From the pulmonary standpoint, supine positioning may be the worst possible position. Supine positioning may promote aspiration, as gravity tends to pull oral secretions towards the larynx. Supine positioning promotes atelectasis of the posterior lung segments (which are larger and more important than the anterior segments). Among obese patients, abdominal contents compress the diaphragm when supine, further promoting atelectasis. Finally, expectoration is difficult in a supine position, as the patient must expel secretions against gravity.
What should intensivists do at night? Should they sleep at home or remain dutifully in the hospital? Should they extubate patients or just maintain the status quo until 7 AM?
A patient with chronic asymptomatic hyperlithemia is tolerating their current lithium level well. If they have adequate renal function, their lithium level is very likely to decrease over time with hydration (and unlikely to increase). Why dialyze such a patient? It is impossible to improve a patient’s condition if the patient is already asymptomatic.
Until recently I believed that prolonged vasopressor administration requires a central line, to avoid extravasation. I lumped together all vasopressors, treating them all as equal. I used the occurrence of an extravasation reaction from one vasopressor as evidence that all vasopressors could cause extravasation reactions (the fallacy of inappropriate generalization). Upon closer examination, these beliefs aren’t supported by evidence.
Some theories are so attractive that they are nearly irresistible. No matter how many times they are disproven, these theories still seem compelling. One example is double-coverage for pseudomonas. Recently, the IDSA recommended this for ventilator-associated PNA (VAP), despite openly admitting that RCTs found it to be ineffective.