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Wilcox M.E.,University of Toronto | Chong C.A.K.Y.,Section of General Internal Medicine | Chong C.A.K.Y.,Queens University | Niven D.J.,University of Calgary | And 4 more authors.
Critical Care Medicine | Year: 2013

Objective: To determine the effect of different intensivist staffing models on clinical outcomes for critically ill patients. DATA SOURCES: A sensitive search of electronic databases and hand-search of major critical care journals and conference proceedings was completed in October 2012. STUDY SELECTION: Comparative observational studies examining intensivist staffing patterns and reporting hospital or ICU mortality were included. DATA EXTRACTION: Of 16,774 citations, 52 studies met the inclusion criteria. We used random-effects meta-analytic models unadjusted for case-mix or cluster effects and quantified between-study heterogeneity using I. Study quality was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Score for cohort studies. DATA SYNTHESIS: High-intensity staffing (i.e., transfer of care to an intensivist-led team or mandatory consultation of an intensivist), compared to low-intensity staffing, was associated with lower hospital mortality (risk ratio, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.70-0.99) and ICU mortality (pooled risk ratio, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.68-0.96). Significant reductions in hospital and ICU length of stay were seen (-0.17 d, 95% CI, -0.31 to -0.03 d and -0.38 d, 95% CI, -0.55 to -0.20 d, respectively). Within high-intensity staffing models, 24-hour in-hospital intensivist coverage, compared to daytime only coverage, did not improved hospital or ICU mortality (risk ratio, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.89-1.1 and risk ratio, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.70-1.1). The benefit of high-intensity staffing was concentrated in surgical (risk ratio, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.44-1.6) and combined medical-surgical (risk ratio, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.66-0.83) ICUs, as compared to medical (risk ratio, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.83-1.5) ICUs. The effect on hospital mortality varied throughout different decades; pooled risk ratios were 0.74 (95% CI, 0.63-0.87) from 1980 to 1989, 0.96 (95% CI, 0.69-1.3) from 1990 to 1999, 0.70 (95% CI, 0.54-0.90) from 2000 to 2009, and 1.2 (95% CI, 0.84-1.8) from 2010 to 2012. These findings were similar for ICU mortality. Conclusions: High-intensity staffing is associated with reduced ICU and hospital mortality. Within a high-intensity model, 24-hour in-hospital intensivist coverage did not reduce hospital, or ICU, mortality. Benefits seen in mortality were dependent on the type of ICU and decade of publication. Copyright © 2013 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source

Morgan C.K.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Varas G.M.,Section of General Internal Medicine | Pedroza C.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Almoosa K.F.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Critical Care Medicine | Year: 2014

OBJECTIVE:: Withdrawal or withholding of life-sustaining therapies precedes most deaths in the modern ICU. As goals of care for critically ill patients change from curative to palliative, this transition often occurs abruptly, but a slower more staggered approach may also be used. One such approach is "no escalation of care", often the first step in this transition at the end-of-life. We aimed to determine the prevalence of no escalation of care designation for ICU decedents and identify which interventions are involved. DESIGN:: We performed a retrospective medical record review of all patients who died over a two year period. Records with documentation of no escalation of care in physician orders or progress notes, or other instructions suggesting sequential or selective limitation of interventions were included. SETTING:: Sixteen bed medical ICU at a single large academic hospital. INTERVENTIONS:: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:: Of a total of 310 ICU decedents, 95 (30%) had a no escalation of care designation before death. Hemodialysis, vasopressors, and blood transfusions were the interventions more likely to be withheld. For ongoing therapies, hemodialysis, blood transfusions, and antibiotics were more likely to be withdrawn. Mechanical ventilation, hydration, and nutrition were less likely to be withheld or withdrawn. A minority had a palliative care consult (15%) or ethics consult (4%) while in the ICU. Time from no escalation of care designation to death averaged 0.8 days (range, 0-5 d). CONCLUSION:: No escalation of care designation occurs in a significant proportion of ICU decedents shortly before death. Some interventions are more likely to be limited than others using a no escalation of care approach. © 2013 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Lippincott. Source

Wilcox M.E.,University of Toronto | Chong C.A.,Section of General Internal Medicine | Stanbrook M.B.,University of Toronto | Tricco A.C.,Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute | And 2 more authors.
JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association | Year: 2014

Thoracentesis is performed to identify the cause of a pleural effusion. Although generally safe, thoracentesis may be complicated by transient hypoxemia, bleeding, patient discomfort, reexpansion pulmonary edema, and pneumothorax. To identify the best means for differentiating between transudative and exudative effusions and also to identify thoracentesis techniques for minimizing the risk of complications by performing a systematic review the evidence. We searched The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, and Embase from inception to February 2014 to identify relevant studies. We included randomized and observational studies of adult patients undergoing thoracentesis that examined diagnostic tests for differentiating exudates from transudates and evaluated thoracentesis techniques associated with a successful procedure with minimal complications. Two investigators independently appraised study quality and extracted data from studies of laboratory diagnosis of pleural effusion for calculation of likelihood ratios (LRs; n = 48 studies) and factors affecting adverse event rates (n = 37 studies). The diagnosis of an exudate was most accurate if cholesterol in the pleural fluid was greater than 55 mg/dL (LR range, 7.1-250), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) was greater than 200 U/L (LR, 18; 95% CI, 6.8-46), or the ratio of pleural fluid cholesterol to serum cholesterol was greater than 0.3 (LR, 14; 95% CI, 5.5-38). A diagnosis of exudate was less likely when all Light's criteria (a ratio of pleural fluid protein to serum protein >0.5, a ratio of pleural fluid LDH to serum LDH >0.6, or pleural fluid LDH >two-thirds the upper limit of normal for serum LDH) were absent (LR, 0.04; 95% CI, 0.02-0.11). The most common complication of thoracentesis was pneumothorax, which occurred in 6.0% of cases (95% CI, 4.0%-7.0%). Chest tube placement was required in 2.0% of procedures (95% CI, 0.99%-2.9%) in which a patient was determined to have radiographic evidence of a pneumothorax. With ultrasound, a radiologist's marking the needle insertion site was not associated with decreased pneumothorax events (skin marking vs no skin marking odds ratio [OR], 0.37; 95% CI, 0.08-1.7). Use of ultrasound by any experienced practitioner also was not associated with decreased pneumothorax events (OR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.06-5.3). Light's criteria, cholesterol and pleural fluid LDH levels, and the pleural fluid cholesterol-to-serum ratio are the most accurate diagnostic indicators for pleural exudates. Ultrasound skin marking by a radiologist or ultrasound-guided thoracentesis were not associated with a decrease in pneumothorax events. Source

Vassy J.L.,Section of General Internal Medicine | Vassy J.L.,Brigham and Womens Hospital | Vassy J.L.,Harvard University | Korf B.R.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | And 2 more authors.
Science Translational Medicine | Year: 2015

Despite perceptions to the contrary, physicians are as prepared for genomic medicine as they are for other medical innovations; educational initiatives and support from genetics specialists can enhance clinical practice. Source

Busby A.K.,The Miriam Hospital | Simon S.R.,Section of General Internal Medicine
American Journal of Health Behavior | Year: 2014

Objective: To examine existing research on pulmonary exercise rehabilitation (PR) maintenance interventions. Methods: Authors conducted a systematic review of PR maintenance interventions. The primary outcome of interest was physical endurance. Results: Eight studies met inclusion criteria. Most showed initial positive intervention effects, which declined to non-significance within 3-12 months after completion of maintenance. Only one of the 8 studies described a theoretical framework underlying the maintenance intervention. Conclusions: Existing interventions generally fail to maintain benefits derived from PR programs. Future studies should evaluate maintenance interventions that are theoretically-based and seek to impact known maintenance mediators. Evaluation of these interventions should include substantial follow-up periods and adherence measurements. Source

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