Policy, Ethics, Education

Jan 302018
 
Lung cancer screening with CT: Does it work in the real world?

The first real-world results from a population-based deployment of lung cancer screening are in, from a demonstration project at Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals. Screening was generally effective at identifying early-stage lung cancer, but with far more effort per cancer detected than in the seminal National Lung Screening Trial. High false positive rates led to a [… read more]

Jan 262018
 
FDA Approves First Nebulized LAMA for COPD

by Salynn Boyles, 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 of data [… read more]

Jan 232018
 
Conference: The Hospitalist & The Resuscitationist April 18-19

The Hospitalist & The Resuscitationist April 18-19, 2018 Two awesome days in Montreal where we focus on basics, but the right basics. The key points, the key pearls, and especially, the key physiological points in managing sick people. Day 1, pretty sick people. Day 2, really sick people. Do one day, do both, whatever fits [… 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 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]

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 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]

Nov 012017
 
Doctors aren't complying with the CMS sepsis quality measure

When the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its 2015 performance measure for the treatment of sepsis — called SEP-1 or the Severe Sepsis/Septic Shock Early Management Bundle, physicians responded with general befuddlement: the measure demanded they follow such unusual practices as giving 3-liter boluses of saline to anuric, hypertensive, hypoxemic patients with [… read more]

Sep 282017
 
Use sepsis bundles, or you're breaking the (New York) law

In 2013, New York’s state government began regulating the care of sepsis. The state has since required its hospitals (and thus its doctors) to adhere to some version of a sepsis protocol that included a “bundle” to be delivered within 3 hours after sepsis recognition: blood cultures before antibiotics; lactate measurement; broad-spectrum antibiotics The Empire [… read more]

Aug 202017
 
In ARDS, substandard ventilator care is the norm, not the exception

In acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), anyone with the keys to a ventilator knows low tidal volume ventilation (~6 mL/kg ideal body weight) is standard care. Low tidal volume ventilation can prevent or ameliorate ventilator-associated lung injury ; if early clinical trials represent current reality, one in 11 people with ARDS treated by low tidal volume ventilation could have their [… read more]

Jun 042017
 

The FDA has expanded the indication for tiotropium (Spiriva Respimat) to include children age 6 and older, based on efficacy data similar to that in adults. Tiotropium (Spiriva Respimat) was approved by FDA in 2015 for adults with asthma after clinical trials showed benefit of Spiriva as an add-on therapy to patients with persistent asthma [… read more]

Apr 262017
 
Can early warning systems predict (and prevent) cardiac arrest?

The increasingly data-saturated modern health care milieu has been catnip to technologists and statisticians. If only we could manage and analyze the data better, as this appealing narrative has it, we could improve health outcomes in the hospital. Predictive modeling algorithms represent the apotheosis of this paradigm, offering hope to detect patients’ impending deterioration and cardiac arrest [… read more]

Apr 102017
 

A document that looks like an unsigned, unpublished letter to the Wall Street Journal was posted on Scott Weingart’s EMCrit blog. It is signed only “The Department of Emergency Medicine – Henry Ford Hospital” and responds to the 2008 WSJ piece that suggested irregularities or mishandling of the data in the seminal 2001 trial on EGDT for sepsis. Scott’s [… read more]

Apr 062017
 
Free Online Hemodynamic Physiology Modules: an update & request

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet …” -Kipling Last year, I began adding physiology modules to heart-lung.org as a part of a Master’s Degree I am undertaking at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.  The goal of these modules has been to encourage [… read more]

Apr 052017
 
Meta-analysis confirms EGDT for sepsis is unhelpful and wasteful (PRISM)

Three large, well-conducted randomized trials around the world (ProCESS, ARISE, and ProMISe) all agreed: use of early goal-directed therapy (EGDT) for sepsis does not improve mortality or any other important clinical outcome. The Big Three sepsis trials were a death knell for the formerly ubiquitous “sepsis bundles,” protocols based on the single-center 2001 trial of EGDT [… read more]

Mar 312017
 
USPSTF does not advise screening for obstructive sleep apnea

After an extensive review, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concluded that there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against screening adults for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In a statement posted to the website of the Journal of the American Medical Association the USPSTF panel said that in adults who are not actively complaining of symptoms of [… read more]

Mar 152017
 
Should FDA mandate lower nicotine content in cigarettes?

In June 2009, then-President Barack Obama signed into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, authorizing FDA to regulate the nicotine content of cigarettes. The only real limit to FDA’s new authority was a provision prohibiting FDA from “requiring the reduction of nicotine yields of a tobacco product to zero.” Prior to that [… read more]

Mar 092017
 
LABA safety studies for asthma saw no increased risk in Advair or Symbicort

After the Serevent Nationwide Surveillance (SNS) and SMART trials both appeared to link the use of long-acting beta agonists (LABAs) to an increased risk of asthma-related death, routine asthma care got scary. The FDA slapped a black box warning on LABAs like Serevent (salmeterol) and Foradil (formoterol) and also the combination treatments containing them (Advair, [… read more]

Mar 082017
 
Pulmonologist incomes down in 2016; self-employed make more

The 2016 Medscape Physician Compensation Report relates that orthopedic surgeons and cardiologists earn on average the most of those physicians surveyed ($443,000 and $410,000 annually) (1). Pulmonologists and critical care physicians fell in the middle of the spectrum of physician incomes ($281,000 and $306,000 respectively). Allergists were at the lower end ($205,000). Physicians in each category earned [… read more]