In This Edition
Literature At A Glance
A guide to this month’s studies
- Value of routine preoperative urine screening assessed
- Impact of hospitalist-led intermediate care on patient survival
- Risks of blood transfusion to treat upper GI bleeding
- Low-dose steroids and increased mortality in sepsis
- Reduced length of stay and hospital readmission rates
- Restrictive blood transfusion strategies better for acute myocardial infarction
- Trends in GI illnesses and their associated costs
- Apixaban as a stand-alone anticoagulant in patients with VTE
- Guidelines for upper endoscopy use in gastroesophageal reflux disease
Avoid Preoperative Urine Culture in Nonurologic Surgical Procedures
Clinical question: Is routine preoperative urine screening beneficial?
Background: The value of preoperative urine screening is unproven, except before urologic procedures. Furthermore, treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria may lead to adverse events, including diarrhea, allergic reactions, and Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).
Study design: Retrospective chart review.
Setting: Patients who underwent cardiothoracic, orthopedic, and vascular surgeries at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center in 2010.
Synopsis: A total of 1,934 procedures were performed on 1,699 patients, most of which were orthopedics procedures (1,291 in 1,115 patients). A urine culture was obtained before 25% of procedures with significant variation by service (cardiothoracic, 85%; vascular, 48%; orthopedic, 4%). Bacteriuria was detected in 11% of urine cultures (54 of 489), but antimicrobial drugs were dispensed to just 16 patients.
To identify correlates of preoperative urine culture use, patients with and without urine cultures were compared. The rate of surgical-site infection was similar for both groups. Postoperative UTI was more frequent among patients with bacteriuria. Rates of diarrhea, allergy, and CDI did not differ. Paradoxically, patients treated for preoperative UTI were more likely to develop surgical-site infections (45% vs. 14%; P=0.03). Postoperative UTI was also more frequent among treated patients versus untreated patients (18% vs. 7%).
Bottom line: This is the largest study to assess outcomes for routine preoperative urine cultures. These findings demonstrate that preoperative screening for, and treatment of, asymptomatic bacteriuria should be avoided in patients undergoing nonurologic surgical procedures.
Citation: Drekonja DM, Zarmbinski B, Johnson JR. Preoperative urine culture at a veterans affairs medical center. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(1):71-72.
Intermediate Care Staffed by Hospitalists: Impact on Mortality, Comanagement, and Teaching
Clinical question: Does a hospitalist-led intermediate-care unit improve patient survival?
Background: Hospitalized patients are complex, and institutions often have to balance matching patient acuity to either an ICU or a regular ward. However, an intermediate-care setting might be an attractive strategy to provide rational care according to patient needs while expanding comanagement and teaching services.
Study design: Retrospective observational study.
Setting: Intermediate-care unit of a single academic hospital.
Synopsis: In-hospital mortality in this intermediate-care unit was 20.6%, whereas the expected mortality was 23.2% based on Simplified Acute Physiology Score II (SAPS II) score. The correlation between SAPS II predicted and observed death rates was accurate and statistically significant (P<0.001). Comanagement was performed with several medical and surgical teams, with an increase in perioperative comanagement of 22.7% (P=0.014). The number of training residents in the intermediate-care unit increased to 30.4% from 4.3% (P=0.002).
Bottom line: An intermediate-care unit led by hospitalists showed encouraging results in patient mortality, as well as comanagement and teaching opportunities.
Citation: Lucena JF, Alegre F, Rodil R, et al. Results of a retrospective observational study of intermediate care staffed by hospitalists: impact on mortality, co-management, and teaching. J Hosp Med. 2012;7(5):411-415.
Blood Transfusion Associated with Increased Risk of Rebleeding in Patients with Nonvariceal Upper GI Bleeding
Clinical question: Does more liberal use of blood transfusions in the setting of nonvariceal upper GI bleeding result in patient harm?