Team Hospitalist delivers key takeaways from the annual meeting’s clinical tracks
Most would agree that hospitalists have seen more thrombosis in children over the past decade, and although it isn’t known why, it is likely due to multifactorial causes, said Leslie Raffini, MD, MSCE, director of the Hemostasis and Thrombosis Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Central venous catheters remain a significant risk factor for venous thromboembolism (VTE), and our knowledge of inherited risk factors has expanded in recent years. While it is likely that inherited risk factors increase the risk of thrombosis in children, the question of testing has engendered debate, due in large part to the lack of clear benefit of that information in the majority of situations.
“The decision to test should be made on an individual basis, after counseling,” said Dr. Raffini. “Results should be interpreted by an experienced physician with adolescent females most likely to benefit from the testing. There are no recommendations for what to do with pediatric patients” despite the fact that this is an important cause of morbidity in high-risk patients.
Dr. Raffini described efforts at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia that led to a VTE prophylaxis guideline. Successful implementation of the guideline required significant multidisciplinary collaboration, and an analysis of outcomes is under way.
The evidence-based, rapid-fire presentation by Catherine Curley, MD, of MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland on the brand-new antithrombotic therapy from the ACCP took attendees through key aspects of the new guidelines. Dr. Curley used the more controversial topics as examples: treatment of submassive PE, use of catheter-directed thrombolysis in patients with acute DVT, recommended VTE prophylaxis. She even threw in some anatomy lessons for clinicians.
Bradley Rosen, MD, MBA, FHM, of Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Sally Wang, MD, FHM, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s in Boston, and Joshua Lenchus, DO, RPh, SFHM, of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine led a motivated group of hospitalists through hands-on training in bedside invasive procedures during two half-day pre-course sessions at HM12. With emphasis on ultrasound guidance and evidence-based practices, the faculty provided the sold-out audience with lively discussions and small-group experiential education in central venous catheter placement, paracentesis, thoracentsis, lumbar puncture (LP), and other bedside procedures.
Although bedside procedures have long been a staple of internal-medicine practice, the field of procedural medicine has increasingly become the domain of hospitalists, many of whom call themselves proceduralists. Nearly all procedures can be aided by ultrasound guidance, and for many procedures, ultrasound guidance is the standard of care.
Daniel Brotman, MD, FACP, FHM, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore addressed questions all hospitalists wonder about: Is warfarin still the best anticoagulant in atrial fibrillation (afib)?; Should DVT prevention extend beyond hospitalization?; When should anticoagulation be started in stroke patients with afib?
Warfarin, Dr. Brotman explained, has many disadvantages, and new oral anticoagulants (e.g. dabigatran, apixaban, rivaoxaban) offer many advantages with lower side-effect profiles. All of the new agents appear to have either better efficacy or trend toward better efficacy; none require monitoring, and all have lower rates of ICH.
Prices are higher for new agents but are competitive with other drugs currently on the market for other diseases. Use dabigatran with caution in patients with renal failure, and realize that there is no antidote for any of these drugs. Dabigatran is acidic and causes gastrointestinal (GI) upset, thus has a higher rate of GI bleeding. Stop any of these five days prior to planned procedures, longer if patients are at high risk of bleeding.
Evidence from RCTs in hospitalized surgical patients suggests that VTE prophylaxis should be continued in patients undergoing hip surgery and surgery for abdominal or pelvic malignancy. Patients admitted for acute medical illness do not benefit from VTE prophylaxis beyond acute hospitalization, even if immobilized, unless they have solid tumors with additional risk factors (hormone use, prior VTE, etc.) and are at low risk for bleeding. Chronically immobilized patients do not benefit from VTE prophylaxis beyond the acute hospitalization.
Oral anticoagulants can be started within one to two weeks of stroke onset. The larger the stroke, the greater the risk of hemorrhagic transformation with early anticoagulation, so the smaller the stroke, the safer it is to start early. VTE prophylaxis is important regardless.
Facing a packed house in the main auditorium, Kevin O’Leary, MD, of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago and Efren Manjarrez, MD, from the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine synthesized dozens of research articles that are clinically relevant to hospitalists everywhere. “We looked for articles that would change or modify your current practice,” Dr. O’Leary said.
The etiologic agents for complicated pneumonias and osteomyelitis have changed recently, according to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s Derek Williams, MD, MPH, and C. Buddy Creech, MD, MPH, who assisted pediatric hospitalists in updated diagnosis and intervention strategies.
The increase in complicated pneumonias and empyemas is mostly due to the increase in Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 19a. After introduction of the PCV-7 vaccine, incidence of serotype 19a infections increased to 98% of infections. Serotype 19a is now included in the PCV-13 vaccine, approved by the FDA in 2011. There are multiple interventions available for empyemas, including chest tube alone, chest tube with fibrinolysis, and VATS. Current research is being done to assess efficacy for these measures.
Osteomyelitis might be caused by direct inoculation, spread from local infection, or hematogenous spread. S. aureus is a causative agent in 80% to 90% of patients. MRSA infection has a more complicated course. Based on patient response and inflammatory markers, a short course of intravenous antibiotics followed by oral antibiotics might be appropriate.
The Hospitalist newsmagazine reports on issues and trends in hospital medicine. The Hospitalist reaches more than 25,000 hospitalists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, residents, and medical administrators interested in the practice and business of hospital medicine.