Search Journal-type in search term and press enter
Social Media-Follow Southwest Journal of Pulmonary and Critical Care on Facebook and Twitter

Articles from Other Journals

(Click on the title to go to the article summary, most recent first, date posted at end)

Early Use of Norepinephrine in Septic Shock Resuscitation (CENSER): A Randomized Trial. Permpikul C, Tongyoo S, Viarasilpa T, Trainarongsakul T, Chakorn T, Udompanturak S. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2019 Feb 1. [Epub ahead of print] (4-15-19)

Association of Positive Airway Pressure Prescription with Mortality in Patients with Obesity and Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea: The Sleep Heart Health Study. Lisan Q, Van Sloten T, Marques Vidal P, Haba Rubio J, Heinzer R, Empana JP. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019 Apr 11. (4-12-19)

Effect of Glucose Improvement on Spirometric Maneuvers in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: The Sweet Breath Study. Gutiérrez-Carrasquilla L, Sánchez E, Barbé F, et al. Diabetes Care. 2019 Apr;42(4):617-24. (4-12-19)

Whole-Genome Sequencing of Pharmacogenetic Drug Response in Racially Diverse Children with Asthma. Mak ACY, White MJ, Eckalbar WL, et al. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2018 Jun 15;197(12):1552-64. (3-26-19)

Patient Safety Outcomes under Flexible and Standard Resident Duty-Hour Rules and Sleep and Alertness in a Duty-Hour Flexibility Trial in Internal Medicine. Silber JH, Bellini LM, Shea JA, et al. N Engl J Med 2019; 380:905-14 and 915-23. (3-7-19)

Factors Associated with High-Quality Guidelines for the Pharmacologic Management of Chronic Diseases in Primary Care: A Systematic Review. Molino CGRC, Leite-Santos NC, Gabriel FC, et al. JAMA Intern Med. 2019 Feb 18. (2-25-19)

Effect of Titrating Positive End-Expiratory Pressure (PEEP) With an Esophageal Pressure-Guided Strategy vs an Empirical High PEEP-Fio2 Strategy on Death and Days Free from Mechanical Ventilation Among Patients With Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Beitler JR, Sarge T, Banner-Goodspeed VM, et al. JAMA. 2019 Feb 18. [Epub ahead of print] (2-21-19)

Prevalence, Underlying Causes, and Preventability of Sepsis-Associated Mortality in US Acute Care Hospitals. Rhee C, Jones TM, Hamad Y, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2019 Feb 1;2(2):e187571. (2-19-19)

Early Use of Norepinephrine in Septic Shock Resuscitation (CENSER): A Randomized Trial. Permpikul C, Tongyoo S, Viarasilpa T, Trainarongsakul T, Chakorn T, Udompanturak S. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2019 Feb 1 [Epub ahead of print].  (2-4-19)

A Randomized Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine-Replacement Therapy. Hajek P, Phillips-Waller A, Przulj D, et al. N Engl J Med. 2019 Jan 30. [Epub ahead of print]. (1-31-19)

Pantoprazole in Patients at Risk for Gastrointestinal Bleeding in the ICU. Krag M, Marker S, Perner A, et al. N Engl J Med. 2018 Dec 6;379(23):2199-2208. (1-30-19)

Comparison of Wait Times for New Patients Between the Private Sector and United States Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. Penn M, Bhatnagar S, Kuy S, Lieberman S, Elnahal S, Clancy C, Shulkin D. JAMA Netw Open. 2019 Jan 4;2(1):e187096. (1-21-19)  

The Importance of Smoking Cessation on Surgical Outcome in Primary Lung Cancer. Fukui M, Suzuki K, Matsunaga T, Oh S, Takamochi K. Ann Thorac Surg. 2019 Jan 2. pii: S0003-4975(18)31871-X. (1-20-19)

FDA Warns About Increased Risk of Ruptures or Tears in the Aorta Blood Vessel With Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics in Certain Patients. US Food and Drug Administration. December 20, 2018. (12/22/18).

Optimizing Home Oxygen Therapy. An Official American Thoracic Society Workshop Report. Jacobs SS, Lederer DJ, Garvey CM, et al. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2018 Dec;15(12):1369-81. (12-13-18)

FDA Approves First Treatment for Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome, A Rare Autoimmune Disorder. FDA News Releast. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm627093.htm (12-4-18)

Does Point-of-Care Ultrasonography Improve Clinical Outcomes in Emergency Department Patients with Undifferentiated Hypotension? Atkinson PR, Milne J, Diegelmann L, et al. Ann Emerg Med. 2018 Oct;72(4):478-89. (11-8-18)

E-cigarette Use and Subsequent Smoking Frequency Among Adolescents. Barrington-Trimis JL, Kong G, Leventhal AM, et al. Pediatrics. November 05, 2018. [Epub ahead of print] (11-5-18)

Changes in Prevalence of Health Care-Associated Infections in U.S. Hospitals. Magill SS, O'Leary E, Janelle SJ, et al. N Engl J Med. 2018 Nov 1;379(18):1732-1744. (11-1-18)

Benefits and Harms of Antihypertensive Treatment in Low-Risk Patients with Mild Hypertension. Sheppard JP, Stevens S, Stevens R, Martin U, Mant J, Hobbs FDR, McManus RJ. JAMA Intern Med. October 29, 2018. (11-30-18)

Prevalence of Financial Conflicts of Interest Among Authors of Clinical Guidelines Related to High-Revenue Medications. Khan R, Scaffidi MA, Rumman A, Grindal AW, Plener IS, Grover SC. JAMA Intern Med. 2018 Oct 29. and Evaluation of Industry Relationships Among Authors of Clinical Practice Guidelines in Gastroenterology. CombsTR, Scott J, Jorski A, Heavener T, Vassar M. JAMA Intern Med. 2018 Oct 29. (10-30-18).

Baloxavir Marboxil for Uncomplicated Influenza in Adults and Adolescents. Hayden FG, Sugaya N, Hirotsu N, et al. N Engl J Med. 2018 Sep 6;379(10):913-23. (10-25-18)

Assessment of Industry Data on Pulmonary and Immunosuppressive Effects of IQOS. Moazed F, Chun L, Matthay MA, Calfee CS, Gotts J.. Tob Control. 2018 Aug 29. pii: tobaccocontrol-2018-054296. [Epub ahead of print] (9-24-18)

Effect of Aspirin on All-Cause Mortality in the Healthy Elderly. McNeil JJ, Nelson MR, Woods RL, et al. Effect of aspirin on all-cause mortality in the healthy elderly. N Engl J Med. 2018 Sep 16. [Epub ahead of print] (9-20-18)

Improved Empirical Antibiotic Treatment of Sepsis After an Educational Intervention: The ABISS-Edusepsis Study. Ferrer R, Martínez ML, Gomà G, et al. Crit Care. 2018 Jun 22;22(1):167. (8-31-18).

Effect of Azithromycin on Airflow Decline-Free Survival After Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant: The ALLOZITHRO Randomized Clinical Trial. Bergeron A, Chevret S, Granata A, et al. JAMA 2017;318(6):557-566. (8-8-18)

Depression, Antidepressant Use, and Risk of Venous Thromboembolism: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Of Published Observational Evidence. Kunutsor SK Seidu S, Khunti K. Ann Med. 2018 Jul 12:1-17. (7-30-18)

Electronic Health Records Associated with Lower Hospital Mortality After Systems Have Time to Mature. Lin SC, Jha AK, Adler-Milstein J. Health Aff (Millwood). 2018 Jul;37(7):1128-1135. (7-12-18)

Sodium Bicarbonate Therapy for Patients with Severe Metabolic Acidaemia in the Intensive Care Unit (BICAR-ICU): A Multicentre, Open-Label, Randomised Controlled, Phase 3 Trial. Jaber S, Paugam C, Futier E, et al. Lancet. 2018 Jun 14. pii: S0140-6736(18)31080-8. (7-6-18)

Combined Analysis of Asthma Safety Trials of Long-Acting β2-Agonists. Busse WW, Bateman ED, Caplan AL, Kelly HW, O'Byrne PM, Rabe KF, Chinchilli VM. N Engl J Med. 2018 Jun 28;378(26):2497-2505. (7-5-18)

Continuity of Care with Doctors-A Matter of Life and Death? A Systematic Review of Continuity of Care and Mortality. Pereira Gray D, Sidaway-Lee K, White E, Thorne A, Evans PH. BMJ Open. 2018 Jun 28;8(6):e021161. (7-3-18)

Minimally Invasive Lung Cancer Surgery Performed by Thoracic Surgeons as Effective as Thoracotomy. Boffa DJ, Kosinski AS, Furnary AP, et al. J Clin Oncol. 2018 May 23:JCO2018778977. [Epub ahead of print] (6-30-18)

Serotonergic Antidepressant Use and Morbidity and Mortality Among Older Adults with COPD. Vozoris NT, Wang X, Austin PC, et al. Eur Respir J  2018 Jun 26. [Epub ahead of print] (6-27-18)

Associations Between American Board of Internal Medicine Maintenance of Certification Status and Performance on a Set of Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set Process Measures. Gray B, Vandergrift J, Landon B, Reschovsky J, Lipner R. Ann Intern Med. 2018 Jun 12. [Epub ahead of print] (6-17-18)

Effects on Abstinence of Nicotine Patch Treatment Before Quitting Smoking: Parallel, Two Arm, Pragmatic Randomised Trial. The preloading investigators. BMJ. 2018 Jun 13;361:k2164. (6-15-18)

Associations Between American Board of Internal Medicine Maintenance of Certification Status and Performance on a Set of Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set Process Measures. Gray B, Vandergrift J, Landon B, Reschovsky J, Lipner R. Ann Intern Med. 2018. June 11, 2018. [Epub ahead of print] (6-12-18)

Impact of Primary Care Intensive Management on High-Risk Veterans' Costs and Utilization: A Randomized Quality Improvement Trial. Yoon J, Chang E, Rubenstein LV, Park A, Zulman DM, Stockdale S, Ong MK, Atkins D, Schectman G, Asch SM. Ann Intern Med. 2018 Jun 5. [Epub ahead of print] (6-7-18)

Effect of Increased Inpatient Attending Physician Supervision on Medical Errors, Patient Safety, and Resident Education: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Finn KM, Metlay JP, Chang Y, Nagarur A, Yang S, Landrigan CP, Iyasere C.JAMA Intern Med. 2018 Jun 4 [Epub ahead of print]. (6-6-18)

Adjuvant Chemotherapy Guided by a 21-Gene Expression Assay in Breast Cancer. Sparano JA, Gray RJ, Makower DF, et al. N Engl J Med. 2018; June 3. (6-4-18)

Effect of Use of a Bougie vs Endotracheal Tube and Stylet on First-Attempt Intubation Success Among Patients with Difficult Airways Undergoing Emergency Intubation: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Driver BE, Prekker ME, Klein LR, Reardon RF, Miner JR, Fagerstrom ET, Cleghorn MR, McGill JW, Cole JB. JAMA. 2018 May 16. (6-1-18)

Association of Pharmaceutical Industry Marketing of Opioid Products to Physicians With Subsequent Opioid Prescribing. Hadland SE, Cerdá M, Li Y, Krieger MS, Marshall BDL. JAMA Int Med 2018; May 14. [Epub ahead of print] (5-14-18)

Low-Dose CT for the Diagnosis of Pneumonia in Elderly Patients: A Prospective, Interventional Cohort Study. Prendki V, Scheffler M, Huttner B, et al. Eur Respir J. 2018 Apr 12. pii: 1702375. [Epub ahead of print] (5-4-18)

Nivolumab plus Ipilimumab in Lung Cancer with a High Tumor Mutational Burden. Hellmann MD, Ciuleanu TE, Pluzanski A, et al. N Engl J Med. 2018 Apr 16 [Epub ahead of print] (4-17-18)

Four-gene Pan-African Blood Signature Predicts Progression to Tuberculosis. Suliman S, Thompson E, Sutherland J, et al. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2018 Apr 6. [Epub ahead of print] (4-10-18)

A Time-Motion Study of Primary Care Physicians' Work in the Electronic Health Record Era. Young RA, Burge SK, Kumar KA, Wilson JM, Ortiz DF. Fam Med. 2018 Feb;50(2):91-9. (3-28-18)

Impact of Temporary Methotrexate Discontinuation for 2 Weeks on Immunogenicity of Seasonal Influenza Vaccination in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Randomised Clinical Trial. Park JK, Lee YJ, Shin K, Ha YJ, et al.  Ann Rheum Dis. 2018 Mar 23. pii: annrheumdis-2018-213222. (3-27-18)

Quantifying Population-Level Health Benefits and Harms of E-Cigarette Use in the United States. Soneji SS, Sung HY, Primack BA, Pierce JP, Sargent JD. PLoS One. 2018 Mar 14;13(3):e0193328. (3-15-18)

Effect of opioid vs nonopioid medications on pain-related function in patients with chronic back pain or hip or knee osteoarthritis pain: The SPACE randomized clinical trial. Krebs EE, Gravely A, Nugent S, et al. JAMA. 2018 Mar 6;319(9):872-82. (3-6-18)

Adolescent Exposure to Toxic Volatile Organic Chemicals from E-Cigarettes. Rubinstein ML, Delucchi K, Benowitz NL, et al. Pediatrics. 2018;141(4):e20173557. (3/5/18)

Electronic Cigarette Use and Progression from Experimentation to Established Smoking. Chaffee BW, Watkins SL, Glantz SA. Pediatrics. 2018;141(4):e20173594. (3/5/18)

Association of Cigarette, Cigar, and Pipe Use With Mortality Risk in the US Population. Christensen CH, Rostron B, Cosgrove C, et al. Association of Cigarette, Cigar, and Pipe Use With Mortality Risk in the US Population. JAMA Intern Med. 2018 Feb 19. [Epub ahead of print] (2-22-18)

Cleaning at Home and at Work in Relation to Lung Function Decline and Airway Obstruction. Svanes Ø, Bertelsen RJ, Lygre SH, et al.  Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2018 Feb 16. [Epub ahead of print] (2-20-18)

Long-term Use of Inhaled Corticosteroids in COPD and the Risk of Fracture. Gonzalez AV, Coulombe J, Ernst P, Suissa S. Chest. 2018;153(2):321-8. (2-15-18)

Prevention of Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia: The Multimodal Approach of the Spanish ICU “Pneumonia Zero” Program.  Álvarez-Lerma F, Palomar-Martínez M, Sánchez-García M, et al. Crit Care Med 2018;46:181-8. (2-8-18) 

Progressive Massive Fibrosis in Coal Miners From 3 Clinics in Virginia. Blackley DJ, Reynolds LE, Short C, Carson R, Storey,E, Halldin,CN, Laney AS. JAMA 2018;319(5):50-1. (2-6-18)

Low cigarette consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: meta-analysis of 141 cohort studies in 55 study reports. Hackshaw A,  Morris JK, Boniface S, Tang JL, Milenković D. BMJ. 2018;360:j5855. (1-27-18)

Comparison of observed harms and expected mortality benefit for persons in the veterans health affairs lung cancer screening demonstration project. Caverly TJ, Fagerlin A, Wiener RS, Slatore CG, Tanner NT, Yun S, Hayward R. JAMA Intern Med. 2018 Jan 22. [Epub ahead of print] (1-22-18)

Risk of thromboembolism in cisplatin versus carboplatin-treated patients with lung cancer. Kim ES, Baran AM, Mondo EL, et al. PLoS One. 2017 Dec 11;12(12):e0189410. (1-8-18)

Association of cardiovascular risk with inhaled long-acting bronchodilators in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A nested case-control study. Wang MT, Liou JT, Lin CW, Tsai CL, Wang YH, Hsu YJ, Lai JH. JAMA Intern Med. 2018 Jan 2. [Epub ahead of print] (1-5-18)

Previously selected articles that were thought important but had received little attention were summarized under our “News” section. However, the work of publication (review, DOAJ, doi, social media, etc.) has become too arduous to do justice to these publications. Therefore, we are beginning a new section titled “News from Other Journals” where selected articles are briefly summarized. Important articles that are published in journals commonly read by pulmonologists, intensivists or sleep physicians will not necessarily be reviewed but articles that are in general medicine journals or lower impact journals that might be of interest to the practicing physician are selected. As always, there will be links to the article via CrossRef and/or PubMed.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday
Apr152019

Early Use of Norepinephrine in Septic Shock Resuscitation (CENSER): A Randomized Trial

Permpikul C, Tongyoo S, Viarasilpa T, Trainarongsakul T, Chakorn T, Udompanturak S. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2019 Feb 1. [Epub ahead of print] [CrossRef][PubMed]

A vocal minority of researchers have advised against delaying vasopressors in septic shock, arguing that norepinephrine, not intravenous fluid, as the most effective initial treatment to correct the loss of vascular tone ("vasoplegia") from septic shock. The authors conducted a Phase II trial evaluating the hypothesis that early low-dose norepinephrine in adults sepsis with hypotension increases shock control by six hours compared with standard care. This single-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted at Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand and enrolled 310 adults diagnosed with sepsis with hypotension. The patients were randomly divided into two groups: early norepinephrine (n=155) and standard treatment (n=155). The primary outcome was shock control rate (defined as achievement of mean arterial blood pressure >65mmHg, with urine flow >0.5mL/kg/h for 2 consecutive hours, or decreased serum lactate >10% from baseline) by 6 hours after diagnosis. The patients in both groups were well matched in background characteristics and disease severity. Median time from emergency room arrival to norepinephrine administration was significantly shorter in early norepinephrine group (93 vs.192 min; P<0.001). Shock control rate by 6 hours was significantly higher in early norepinephrine group (118/155 [76.1%] vs.75/155 [48.4%]; P<0.001). 28-day mortality was not different between groups: 24/155 (15.5%) in the early norepinephrine group versus 34/155 (21.9%) in the standard treatment group (P=0.15). The early norepinephrine group was associated with lower incidences of cardiogenic pulmonary edema (22/155 [14.4%] vs. 43/155 [27.7%]; P=0.004) and new-onset arrhythmia (17/155 [11%] vs. 31/155 [20%]; P=0.03). The authors conclude that early norepinephrine was significantly associated with increased shock control by 6 hours. A much larger U.S-based trial testing early vasopressors in septic shock (CLOVERS) is currently recruiting, with plans to enroll up to 2,300 patients and an expected completion date of June 2021.

Friday
Apr122019

Association of Positive Airway Pressure Prescription with Mortality in Patients with Obesity and Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea: The Sleep Heart Health Study

Lisan Q, Van Sloten T, Marques Vidal P, Haba Rubio J, Heinzer R, Empana JP. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019 Apr 11. [Epub ahead of print] [CrossRef] [PubMed]

The association of positive airway pressure (PAP) with reduced mortality in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) remains uncertain. This European, NIH-funded, multicenter, population-based cohort study evaluated data from the Sleep Heart Health Study (SHHS), a long-term observational cohort study that included participants between 1995 and 1998, with a mean follow-up of 11.1 years. Analyses were performed in September 2018. Within the SHHS, we compared patients with obesity and severe OSA with (n = 81) and without (n = 311) prescription of PAP therapy, after matching patients from each group by age, sex, and apnea-hypopnea index. Of 392 study participants, 316 (80.6%) were men, and mean (SD) age was 63.1 (11.0) years. Ninety-six deaths occurred; 12 among the prescribed-PAP group and 84 among the nonprescribed-PAP group, yielding crude incidence rates of 12.8 vs 24.7 deaths per 1000 person-years. In Cox multivariate analysis, the hazard ratio (HR) of all-cause mortality for prescribed PAP therapy was 0.38 (95% CI, 0.18-0.81). After propensity matching, the HR of all-cause mortality for prescribed PAP therapy was 0.58 (95% CI, 0.35-0.96). According to survival curves, the difference in mortality appears 6 to 7 years after initiation of PAP therapy. The authors concluded that positive airway pressure prescription is associated with reduced all-cause mortality, and this association appears several years after PAP initiation. If replicated, these findings may have strong clinical implications.

Friday
Apr122019

Effect of Glucose Improvement on Spirometric Maneuvers in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: The Sweet Breath Study

Gutiérrez-Carrasquilla L, Sánchez E, Barbé F, et al. Diabetes Care. 2019 Apr;42(4):617-24. [CrossRef] [PubMed]

 The authors conducted a prospective interventional study to determine if an improvement in glycemic control affects pulmonary function. Sixty patients with type 2 diabetes and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) <90% of predicted were studied. Spirometry was performed at baseline and after a 3-month period in which antidiabetic therapy was intensified. Those with an HbA1c reduction of >0.5% were considered to be good responders (n = 35). Good responders exhibited a significant improvement in spirometric values between baseline and the end of the study (forced vital capacity [FVC]: 78.5 + 12.6% vs. 83.3 + 14.7%, P = 0.029]; FEV1: 75.6 + 15.3% vs. 80.9 + 15.4%, P = 0.010; and peak expiratory flow [PEF]: 80.4 6 21.6% vs. 89.2 6 21.0%, P = 0.007). However, no changes were observed in the group of nonresponders when the same parameters were evaluated (P = 0.586, P = 0.987, and P = 0.413, respectively). Stepwise multivariate regression analysis showed that the absolute change in HbA1c independently predicted increased FEV1 (R2 = 0.175) and PEF (R2 = 0.323). In contrast, the known duration of type 2 diabetes, but not the amelioration of HbA1c, was related to changes in forced expiratory flow between 25% and 75% of the FVC. In type 2 diabetes, spirometric measurements reflecting central airway obstruction and explosive muscle strength exhibit significant amelioration after a short improvement in glycemic control. The reason for the nonsignificant improvement in spirometry with improved type 2 diabetes control was unclear.  

Tuesday
Mar262019

Whole-Genome Sequencing of Pharmacogenetic Drug Response in Racially Diverse Children with Asthma

Mak ACY, White MJ, Eckalbar WL, et al. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2018 Jun 15;197(12):1552-64. [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Albuterol, a bronchodilator medication, is the first-line therapy for asthma worldwide. However, there are significant racial/ethnic differences in albuterol drug response. The authors performed whole-genome sequencing pharmacogenetics study from 1,441 children with asthma to identify genetic association with bronchodilator response (BDR). They identified population-specific and shared genetic variants associated with BDR, including genome-wide significant (P < 3.53 × 10−7) and suggestive (P < 7.06 × 10−6) loci near genes previously associated with lung capacity (DNAH5), immunity (NFKB1 and PLCB1), and β-adrenergic signaling (ADAMTS3 and COX18). Functional analyses of the BDR-associated SNP in NFKB1 revealed potential regulatory function in bronchial smooth muscle cells. The SNP is also an expression quantitative trait locus for a neighboring gene, SLC39A8. This study demonstrates that a set of genetic mutations found mostly in children of African-American or Puerto Rican descent may make them less likely to respond to albuterol. This research suggests that a genetic test could be developed to help identify patients who are resistant to albuterol and could benefit from alternative treatments.

Thursday
Mar072019

Patient Safety Outcomes under Flexible and Standard Resident Duty-Hour Rules and Sleep and Alertness in a Duty-Hour Flexibility Trial in Internal Medicine

Silber JH, Bellini LM, Shea JA, et al. N Engl J Med 2019; 380:905-14. [CrossRef]

Basner M, Asch DA, Shea JA, et al. N Engl J Med 2019; 380:915-23. [CrossRef] [PubMed]

In 2003 the American Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) limited resident work-hour limits. In 2011 the ACGME enacted even more stringent requirements. However, waivers were granted allowing some flexibility in shift length, as well as time off between shifts; caps on weekly hours worked, total days off, and the frequency of overnight call were maintained. Some argued that there was a paucity of evidence to support these changes and some new risks, such as those associated with increased handoffs of care or inadequate educational exposure. The Arizona Thoracic Society was amongst those who urged the ACGME to conduct randomized trials. In today’s edition of the New England Journal the results of two of these trials are reported.

The first report used Medicare claims data to assess patient outcomes. Mortality, readmissions and payments did not differ in programs with flexible hours worked standard hours. The second study found that sleep duration also did not differ in flexible programs as compared with standard programs, with interns in both groups averaging approximately 7 hours of sleep per night. Essentially, interns made up for lost sleep on extended shifts by sleeping more during time off.

A thoughtful editorial by Rosenbaum and Lamas summarizes the data and points out that there may be some downsides to the resident hour restrictions including increased handoffs of care or inadequate educational exposure.