A multicentre double blind trial in 800 infants with bronchiolitis aged between 6 weeks and 12 months compared placebo with nebulised adrenaline, oral dexamethasone, or both. Only the combination led to a decrease in the primary endpoint of reduced hospital admission up to 7 days after enrollment, with an absolute risk reduction of 9% (from 26 to 17%). They also found an apparent benefit from combined therapy on their secondary outcomes: infants in the combined treatment group were discharged earlier from medical care and resumed quiet breathing and normal feeding sooner than did those in the placebo group. When the analysis was adjusted for multiple comparisons, the apparent benefit did not reach statistical significance, leading the authors to recommend further study.
Epinephrine and Dexamethasone in Children with Bronchiolitis
N Engl J Med. 2009 May 14;360(20):2079-89
Use of non-invasive ventilation to wean critically ill adults off invasive ventilation: meta-analysis and systematic review
The growing evidence base in support of liberating patients from invasive mechanical ventilation by means of non-invasive weaning is summarised in this systematic review of 12 randomised trials. Non-invasive weaning was associated with decreased mortality, ventilator associated pneumonia, length of stay in intensive care and hospital, total duration of mechanical ventilation, and duration of invasive ventilation. It should be noted that most of the trials exclusively enrolled patients with exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; benefits in other types of ventilated patients remain to be firmly proven.
BMJ. 2009 May 21;338:b157
A nurse-based pre-hospital care system in Holland describes its experience with pre-hospital CPAP for acute cardiogenic pulmonary oedema. It appears that the simple Boussignac apparatus is straightforward to apply in the ambulance environment. Arguments about lack of outcome studies aside, if it’s necessary to undertake an interhospital transfer of a patient established on CPAP then this might be a relatively straightforward means of doing so.