Two more NephTalk Podcasts

I was given the opportunity to work with Satellite Healthcare on their NephTalk podcast and hosted three episodes. The first one, on infection in dialysis units, was posted via RSS and picked up by iTunes. But the next two episodes I hosted were not posted to the RSS feed and so won’t show up in your podcast player of choice (by which I mean Overcast).

So you you’ll have to listen to them like your grand father did, as he walked to school bare foot, through the snow, uphill, both ways, via a web player. Sorry.

Joel Topf, M.D. interviews Steven D. Weisbord, M.D., lead researcher on a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Joel Topf, M.D. interviews Linda F. Fried, M.D., lead researcher on a study recently completed for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

NephTalk: A new nephrology podcast by Satellite Health

Satellite Healthcare is a non-for-profit dialysis company. They partnered with NephJC to do Bloggger’s Night the last three years and sponsor the NephJC Kidneys. This year they launched a Podcast, NephTalk. I was lucky to get invited to help out. I have hosted one, an interview with Sumi Sun about preventing blood stream infections. Here is her abstract from Kidney Week:

Background: CVCs are associated with catheter-related bloodstream infection (BSI) resulting in increased morbidity and mortality. Following our report of significantly reduced infection when 320 μg/mL gentamicin in 4% citrate is used as the CVC locking solution (Moran AJKD 2012), this has remained the standard of care in patients dialyzing with a CVC, unless physician order requested otherwise. The infection rates were monitored through an internal QC program developed for National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) reporting.

Methods: This study evaluated NHSN data with self-reported infection rates from January 2014 to December 2016 in a non-profit dialysis provider with a total of 57 free-standing dialysis facilities serving more than 5000 HD patients. BSI was reported according to NHSN criteria. Data were audited through comparison to an internal infection control report and discrepancies reconciled prior to final NHSN submission. Blood cultures were mandated before any antibiotic administration for suspected BSI, and 85% or more are sent to one internal lab (Ascend).

Results: The rate of catheter-related bloodstream infection over the three years was 1.00 episodes/100 patient months, 54% lower than the national average of 2.16 for CVC-related BSI (2014 NHSN BSI Pooled Mean Rate/100 patient-months). Monthly BSI rates showed minor fluctuations, however none exceeded the national average in any given month.

Conclusion: Gentamicin 320 μg/mL in 4% sodium citrate as a routine catheter lock demonstrated sustained low CVC-related BSI rates in HD patients, with approximately half the infection rate compared with the national average. Gentamicin-citrate lock should be considered the standard of care in patients with CVC access.

PodCast: Curbsiders #69

I was invited by the Curbsiders to talk about CKD. The discussion went a little long and our discussin got divided into two podcasts, #67 and #69. Here is the second half. I don’t think I made any major mistakes except when discussing combined ACEi and ARB therapy I said ALTITUDE was a study of RAAS inhibtion and endothelin antagonists. Actually ALTITUDE was RAASi and Aliskiren, the direct renin antagonist. And it was stopped not because of hyperkalemia but due to a CV signal (though the combination did have more hyperkalemia). The trial I was thinking about was ASCEND which added the endothelin antagonist avosentin to an ACEi or ARB in patients with diabetic nephropathy. This trial was also stopped early, again for CV issues after only 4 months on the drug!

You can listen to the episode here.

The Curbsiders: Hyponatremia

I was invited back to the Curbsiders for a second podcast.

We did an hour and a half on hyponatremia. Matthew Watto took what was a pretty rough interview and turned it into podcast gold. Take a listen:

The whole process was fun. Team Curbsider is a great gang and they are doing a bang up job bringing #FOAMed and Podcasts to internal medicine.

The Curbsiders have a really solid website with links to all of the references we talked about and a great index of the podcast. Take a look.

I got mentioned on Back to Work, kind of.

In between rounds of getting crushed by my son in Mario Cart 8, I came across this tweet…

That time when @hotdogsladies tried to explain @kidney_boy ‘s Twitter bio to @danbenjamin 🙂 https://t.co/WWaETu7fQ1

— Miloš Miljković (@miljko) June 19, 2017

Merlin Mann, if you are not aware, is a staple of podcasts and inventor of In Box Zero. In June sixth’s Back to Work, Merlin recounts coming across my twitter bio and how it stuck with him as something interesting. I love how he can’t come up with my Twitter handle or the exact quote, but he did get the word Nephrologist and totally understood the meaning of the bio, and he got why I think it is important.

My twitter bio:

Saying the product of the kidneys is urine is like saying the product of a factory is pollution. Urine is a by-product. The product is homeostasis.

This is not an original thought but me just reprocessing Homer Smith’s masterpiece for Generation Twitter:

The lungs serve to maintain the composition of the extra-cellular fluid with respect to oxygen and carbon dioxide, and with this their duty ends. The responsibility for maintaining the composition of this fluid in respect to other constituents devolves on the kidneys. It is no exaggeration to say that the composition of the body fluids is determined not by what the mouth takes in but what the kidneys keep: they are the master chemists of our internal environment. Which, so to speak, they manufacture in reverse by working it over some fifteen times a day. When among other duties, they excrete the ashes of our body fires, or remove from the blood the infinite variety of foreign substances that are constantly being absorbed from our indiscriminate gastrointestinal tracts, these excretory operations are incidental to the major task of keeping our internal environments in the ideal, balanced state.  

Merlin is a skateboarder and the right age to have probably placed a few Andre the Giant has a Posse stickers. He may appreciate my homage:

Merlin’s voice has been flowing into my ears since I used iTunes to download podcasts to hard drive  based iPods (2004?). He has given me hundreds of interesting ideas that have poked at my cerebral cortex for weeks. I am delighted that I have been able to do the same for him, even if it was just once.

The Curbsiders

I love podcasts. I listen to them on my commute and when I walk my dog twice a day.

Bo the Dog

In the last year I have become addicted to The Curbsiders, what I consider the best internal medicine podcast. These three guys get interesting experts and interview them on topics with a primary care angle. They do a good job of digging deep to get good engagement from them and though they are respectful they do ask challenging questions (though honestly, I thought I got all softballs, listen to the podcast on coronary calcium scores for some probing questions).

Most importantly they are entertaining. I don’t need NephSAP audio digest. That stuff kills me. Never absorbed a sentence of it. The Curbsiders make listening to medical science fun.

Looks like they stopped doing these in 2013. Anyone miss them?

And this week they had me as a guest. I enjoyed the experience immensely, but in an hour of talking off the cuff I made some embarrassing mistakes:

  • In describing water reabsorption I said it occured in the cortical collecting duct rather than the medullary collecting duct.
  • In describing my cure for cramps I tell the story of Gitelman’s and say it is like congenital loop diuretics rather than congenital thiazide diuretics
  • I mucked up the story about MRFIT and how it allowed a head to head comparison of HCTZ and chlorthalidone. I really oversold what happened.
          Here is how Carter et al described the MRFIT story:

it was observed that in the 9 clinics that predominately used HCTZ, mortality was 44% higher in the special intervention (SI) group compared with the usual care (UC) group.10 The opposite was true in the 6 clinics that predominately used chlorthalidone. The MRFIT Data Safety Monitoring Board changed the protocol near the end of the trial to exclusively use chlorthalidone. In the initial clinics that used HCTZ that had a 44% higher mortality in the SI group, the trend was reversed after the protocol was changed to chlorthalidone, and they then had a 28% lower risk (P=0.04 for comparison of coronary heart disease mortality at the 2 time periods).

Like sending out newsletters, in Podcasts (especially when you are the guest) once it is recorded, you own your words with no chance to edit them.

Give The Curbsiders a listen, I think you’ll enjoy them.