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1.  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
4.  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
5.  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
6.  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
7.  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
8.  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
10.  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
11.  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 1-11 (11)