Chest: January news briefs

DATA SHOWS OMALIZUMAB SAFE AND EFFECTIVE FOR MODERATE TO SEVERE ASTHMA

New research suggests that subcutaneous omalizumab is safe and effective an add-on treatment to corticosteroids for moderate to severe asthma in children and adults. Researchers from Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile performed a meta-analysis on eight trials where 1,883 patients received omalizumab and 1,546 received a placebo. At the end of the steroid reduction phase, patients taking omalizumab were more likely to have corticosteroids withdrawn completely compared with those taking placebo. Furthermore, patients taking omalizumab showed a decreased risk for asthma exacerbations at the end of stable and adjustable-steroid phase. The frequency of serious adverse events effects was similar between both groups, and there were no indications of increased risk of hypersensitivity reactions, cardiovascular effects, and malignant neoplasms. This article is published in the January issue of Chest, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians: Chest 2011; 139(1):28-35.

SIMULATION TRAINING LINKED TO DECREASED CATHETER INFECTION

New research shows that simulation-based training in sterile techniques during central vein catheterization (CVC) is associated with decreased rate of catheter-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI). Over 1 year, researchers from St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York randomly assigned 47 second and third-year internal medicine residents to simulation-based training plus video training or video training alone, with a follow-up period to examine CRBSI 6 months later. During the follow-up period, a simulation-based training program in sterile techniques during CVC was implemented in the medical intensive care unit (MICU). Residents' scores in sterile techniques and CRBSI rates were compared with residents in the surgical intensive care unit (SICU) who did not receive simulation training. Baseline scores from both groups were 12.5 to 13 out of a maximum score of 24. After training, the median score for the simulation group was 22, compared with 18 for the video training-only group. During follow up, there was a 70 percent reduction in the incidence of CRBSI in the postintervention MICU compared with the preintervention MICU and the postintervention SICU. Researchers conclude that simulation-based training is superior to traditional training and video training, and it should be routinely used to reduce iatrogenic risk. This article is published in the January issue of Chest, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians: Chest 2011; 139(1):80-87.

SARCOIDOSIS INCIDENCE PREVALENT AMONG BLACK WOMEN

A new study using the largest sample to date reports that black women in the US have the highest incidence of sarcoidosis, a chronic lung disease characterized by dyspnea, fatigue, and cough. Researchers from Boston University analyzed the incidence, prevalence, and clinical characteristics of sarcoidosis among 59,000 black women across the United States who were part of the Black Women's Health Study. At baseline, in 1995, there were 685 cases of sarcoidosis. However, over the follow-up through 2007, an additional 435 cases were reported, resulting in a prevalence of 2.0 percent among black women. The highest incidence of the disease was among women in their 40s, while the median age at diagnosis was 32 years. Researchers cite a need for the assessment of sarcoidosis risk factors among this population. The article is published in the January issue of Chest, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians: Chest 2011; 139(1):144-150.

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