In This Edition
Literature At A Glance
A guide to this month’s studies
- Perioperative SSRI use associated with adverse surgical outcomes
- Copper-surfaced rooms reduce health-care-acquired infections
- Glucocorticoid therapy for five days not inferior to 14 days for COPD exacerbation
- Patient preference for participation in medical decision-making may be associated with increased resource utilization
- Early parenteral nutrition in critically ill adults does not significantly affect mortality or infection rates
- Aggressive fluid and sodium restriction in acute decompensated heart failure did not improve outcomes
- Lower rate of pacemaker, defibrillator device-pocket hematoma without anticoagulation interruption
- Prophylactic penicillin decreased risk of recurrent leg cellulitis
- Universal ICU decolonization reduced rates of mrsa clinical isolates and bloodstream infection
- Intensive blood-pressure lowering in intracerebral hemorrhage did not reduce death or severe disability
Perioperative SSRI Use Associated with Adverse Surgical Outcomes
Clinical question: Does selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) use during hospitalization for surgery increase the risk of adverse perioperative outcomes?
Background: SSRIs commonly are prescribed but are associated with a small but higher risk for hemorrhage, arrhythmia, and sudden death. Single-site studies have described an association between SSRIs and adverse perioperative outcomes, but larger studies utilizing a broad range of surgical cases are lacking.
Study design: Retrospective cohort study.
Setting: Three hundred hospitals concentrated in the Southern U.S.
Synopsis: Using the “Perspective” database, this study examined 530,416 patients age >18 years undergoing major elective surgery, 72,540 (13.7%) of whom received an SSRI. Regression analysis showed patients receiving an SSRI had higher odds of mortality (OR 1.2, 95% CI [1.07-1.36]), higher odds of 30-day readmission (OR 1.22 [1.18-1.26]), and higher odds for bleeding (1.09 [1.04-1.15]). When the analysis was restricted to only patients with a diagnosis of depression, a higher risk of bleeding and readmission persisted.
This study reaffirms an association but does not establish a causal relationship between SSRI use and adverse perioperative outcomes. SSRI use may be a surrogate for other factors, including more severe mood disorders, poorer functional status, or chronic pain. Additionally, no information has been provided as to optimal duration of withholding SSRIs preoperatively. As such, it may be premature for hospitalists involved in perioperative care to modify recommendations based on this study.
Bottom line: Perioperative SSRI use is associated with an increased risk of bleeding and 30-day readmission.
Citation: Auerbach AD, Vittinghoff E, Maselli J, et al. Perioperative use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and risks for adverse outcomes of surgery. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(12):1075-1081.
Copper-Surfaced Rooms Reduce Health-Care-Acquired Infections
Clinical question: Can copper alloy surfaces in ICU rooms lower rates of health-care-acquired infections (HAIs)?
Background: Environmental contamination is a potential source of HAIs. Copper has intrinsic broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties. This study tests the efficacy copper-surfaced items in hospital rooms have in preventing HAIs.
Study design: Randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Medical ICUs at Medical University of South Carolina and Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Charleston, and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Synopsis: Six hundred fifty ICU patients were randomized to receive care either in rooms with copper surfacing on commonly handled patient care objects or in traditional rooms. Patients were screened for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) on admission. The proportion of patients that developed either an HAI and/or MRSA or VRE colonization was significantly lower among patients in rooms with the copper-surfaced items (0.071 vs. 0.128; P=0.02). The rate of HAIs alone was also lower in the rooms with the copper (0.034 vs. 0.081; P=0.013).
A potential limitation to this study is that the rooms with copper items appeared different than traditional rooms, and therefore might have changed the behavior of health-care workers. Further, it is unclear how much copper surfacing would be necessary on general wards, where patients are more mobile. Still, HAIs are associated with longer lengths of stay and higher 30-day readmission rates, so these encouraging results warrant additional investigation into antimicrobial copper-alloy surfaces.