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2.  Thromboprophylaxis using combined intermittent pneumatic compression and pharmacologic prophylaxis versus pharmacologic prophylaxis alone in critically ill patients: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2016;17:390.
Background
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) remains a common problem in critically ill patients. Pharmacologic prophylaxis is currently the standard of care based on high-level evidence from randomized controlled trials. However, limited evidence exists regarding the effectiveness of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) devices. The Pneumatic compREssion for preventing VENous Thromboembolism (PREVENT trial) aims to determine whether the adjunct use of IPC with pharmacologic prophylaxis compared to pharmacologic prophylaxis alone in critically ill patients reduces the risk of VTE.
Methods/Design
The PREVENT trial is a multicenter randomized controlled trial, which will recruit 2000 critically ill patients from over 20 hospitals in three countries. The primary outcome is the incidence of proximal lower extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT) within 28 days after randomization. Radiologists interpreting the scans are blinded to intervention allocation, whereas the patients and caregivers are unblinded. The trial has 80 % power to detect a 3 % absolute risk reduction in proximal DVT from 7 to 4 %.
Discussion
The first patient was enrolled in July 2014. As of May 2015, a total of 650 patients have been enrolled from 13 centers in Saudi Arabia, Canada and Australia. The first interim analysis is anticipated in July 2016. We expect to complete recruitment by 2018.
Trial registration
Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT02040103 (registered on 3 November 2013).
Current controlled trials: ISRCTN44653506 (registered on 30 October 2013).
doi:10.1186/s13063-016-1520-0
PMCID: PMC4972959  PMID: 27488380
Deep vein thrombosis; Pulmonary embolism; Intermittent pneumatic compression; Adjunct mechanical and pharmacologic DVT prophylaxis; Critically ill patients
3.  Early mobilization of critically ill adults: a survey of knowledge, perceptions and practices of Canadian physicians and physiotherapists 
CMAJ Open  2016;4(3):E448-E454.
Background:
The promotion of early mobilization following critical illness is tempered by national reports of patient and institutional barriers to this approach. We carried out a survey to assess current knowledge, perceptions and practices of Canadian physicians and physiotherapists with respect to acquired weakness and early mobilization in adults in the intensive care unit (ICU).
Methods:
We conducted a cross-sectional, self-administered postal survey among critical care physicians and physiotherapists in all 46 academic ICUs in Canada in 2011-2012. To identify all physicians and physiotherapists working in the ICUs, we contacted division heads and senior physiotherapists by telephone or email. We designed, tested and administered a questionnaire with the following domains: knowledge of ICU-acquired weakness and early mobilization; personal views of, perceived barriers to and adequacy of technical skills for early mobilization; assessments for initiation of early mobilization and permissible activity levels by patient physiologic characteristics, diagnoses and therapies; staffing issues; and sedation practices.
Results:
The overall response rate was 71.3% (311/436); it was 64.2% (194/302) among physicians and 87.3% (117/134) among physiotherapists. A total of 214 respondents (68.8%) underestimated the incidence of ICU-acquired weakness in the general medical-surgical ICU population, and 186 (59.8%) stated they had insufficient knowledge or skills to mobilize patients receiving mechanical ventilation. Excessive sedation, medical instability, limited staffing, safety concerns, insufficient guidelines and insufficient equipment were common perceived barriers to early mobilization.
Interpretation:
Physicians and physiotherapists in the ICU underestimated the incidence of ICU-acquired weakness and felt inadequately trained to mobilize patients receiving mechanical ventilation. We identified multiple modifiable barriers to early mobilization at the institutional, health care provider and patient levels that need to be addressed when designing mobilization programs for critically ill adults.
doi:10.9778/cmajo.20160021
PMCID: PMC5047804  PMID: 27730109
4.  Noninvasive ventilation practice patterns for acute respiratory failure in Canadian tertiary care centres: A descriptive analysis 
Given the similar physiological benefits and its practical advantages over mechanical invasive ventilation, noninvasive ventilation (NIV) has increasingly been implemented and used in a wide variety of clinical and health care settings worldwide. However, a recent Canadian guideline highlighted the varying strength of evidence to support to the use of NIV and, furthermore, that firm guidelines for NIV could not be proposed for selected patient groups. Accordingly, this multicentre, prospective study evaluated NIV utilization and practice variation in participating Canadian tertiary care centres.
BACKGROUND:
The extent of noninvasive ventilation (NIV) use for patients with acute respiratory failure in Canadian hospitals, indications for use and associated outcomes are unknown.
OBJECTIVE:
To describe NIV practice variation in the acute setting.
METHODS:
A prospective observational study involving 11 Canadian tertiary care centres was performed. Data regarding NIV indication, mode and outcomes were collected for all adults (>16 years of age) treated with NIV for acute respiratory failure during a four-week period (between February and August 2011). Logistic regression with site as a random effect was used to examine the association between preselected predictors and mortality or intubation.
RESULTS:
A total of 330 patients (mean [± SD] 30±12 per centre) were included. The most common indications for NIV initiation were pulmonary edema (104 [31.5%]) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (99 [30.0%]). Significant differences in indications for NIV use across sites, specialty of ordering physician and location of NIV initiation were noted. Although intubation rates were not statistically different among sites (range 10.3% to 45.4%), mortality varied significantly (range 6.7% to 54.5%; P=0.006). In multivariate analysis, the most significant independent predictor of avoiding intubation was do-not-resuscitate status (OR 0.11 [95% CI 0.03 to 0.37]).
CONCLUSION:
Significant variability existed in NIV use and associated outcomes among Canadian tertiary care centres. Assignment of do-not-resuscitate status prevented intubation.
PMCID: PMC4676396  PMID: 26469155
Acute respiratory failure; Noninvasive ventilation; Practice variation
6.  The influence of corticosteroid treatment on the outcome of influenza A(H1N1pdm09)-related critical illness 
Critical Care  2016;20:75.
Background
Patients with 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1pdm09)-related critical illness were frequently treated with systemic corticosteroids. While observational studies have reported significant corticosteroid-associated mortality after adjusting for baseline differences in patients treated with corticosteroids or not, corticosteroids have remained a common treatment in subsequent influenza outbreaks, including avian influenza A(H7N9). Our objective was to describe the use of corticosteroids in these patients and investigate predictors of steroid prescription and clinical outcomes, adjusting for both baseline and time-dependent factors.
Methods
In an observational cohort study of adults with H1N1pdm09-related critical illness from 51 Canadian ICUs, we investigated predictors of steroid administration and outcomes of patients who received and those who did not receive corticosteroids. We adjusted for potential baseline confounding using multivariate logistic regression and propensity score analysis and adjusted for potential time-dependent confounding using marginal structural models.
Results
Among 607 patients, corticosteroids were administered to 280 patients (46.1 %) at a median daily dose of 227 (interquartile range, 154–443) mg of hydrocortisone equivalents for a median of 7.0 (4.0–13.0) days. Compared with patients who did not receive corticosteroids, patients who received corticosteroids had higher hospital crude mortality (25.5 % vs 16.4 %, p = 0.007) and fewer ventilator-free days at 28 days (12.5 ± 10.7 vs 15.7 ± 10.1, p < 0.001). The odds ratio association between corticosteroid use and hospital mortality decreased from 1.85 (95 % confidence interval 1.12–3.04, p = 0.02) with multivariate logistic regression, to 1.71 (1.05–2.78, p = 0.03) after adjustment for propensity score to receive corticosteroids, to 1.52 (0.90–2.58, p = 0.12) after case-matching on propensity score, and to 0.96 (0.28–3.28, p = 0.95) using marginal structural modeling to adjust for time-dependent between-group differences.
Conclusions
Corticosteroids were commonly prescribed for H1N1pdm09-related critical illness. Adjusting for only baseline between-group differences suggested a significant increased risk of death associated with corticosteroids. However, after adjusting for time-dependent differences, we found no significant association between corticosteroids and mortality. These findings highlight the challenges and importance in adjusting for baseline and time-dependent confounders when estimating clinical effects of treatments using observational studies.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13054-016-1230-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13054-016-1230-8
PMCID: PMC4818504  PMID: 27036638
7.  Outcomes of sustained low efficiency dialysis versus continuous renal replacement therapy in critically ill adults with acute kidney injury: a cohort study 
BMC Nephrology  2015;16:127.
Background
Sustained low efficiency dialysis (SLED) is increasingly used as a renal replacement modality in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury (AKI) and hemodynamic instability. SLED may reduce the hemodynamic perturbations of intermittent hemodialysis, while obviating the resource demands of CRRT. Although SLED is being increasingly used, few studies have evaluated its impact on clinical outcomes.
Methods
We conducted a cohort study comparing SLED (target 8 h/session, blood flow 200 mL/min, predominantly without anticoagulation) to CRRT in four ICUs at an academic medical centre. The primary outcome was mortality 30 days after RRT initiation, adjusted for demographics, comorbidity, baseline kidney function, and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score. Secondary outcomes were persistent RRT dependence at 30 days and early clinical deterioration, defined as a rise in SOFA score or death 48 h after starting RRT.
Results
We identified 158 patients who initiated treatment with CRRT and 74 with SLED. Mortality at 30 days was 54 % and 61 % among SLED- and CRRT-treated patients, respectively [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.07, 95 % CI 0.56–2.03, as compared with CRRT]. Among SLED recipients, the risk of RRT dependence at 30 days (adjusted OR 1.36, 95 % CI 0.51–3.57) and early clinical deterioration (adjusted OR 0.73, 95 % CI 0.40–1.34) were not different as compared to patients who initiated CRRT.
Conclusions
Notwithstanding the limitations of this small non-randomized study, we found similar clinical outcomes for patients treated with SLED and CRRT. While we await the completion of a trial that will definitively assess the non-inferiority of SLED as compared to CRRT, SLED appears to be an acceptable alternative form of renal support in hemodynamically unstable patients with AKI.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12882-015-0123-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12882-015-0123-4
PMCID: PMC4522955  PMID: 26238520
8.  Noninvasive ventilation as a weaning strategy for mechanical ventilation in adults with respiratory failure: a Cochrane systematic review 
Background:
Noninvasive ventilation has been studied as a means of reducing complications among patients being weaned from invasive mechanical ventilation. We sought to summarize evidence comparing noninvasive and invasive weaning and their effects on mortality.
Methods:
We identified relevant randomized and quasirandomized trials through searches of databases, conference proceedings and grey literature. We included trials comparing extubation and immediate application of noninvasive ventilation with continued invasive weaning in adults on mechanical ventilation. Two reviewers each independently screened citations, assessed trial quality and abstracted data. Our primary outcome was mortality.
Results:
We identified 16 trials involving 994 participants, most of whom had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Compared with invasive weaning, noninvasive weaning significantly reduced mortality (risk ratio [RR] 0.53, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.36 to 0.80), weaning failures (RR 0.63, 95% CI 0.42 to 0.96), ventilator-associated pneumonia (RR 0.25, 95% CI 0.15 to 0.43), length of stay in the intensive care unit (mean difference [MD] −5.59 d, 95% CI −7.90 to −3.28) and in hospital (MD −6.04 d, 95% CI −9.22 to −2.87), and total duration of mechanical ventilation (MD −5.64 d, 95% CI −9.50 to −1.77). Noninvasive weaning had no significant effect on the duration of ventilation related to weaning, but significantly reduced rates of tracheostomy (RR 0.19, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.47) and reintubation (RR 0.65, 95% CI 0.44 to 0.97). Mortality benefits were significantly greater in trials enrolling patients with COPD than in trials enrolling mixed patient populations (RR 0.36 [95% CI 0.24 to 0.56] v. RR 0.81 [95% CI 0.47 to 1.40]).
Interpretation:
Noninvasive weaning reduces rates of death and pneumonia without increasing the risk of weaning failure or reintubation. In subgroup analyses, mortality benefits were significantly greater in patients with COPD.
doi:10.1503/cmaj.130974
PMCID: PMC3928231  PMID: 24324020
11.  Mortality associated with withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy for patients with severe traumatic brain injury: a Canadian multicentre cohort study 
Background:
Severe traumatic brain injury often leads to death from withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy, although prognosis is difficult to determine.
Methods:
To evaluate variation in mortality following the withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy and hospital mortality in patients with critical illness and severe traumatic brain injury, we conducted a two-year multicentre retrospective cohort study in six Canadian level-one trauma centres. The effect of centre on hospital mortality and withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy was evaluated using multivariable logistic regression adjusted for baseline patient-level covariates (sex, age, pupillary reactivity and score on the Glasgow coma scale).
Results:
We randomly selected 720 patients with traumatic brain injury for our study. The overall hospital mortality among these patients was 228/720 (31.7%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 28.4%–35.2%) and ranged from 10.8% to 44.2% across centres (χ2 test for overall difference, p < 0.001). Most deaths (70.2% [160/228], 95% CI 63.9%–75.7%) were associated with withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy, ranging from 45.0% (18/40) to 86.8% (46/53) (χ2 test for overall difference, p < 0.001) across centres. Adjusted odd ratios (ORs) for the effect of centre on hospital mortality ranged from 0.61 to 1.55 (p < 0.001). The incidence of withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy varied by centre, with ORs ranging from 0.42 to 2.40 (p = 0.001). About one half of deaths that occurred following the withdrawal of life-sustaining therapies happened within the first three days of care.
Interpretation:
We observed significant variation in mortality across centres. This may be explained in part by regional variations in physician, family or community approaches to the withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy. Considering the high proportion of early deaths associated with the withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy and the limited accuracy of current prognostic indicators, caution should be used regarding early withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy following severe traumatic brain injury.
doi:10.1503/cmaj.101786
PMCID: PMC3185074  PMID: 21876014
12.  Pressure and Volume Limited Ventilation for the Ventilatory Management of Patients with Acute Lung Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(1):e14623.
Background
Acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are life threatening clinical conditions seen in critically ill patients with diverse underlying illnesses. Lung injury may be perpetuated by ventilation strategies that do not limit lung volumes and airway pressures. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing pressure and volume-limited (PVL) ventilation strategies with more traditional mechanical ventilation in adults with ALI and ARDS.
Methods and Findings
We searched Medline, EMBASE, HEALTHSTAR and CENTRAL, related articles on PubMed™, conference proceedings and bibliographies of identified articles for randomized trials comparing PVL ventilation with traditional approaches to ventilation in critically ill adults with ALI and ARDS. Two reviewers independently selected trials, assessed trial quality, and abstracted data. We identified ten trials (n = 1,749) meeting study inclusion criteria. Tidal volumes achieved in control groups were at the lower end of the traditional range of 10–15 mL/kg. We found a clinically important but borderline statistically significant reduction in hospital mortality with PVL [relative risk (RR) 0.84; 95% CI 0.70, 1.00; p = 0.05]. This reduction in risk was attenuated (RR 0.90; 95% CI 0.74, 1.09, p = 0.27) in a sensitivity analysis which excluded 2 trials that combined PVL with open-lung strategies and stopped early for benefit. We found no effect of PVL on barotrauma; however, use of paralytic agents increased significantly with PVL (RR 1.37; 95% CI, 1.04, 1.82; p = 0.03).
Conclusions
This systematic review suggests that PVL strategies for mechanical ventilation in ALI and ARDS reduce mortality and are associated with increased use of paralytic agents.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014623
PMCID: PMC3030554  PMID: 21298026
13.  The hemodynamic tolerability and feasibility of sustained low efficiency dialysis in the management of critically ill patients with acute kidney injury 
BMC Nephrology  2010;11:32.
Background
Minimization of hemodynamic instability during renal replacement therapy (RRT) in patients with acute kidney injury (AKI) is often challenging. We examined the relative hemodynamic tolerability of sustained low efficiency dialysis (SLED) and continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) in critically ill patients with AKI. We also compared the feasibility of SLED administration with that of CRRT and intermittent hemodialysis (IHD).
Methods
This cohort study encompassed four critical care units within a single university-affiliated medical centre. 77 consecutive critically ill patients with AKI who were treated with CRRT (n = 30), SLED (n = 13) or IHD (n = 34) and completed at least two RRT sessions were included in the study. Overall, 223 RRT sessions were analyzed. Hemodynamic instability during a given session was defined as the composite of a > 20% reduction in mean arterial pressure or any escalation in pressor requirements. Treatment feasibility was evaluated based on the fraction of the prescribed therapy time that was delivered. An interrupted session was designated if < 90% of the prescribed time was administered. Generalized estimating equations were used to compare the hemodynamic tolerability of SLED vs CRRT while accounting for within-patient clustering of repeated sessions and key confounders.
Results
Hemodynamic instability occurred during 22 (56.4%) SLED and 43 (50.0%) CRRT sessions (p = 0.51). In a multivariable analysis that accounted for clustering of multiple sessions within the same patient, the odds ratio for hemodynamic instability with SLED was 1.20 (95% CI 0.58-2.47), as compared to CRRT. Session interruption occurred in 16 (16.3), 30 (34.9) and 11 (28.2) of IHD, CRRT and SLED therapies, respectively.
Conclusions
In critically ill patients with AKI, the administration of SLED is feasible and provides comparable hemodynamic control to CRRT.
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-11-32
PMCID: PMC3002345  PMID: 21106112
14.  Quality of care in for-profit and not-for-profit nursing homes: systematic review and meta-analysis 
Objective To compare quality of care in for-profit and not-for-profit nursing homes.
Design Systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies and randomised controlled trials investigating quality of care in for-profit versus not-for-profit nursing homes.
Results A comprehensive search yielded 8827 citations, of which 956 were judged appropriate for full text review. Study characteristics and results of 82 articles that met inclusion criteria were summarised, and results for the four most frequently reported quality measures were pooled. Included studies reported results dating from 1965 to 2003. In 40 studies, all statistically significant comparisons (P<0.05) favoured not-for-profit facilities; in three studies, all statistically significant comparisons favoured for-profit facilities, and the remaining studies had less consistent findings. Meta-analyses suggested that not-for-profit facilities delivered higher quality care than did for-profit facilities for two of the four most frequently reported quality measures: more or higher quality staffing (ratio of effect 1.11, 95% confidence interval 1.07 to 1.14, P<0.001) and lower pressure ulcer prevalence (odds ratio 0.91, 95% confidence interval 0.83 to 0.98, P=0.02). Non-significant results favouring not-for-profit homes were found for the two other most frequently used measures: physical restraint use (odds ratio 0.93, 0.82 to 1.05, P=0.25) and fewer deficiencies in governmental regulatory assessments (ratio of effect 0.90, 0.78 to 1.04, P=0.17).
Conclusions This systematic review and meta-analysis of the evidence suggests that, on average, not-for-profit nursing homes deliver higher quality care than do for-profit nursing homes. Many factors may, however, influence this relation in the case of individual institutions.
doi:10.1136/bmj.b2732
PMCID: PMC2721035  PMID: 19654184
15.  Quality of care in for-profit and not-for-profit nursing homes: systematic review and meta-analysis 
The BMJ  2009;339:b2732.
Objective To compare quality of care in for-profit and not-for-profit nursing homes.
Design Systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies and randomised controlled trials investigating quality of care in for-profit versus not-for-profit nursing homes.
Results A comprehensive search yielded 8827 citations, of which 956 were judged appropriate for full text review. Study characteristics and results of 82 articles that met inclusion criteria were summarised, and results for the four most frequently reported quality measures were pooled. Included studies reported results dating from 1965 to 2003. In 40 studies, all statistically significant comparisons (P<0.05) favoured not-for-profit facilities; in three studies, all statistically significant comparisons favoured for-profit facilities, and the remaining studies had less consistent findings. Meta-analyses suggested that not-for-profit facilities delivered higher quality care than did for-profit facilities for two of the four most frequently reported quality measures: more or higher quality staffing (ratio of effect 1.11, 95% confidence interval 1.07 to 1.14, P<0.001) and lower pressure ulcer prevalence (odds ratio 0.91, 95% confidence interval 0.83 to 0.98, P=0.02). Non-significant results favouring not-for-profit homes were found for the two other most frequently used measures: physical restraint use (odds ratio 0.93, 0.82 to 1.05, P=0.25) and fewer deficiencies in governmental regulatory assessments (ratio of effect 0.90, 0.78 to 1.04, P=0.17).
Conclusions This systematic review and meta-analysis of the evidence suggests that, on average, not-for-profit nursing homes deliver higher quality care than do for-profit nursing homes. Many factors may, however, influence this relation in the case of individual institutions.
doi:10.1136/bmj.b2732
PMCID: PMC2721035  PMID: 19654184
16.  Use of non-invasive ventilation to wean critically ill adults off invasive ventilation: meta-analysis and systematic review 
Objective To summarise the evidence for early extubation with immediate application of non-invasive ventilation compared with continued invasive weaning on important outcomes in intubated adults with respiratory failure.
Design Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials.
Setting Intensive care units.
Participants Critically ill adults receiving invasive ventilation.
Study selection criteria We searched Medline, Embase, and CENTRAL, proceedings from four conferences, and reference lists of relevant studies to identify relevant trials. Two reviewers independently selected trials, assessed trial quality, and abstracted data.
Results We identified 12 trials enrolling 530 participants, mostly with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Compared with invasive weaning, non-invasive weaning was significantly associated with reduced mortality (relative risk 0.55, 95% confidence interval 0.38 to 0.79), ventilator associated pneumonia (0.29, 95% 0.19 to 0.45), length of stay in intensive care unit (weighted mean difference −6.27 days, −8.77 to −3.78) and hospital (−7.19 days, −10.80 to −3.58), total duration of ventilation, and duration of invasive ventilation. Non-invasive weaning had no effect on weaning failures or weaning time. Benefits on mortality and weaning failures were non-significantly greater in trials that exclusively enrolled patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease versus mixed populations.
Conclusions Current trials in critically ill adults show a consistent positive effect of non-invasive weaning on mortality and ventilator associated pneumonia, though the net clinical benefits remain to be fully elucidated. Non-invasive ventilation should preferentially be used in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in a highly monitored environment.
doi:10.1136/bmj.b1574
PMCID: PMC2685438  PMID: 19460803
17.  Use of non-invasive ventilation to wean critically ill adults off invasive ventilation: meta-analysis and systematic review 
The BMJ  2009;338:b1574.
Objective To summarise the evidence for early extubation with immediate application of non-invasive ventilation compared with continued invasive weaning on important outcomes in intubated adults with respiratory failure.
Design Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials.
Setting Intensive care units.
Participants Critically ill adults receiving invasive ventilation.
Study selection criteria We searched Medline, Embase, and CENTRAL, proceedings from four conferences, and reference lists of relevant studies to identify relevant trials. Two reviewers independently selected trials, assessed trial quality, and abstracted data.
Results We identified 12 trials enrolling 530 participants, mostly with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Compared with invasive weaning, non-invasive weaning was significantly associated with reduced mortality (relative risk 0.55, 95% confidence interval 0.38 to 0.79), ventilator associated pneumonia (0.29, 95% 0.19 to 0.45), length of stay in intensive care unit (weighted mean difference −6.27 days, −8.77 to −3.78) and hospital (−7.19 days, −10.80 to −3.58), total duration of ventilation, and duration of invasive ventilation. Non-invasive weaning had no effect on weaning failures or weaning time. Benefits on mortality and weaning failures were non-significantly greater in trials that exclusively enrolled patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease versus mixed populations.
Conclusions Current trials in critically ill adults show a consistent positive effect of non-invasive weaning on mortality and ventilator associated pneumonia, though the net clinical benefits remain to be fully elucidated. Non-invasive ventilation should preferentially be used in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in a highly monitored environment.
doi:10.1136/bmj.b1574
PMCID: PMC2685438  PMID: 19460803
19.  Effect of nitric oxide on oxygenation and mortality in acute lung injury: systematic review and meta-analysis 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2007;334(7597):779.
Objective To review the literature on the use of inhaled nitric oxide to treat acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome (ALI/ARDS) and to summarise the effects of nitric oxide, compared with placebo or usual care without nitric oxide, in adults and children with ALI or ARDS.
Design Systematic review and meta-analysis.
Data sources Medline, CINAHL, Embase, and CENTRAL (to October 2006), proceedings from four conferences, and additional information from authors of 10 trials.
Review methods Two reviewers independently selected parallel group randomised controlled trials comparing nitric oxide with control and extracted data related to study methods, clinical and physiological outcomes, and adverse events.
Main outcome measures Mortality, duration of ventilation, oxygenation, pulmonary arterial pressure, adverse events.
Results 12 trials randomly assigning 1237 patients met inclusion criteria. Overall methodological quality was good. Using random effects models, we found no significant effect of nitric oxide on hospital mortality (risk ratio 1.10, 95% confidence interval 0.94 to 1.30), duration of ventilation, or ventilator-free days. On day one of treatment, nitric oxide increased the ratio of partial pressure of oxygen to fraction of inspired oxygen (PaO2/FiO2 ratio) (13%, 4% to 23%) and decreased the oxygenation index (14%, 2% to 25%). Some evidence suggested that improvements in oxygenation persisted until day four. There was no effect on mean pulmonary arterial pressure. Patients receiving nitric oxide had an increased risk of developing renal dysfunction (1.50, 1.11 to 2.02).
Conclusions Nitric oxide is associated with limited improvement in oxygenation in patients with ALI or ARDS but confers no mortality benefit and may cause harm. We do not recommend its routine use in these severely ill patients.
doi:10.1136/bmj.39139.716794.55
PMCID: PMC1852043  PMID: 17383982
20.  Payments for care at private for-profit and private not-for-profit hospitals: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Background
It has been shown that patients cared for at private for-profit hospitals have higher risk-adjusted mortality rates than those cared for at private not-for-profit hospitals. Uncertainty remains, however, about the economic implications of these forms of health care delivery. Since some policy-makers might still consider for-profit health care if expenditure savings were sufficiently large, we undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis to compare payments for care at private for-profit and private not-for-profit hospitals.
Methods
We used 6 search strategies to identify published and unpublished observational studies that directly compared the payments for care at private for-profit and private not-for-profit hospitals. We masked the study results before teams of 2 reviewers independently evaluated the eligibility of all studies. We confirmed data or obtained additional data from all but 1 author. For each study, we calculated the payments for care at private for-profit hospitals relative to private not-for-profit hospitals and pooled the results using a random effects model.
Results
Eight observational studies, involving more than 350 000 patients altogether and a median of 324 hospitals each, fulfilled our eligibility criteria. In 5 of 6 studies showing higher payments for care at private for-profit hospitals, the difference was statistically significant; in 1 of 2 studies showing higher payments for care at private not-for-profit hospitals, the difference was statistically significant. The pooled estimate demonstrated that private for-profit hospitals were associated with higher payments for care (relative payments for care 1.19, 95% confidence interval 1.07–1.33, p = 0.001).
Interpretation
Private for-profit hospitals result in higher payments for care than private not-for-profit hospitals. Evidence strongly supports a policy of not-for-profit health care delivery at the hospital level.
doi:10.1503/cmaj.1040722
PMCID: PMC419772  PMID: 15184339

Results 1-20 (20)