Most studies on smoking and its well-known health risks have been performed in middle-aged adults (younger than 60). In a large epidemiological study published in the June 11, 2012 Archives of Internal Medicine, Carolin Gellert, Ben Schottker, and Hermann Brenner showed that (spoiler alert!!) smoking’s excess risks extend to older adults, as well. Just as importantly, [… read more]
Want to keep up with sleep, without falling asleep? We’ll try to make it easy for you: Here are some of the latest and most notable articles in sleep medicine. (This summary will be updated and re-posted as new research is published. Please suggest articles for inclusion in the comments or by email.) Obstructive Sleep [… read more]
The past decade has seen an explosion in the number of clinical trials; there are now more than 10,000 new trials registered each year. Although clinical trials’ quality is improving somewhat, most are still small and single-center and a large proportion do not adhere with reporting requirements, raising serious questions as to what we are [… read more]
Remember that weird advice we were taught as physicians-in-training to give to smoking patients before an upcoming surgery? “You should quit smoking, but not within the 2 weeks just before your surgery.” (It sounds off-key to me even as I write it now.) Based on … what? Some medical lore passed down from a decades-old study [… read more]
Drowning: 2012 Review (More PulmCCM Topic Updates) There are a thousand ways to die (it’s even a TV show), but few seem as horrible and inspire such primal fear as death by drowning. Drowning is uncommon but by no means rare in the U.S.: it’s the second leading cause of death by injury in the [… read more]
(image: flickrCC) Why do we test chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients for bronchodilator responsiveness (besides getting to charging a few extra bucks for it)? If I am reading this article right, the answer is, there’s no good reason. Consider this: Bronchodilator responsiveness (BDR) or the lack thereof does not distinguish COPD from asthma. Bronchodilator [… read more]
(image: People’s Pharmacy) Sure to re-light controversy around Pfizer’s varenicline (Chantix): a new study concludes the smoking cessation drug likely carries no increased risk for cardiovascular events. Judith Prochaska and Joan Hilton (University of California – San Francisco) report the results in the May 4 BMJ. Sonal Singh (Johns Hopkins) et al’s previous meta-analysis, reported in CMAJ [… read more]
Mechanical Ventilation in ARDS: Overview Mechanical ventilation in ARDS is almost always required, as people with acute respiratory distress syndrome are by definition severely hypoxemic. Yet mechanical ventilation itself can further injure damaged lungs(so-called ventilator induced lung injury); minimizing any additional damage while maintaining adequate gas exchange (“compatible with life”) is the central goal of mechanical [… read more]
Reimbursement for Palliative Care in the ICU By Intensivists To an intensivist, providing palliative care often means having multiple time-consuming and emotionally challenging interactions with families struggling to cope with the impending loss of their loved one. The emotional content of these interactions can be strongly positive, negative, or somewhere in between, but frequently it’s [… read more]
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Review Epidemiology of COPD Globally, ~10% of people older than 40 have airflow limitation of GOLD stage 2 or worse (FEV1 < 80% predicted); up to 25% may have GOLD stage 1 (FEV1 ≥ 80% predicted but FEV1/FVC < 0.7). Up to 60-85% of people with COPD (mostly mild/moderate severity) [… read more]
Mechanisms of Pneumothorax in the Critically Ill Air can accumulate in the pleural space in three ways: Rupture of the visceral pleura allowing air to travel from alveoli to the pleural space (an “internal” pneumothorax, as from barotrauma from mechanical ventilation, or the rupture of a bulla or bleb); Entry of air from the atmosphere [… read more]
We have our hands full at PulmCCM Central just keeping up with the best published literature in pulmonary and critical care medicine. Somehow, the folks at NYU manage to vet the much larger volume of literature published in internal medicine, and offer it in a user-friendly review in their Clinical Correlations blog. Clinical Correlations is [… read more]
Westermark sign: a focal area of decreased lucency on a plain chest film with an abrupt cut-off in the pulmonary artery, corresponding to a central occlusive pulmonary embolism. A.S. Krishnan and Tristan Barrett share a nice example of the Westermark sign in the March 15 New England Journal.
Diaphragmatic dysfunction can result from nerve damage, primary muscle problems, or problems with the muscle’s interaction with the chest wall. The true incidence of diaphragmatic paralysis is unknown, since many patients are asymptomatic. Treatment for diaphragmatic dysfunction usually consists of watchful waiting, addressing underlying causes, with mechanical ventilation if respiratory failure develops. Causes of Diaphragmatic [… read more]
The content previously here was removed at the request of the American College of Chest Physicians. For the ACCP 9th edition clinical practice guidelines for prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE), please visit the ACCP website. PulmCCM is not affiliated with ACCP or Chest.