTED. Kupfer et al looked retrospectively at 168 vented patients with transudative pleural effusions at Maimonides in Brooklyn. The half that got chest tubes (with an average of 1,200 mL drained) spent 3.8 days on the vent, vs 6.5 days for the group that got only thoracentesis, with no complications reported. [… read more]