“Wake Up and Breathe” Strategy Allows Patients to Come Off Ventilator Sooner

A new study of intensive care unit patients who are breathing with the help of a mechanical ventilator has found that a two-step sedation and ventilator weaning protocol—called a “wake up and breathe” strategy—helps patients come off the ventilator faster so that they can be discharged from the ICU and hospital more quickly. The study is being presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference in San Francisco. “On average, patients managed with the intervention spent four more days alive and out of the ICU and out of the hospital than those managed in the control group,” explained senior author Wes Ely, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University and Associate Director of the Geriatric Research Education and Clinic Center. In the first step of the protocol, the patient’s sedation is turned off, also known as a “spontaneous awakening trial.” “Almost all patients on a ventilator in the ICU receive sedating medications that keep them comfortable or even comatose,” says the study’s first author, Timothy Girard, M.D., M.S.C.I., also of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville. “The spontaneous awakening trial (SAT) allows them to wake up, so we can find out if they are ready to proceed without sedation. If the patient is uncomfortable, we restart sedation, but a lot of patients are comfortable enough to proceed with the next step in the protocol.” This second step involves allowing the patient to try breathing on their own without substantial help from the ventilator, called a “spontaneous breathing trial.” If the patient shows signs they are unable to breathe on their own, they are immediately placed...

College Pro-Life Group Plans Walk Across Canada, Summer 2007

A college pro-life group that encourages students to walk across the country with the pro-life message says it’s putting together a similar walk of about 3200 miles across Canada this summer. Crossroads had three walks across the country last year and the Canadian walk would have four groups taking the pro-life message city by city. Like its American walks, the Canadian trip would be made up of volunteer students from colleges and universities across Canada and would coincide with the American ones. “A Canadian walk is something that has been frequently proposed by pro-life students from Canada,” Jim Nolan, Crossroads’ president told LifeNews.com in a statement. “Due to the extraordinary success of our American walks since 1995, and the high volume of volunteer students we have signed up for this summer, it’s beginning to look as though this will be the year a Canadian walk will be possible, provided that we have a sufficient number of Canadian volunteers,” he explained. Since 1995, Crossroads walkers have spoken to over two million Americans at churches alone, and countless millions through local and national media and speaking engagements. Walking a combined 10,000 miles through 35 states and thousands of towns and cities, the volunteers on Crossroads take the term “grassroots” to a new level. Crossroads currently sponsors three simultaneous pro-life walks across America each summer, beginning in Seattle, San Francisco, and San Diego, and concluding together in Washington, D.C. The group also sponsors Spring Break walks up the Florida coast, and recently conducted a walk across Europe to World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, in 2005. [3Feb07, Washington, DC LifeNews.com; Crossroads –...