Despite advances in mechanical ventilation and critical care, the mortality rate for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) remains over 40%. In addition to mortality, health-related quality of life (HRQL) is also thought to be impacted negatively. Prone positioning has been used in ARDS to attenuate lung injury and to provide a more homogeneous distribution of […]

Enterococci are an increasingly common cause of urinary tract infections (UTI) and asymptomatic bacteriuria (ABU) in hospitalized patients. Despite the publication of guidelines for appropriate antibiotic use, many patients are inappropriately prescribed antimicrobials for ABU. In this month’s issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, Lin et al conducted a retrospective medical record review from two […]

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With as little fanfare in its dissolution as it evoked during its ten-year existence, the Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA) in December wrapped up its efforts to advance public reporting for hospital care.  By informing patient and family decisions regarding the quality of their hospital care, the HQA was the nation’s first and foremost organization for […]

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The threshold at which postoperative red blood cell transfusion is warranted for patients with cardiac disease remains controversial. While the hazards associated with transfusions are well known to the modern-day intensivist, some have proposed that transfusions improve functional recovery for elderly surgical patients, and prevent cardiovascular events.  Jeffrey Carson, MD, and the Functional Outcomes in […]

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is one of the costliest and most common preventable causes of death in the intensive care unit (ICU). In this month’s issue of Chest, Kwok Ho and colleagues utilized data from 134 ICUs in Australia and New Zealand to assess the association between omission of early thromboprophylaxis (>24 hours) after ICU admission […]

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