High flow O2 and mortality in COPD

An Australian randomised controlled trial of pre-hospital oxygen therapy in COPD patients compared titrated oxygen therapy with high flow oxygen. The primary outcome was prehospital and in-hospital mortality.

Titrated oxygen treatment was delivered by nasal prongs to achieve arterial oxygen saturations between 88% and 92%, with concurrent bronchodilator treatment administered by a nebuliser driven by compressed air. High flow oxygen was 8-10 l/min administered by a non-rebreather face mask, with bronchodilators delivered by nebulisation with oxygen at flows of 6-8 l/min.
Titrated oxygen treatment significantly reduced mortality, hypercapnia, and respiratory acidosis compared with high flow oxygen in acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The authors claim: ‘For high flow oxygen treatment in patients with confirmed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the prehospital setting, the number needed to harm was 14; that is, for every 14 patients who are given high flow oxygen, one will die.

The authors did not report data on the in-hospital management of the patients.

Effect of high flow oxygen on mortality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients in prehospital setting: randomised controlled trial
BMJ. 2010 Oct 18;341:c5462

Rocuronium reusable after sugammadex

Sugammadex currently has no role in my own emergency / critical care practice. However a helpful paper informs us that patients whose rocuronium-induced neuromuscular blockade had been reversed by sugammadex may be effectively re-paralysed by a second high dose (1.2 mg/kg) of rocuronium. Onset was slower and duration shorter if the second dose of rocuronium was given within 25 minutes of the sugammadex.

The study was done with sixteen volunteers and the initial dose of roc was only 0.6 mg/kg – less than that used for rapid sequence intubation by many emergency & critical care docs.

When repeat dose roc was given five minutes after sugammadex (n=6), mean (SD) onset time maximal block was 3.06 (0.97) min; range, 1.92–4.72 min. For repeat dose time points ≥25 min after sugammadex (n=5), mean onset was faster (1.73 min) than for repeat doses <25 min (3.09 min) after sugammadex. The duration of block ranged from 17.7 min (rocuronium 5 min after sugammadex) to 46 min (repeat dose at 45 min) with mean durations of 24.8 min for repeat dosing <25 min vs 38.2 min for repeat doses ≥25 min.

Repeat dosing of rocuronium 1.2 mg kg−1 after reversal of neuromuscular block by sugammadex 4.0 mg kg−1 in anaesthetized healthy volunteers: a modelling-based pilot study
Br J Anaesth. 2010 Oct;105(4):487-92