August 22, 2019

Background: Unwarranted use of antibiotics has several deleterious effects which include, antimicrobial resistance, wasted resources, adverse effects, negative affect on the microbiome of patients, and distracts from potentially more effective interventions. There has recently been a huge push for tests such as procalcitonin to help in curtailing the use of antibiotics when it is not warranted.  Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines recommend only prescribing antibiotics in moderately or severely ill patients with acute COPD exacerbations, increased cough, and/or sputum purulence [2]. The authors of this trial wanted to test another such marker, point of care CRP in patients with acute COPD exacerbations.  Along with bronchodilators and steroids, antibiotic prescriptions seem to be a common treatment modality as well. CRP is an acute-phase protein that is readily available and can be measured quickly with point of care testing.  The authors of this trial hypothesized that the results of POC CRP may help inform prescribing decisions for acute COPD exacerbations, however RCTs regarding clinical effectiveness of this test are lacking.

August 19, 2019

Background: Antibiotics are one of the cornerstones of therapy in the treatment of sepsis/septic shock, however according to the Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC) guidelines, time to antibiotics is a core measure, though there is weak evidence in support of this.  Most of the evidence supporting this is based off retrospective studies that showed delays in the administration of antibiotics after the development of septic shock is associated with an increase in mortality of almost 7.6% per hour [3]. The major issues with retrospective studies are that they are uncontrolled, chart quality may be inaccurate, baseline status of patients may be unbalanced and thus allow selection bias that can affect the results. Although, prospective observational studies have failed to consistently show an association between early antibiotics and mortality benefit, the guidelines still recommend early antibiotic administration within an hour of sepsis recognition.

June 12, 2019

Take Home Points on Measles

  • There is a resurgence of measles worldwide
  • Incubation period is 10 – 14 days and patients are contagious 4 days before rash develops and up to 5 days after
  • Suspect measles in any patient with an acute febrile illness who is either un- or undervaccinated
  • Know about Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) schedules and isolation times of various populations
  • Healthcare workers should wear N95 masks while taking care of patients with suspected measles, and report cases to their local health department.

May 27, 2019

Background: In 2000, the U.S. achieved the elimination of measles, defined as the absence of sustained transmission of the virus for more than 12 months [3,7]. Unfortunately, this success was short lived.  According to the CDC, 555 cases of measles have already been confirmed from Jan 1st – April 11th, 2019 [3]. This resurgence in measles is frustrating as it has a safe and highly effective vaccine, and it has no animal reservoir to maintain circulation.  Failure to get vaccinated unfortunately stems from misconceptions about vaccine safety (i.e. the now-debunked claim connecting vaccination to autism [4,5]), poor health education, lack of access to health care, and complacency.  This is now a global epidemic as disease does not respect borders.

May 15, 2019

Take Home Points on Epiglottitis

  • Epiglottitis has demonstrated a resurgence in the adult population. It is no longer a pediatric only disease.
  • The classic presentation of epiglottitis (3Ds of drooling, dysphagia and distress) is uncommon
  • Epiglottitis should be high on your differential for the bounce-back patient who continues to complain of worsening sore throat
  • Definitive diagnosis is made by flexible fiberoptic laryngoscopy
  • Be ready for a difficult airway
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