Review Articles

Apr 162019
 
More than 90% of sepsis deaths are unpreventable, study concludes

“Nihilist” is one of the harshest insults that can be lobbed at a physician. Even while one knows intellectually that every patient can’t be saved, it’s considered odious to openly acknowledge that actuarial reality. Accepting the truth that some patients will inevitably die despite our best efforts is seen by some as the threshold of [… read more]

Mar 292019
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: The Driving Power & Ventilator-Induced Lung Injury

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] The mechanical power applied to the lung is a risk factor for ventilator or ventilation-induced lung injury [VILI] [1-4].  But can the work done to the lung over time be homogenized into a single value?  Could different components of the power equation carry different VILI risk beyond their mathematical inequalities [… read more]

Mar 262019
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: The Mechanical Power & Ventilator-Induced Lung Injury

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] A few years ago I was intrigued by a new concept in Ventilator-Induced Lung Injury [VILI] – the mechanical power.  I employed this paradigm, introduced by Gattinoni’s group, as an opening for the ‘ARDS Trilogy.’  Since then, I have also discussed this ‘ergotrauma’ in the context of helium-oxygen physiology and [… read more]

Feb 032019
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: Blood Pressure

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] Why is blood pressure measured by units of length [i.e. millimeters of mercury – mmHg]?  What decides systolic and diastolic pressure?  What are the determinants of tissue perfusion and what are the clinical implications of this physiology?  Can we deceive ourselves into thinking a particular mean arterial pressure [MAP] is [… read more]

Jan 162019
 
Atrial Fibrillation for the Intensivist – part 2

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “I’m burnin’ through the sky, yeah Two hundred degrees, That’s why they call me Mister Fahrenheit” -Freddie Mercury Part 1 gave a brief overview of the mechanisms of atrial fibrillation [AF] as well as pertinent features of rate controlling agents and anticoagulation.  In this brief second part, nuanced features of ventricular [… read more]

Jan 152019
 
Atrial Fibrillation for the Intensivist – part 1

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] with illustrations by Carla M Canepa MD [@_carlemd_] “The habit of writing for my eye is good practice. It loosens the ligaments.” ― Virginia Woolf Case A 28 year old woman with known severe mitral stenosis from rheumatic heart disease presents with acute onset shortness of breath.  Her acute dyspnea began while [… read more]

Jan 132019
 
Vitamin D supplementation reduced COPD exacerbations in deficient patients: meta-analysis

by Salynn Boyles, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today Vitamin D supplements reduced moderate to severe COPD exacerbations in patients with low circulating levels of its 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH-D) metabolite at baseline, a meta-analysis indicated. But no such effect was seen for patients with at least normal 25-OH-D levels (at least 25 nmol/L) prior to supplementation, according to Adrian [… read more]

Jan 012019
 
Best of 2018 on PulmCCM

Best of 2018:       Prone positioning for severe ARDS advised by major societies    2018 Update to Surviving Sepsis Guidelines: Cue Backlash   Management of Ground Glass and Subsolid Pulmonary Nodules: Review   Vasopressors and Inotropes for Shock Syndromes: Review     Prophylactic Precedex prevented delirium in ICU patients   Corticosteroids do help [… read more]

Nov 262018
 
Hydrocortisone, Ascorbic Acid and Thiamine (HAT) Therapy in Sepsis: A Question & Answer with Dr. Paul Marik

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] with illustrations by Carla M Canepa MD [@_carlemd_] “I’ve never known any trouble than an hour’s reading didn’t assuage.” -Schopenhauer The last few decades have infamously boasted numerous failed therapies for sepsis and septic shock.  Because sepsis represents an explosive and chaotic cacophony of pro and anti-inflammatory mediators – treatments which [… read more]

Nov 112018
 
ICU Physiology in 1000 Words: Volutrauma or Barotrauma?

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] In a recent and excellent open-access review, Gattinoni, Quintel and Marini ask which is worse, volutrauma or atelectrauma [1]?  This concise review is an absolute must-read and forms the fabric from which this short article assembles.  Last spring – in Montreal – I was asked a few questions about volutrauma [… read more]

Nov 102018
 
Oral Anticoagulants in the ICU: Clinical Review

Oral Anticoagulants in the ICU: A summary of the evidence for efficacy in atrial fibrillation, venous thromboembolism, and unique clinical cases Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are recommended as the preferred treatment for venous thromboembolism (VTE) and as a first-line option for stroke prevention in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF), but warfarin may be preferred in certain [… read more]

Sep 282018
 
2018 IDSA Guidelines for Clostridium Difficile Infection: fecal transplant gets its moment in the sun

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] with illustrations by Carla M Canepa MD [@_carlemd_] “My reputation’s never been worse, so …” -Taylor Swift Case A 54 year old woman with lupus nephritis – treated with mycophenolate mofetil and prednisone – is admitted with pancytopenia and worsening confusion.  She was recently discharged after receiving levofloxacin and clindamycin [… read more]

Sep 052018
 
Subsegmental pulmonary embolism: anticoagulation or observation?

As the use of chest CT-angiograms in emergency departments and medical wards has risen by more than tenfold, so has the discovery of small pulmonary emboli of unclear clinical significance. These PEs are often isolated to distal (subsegmental) branches of the pulmonary artery, without concurrent deep venous thrombosis (DVT). Small distal PEs may be incidentally [… read more]

Aug 162018
 
Extended antibiotic infusions could save lives: Here's how to do it

By Thomas C. Neal, PharmD According to a meta-analysis of randomized trials, prolonged infusions of antipseudomonal beta-lactam antibiotics could save lives. However, obstacles to implementing pharmacodynamically optimized administration practices have slowed the adoption of this practice in most ICUs:1 The requirement for IV pumps, preferably smart IV pumps, is potentially problematic in resource-limited settings or on wards [… read more]

Aug 122018
 
Asthma patients should use ICS-LABA for rescue as well as maintenance, SMART says

In Europe, patients with asthma have long been advised to take more puffs of their combination inhaled corticosteroid-long-acting beta-agonist (ICS-LABA) inhaler during periods of increased asthma symptoms. In the U.S., patients are instead advised to use albuterol as their rescue inhaler, and stick firmly to the usual maintenance dose of ICS-LABA regardless of symptom severity. [… read more]

Aug 072018
 
In-Flight Medical Events & Emergencies: part 2

Jon-Emile S. Kenny MD [@heart_lung] “I’m learnin’ to fly … but I ain’t got wings … comin’ down … is the hardest thing.” -Tom Petty Common Events Continued … Abdominal Pain Like chest pain, abdominal pain carries a wide differential diagnosis.  Abdominal pain comprises 4% of all in-flight events and 10% of all diversions.  An [… read more]

Jul 202018
 
Pulmonary Embolism Causes <1% of Syncope in ER, Study Argues

by Nicole Lou, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today Researchers concluded from a large retrospective study that pulmonary embolism is unlikely to cause syncope that results in a trip to the emergency room. Fewer than 1% of nearly 1.7 million patients treated at emergency departments for syncope had pulmonary embolism, according to databases from Canada, Denmark, Italy, and the [… read more]

Jul 152018
 
How to manage bleeding from oral anticoagulant drugs

The new generation of oral anticoagulants have revolutionized management of venous thromboembolism and atrial fibrillation. The changes in clinical practice have also created new questions and confusion around management of bleeding associated with these newer anticoagulants. The American College of Cardiology issued an expert consensus document in December 2017 to help guide physicians on the [… 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]