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Oral antibiotic therapy in people who inject drugs (PWID) with bacteraemia

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Martinez AE, Scheidegger C, Bättig V, Erb S
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20259

Treatment of bacteraemia in people who inject drugs remains very complex, and an interdisciplinary approach is essential in order to select the best therapy for this vulnerable group of patients.

Swiss experience of atezolizumab for platinum-pretreated urinary tract carcinoma: the SAUL study in real-world practice

Original article
Cathomas R, Schardt J, Pless M, Llado A, Mach N, Riklin C, Haefeli J, Fear S, Stenner F
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20223

Atezolizumab is an approved therapy for urothelial carcinoma based on results from phase II and III trials. The global SAUL study evaluated atezolizumab in a broader patient population more representative of real-world populations.

Early off-label treatment during pandemics? A dilemma

Viewpoint
Roth JA, Ballouz T, Kouyos RD, Battegay M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20281

Decisions for or against off-label treatment need to be based on clearly defined selection and treatment criteria, a strong biological rationale, a critical appraisal of prior evidence, and the estimated harm-benefit ratio.

Five reasons why data on compassionate use of remdesivir deserved publication (and are worth reading)

Viewpoint
Lapadula G
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20265

Although pre-clinical data are still scarce and results from clinical trials currently underway are awaited, remdesivir has been and is still used in many patients for the treatment of forms of COVID-19 of differing severity, as part of compassionate use or expanded access programmes. Despite these premises, the recent publication in a prestigious journal of the first case-series of COVID-19 patients treated with remdesivir under a compassionate use programme has been welcomed with considerable scepticism, if not open hostility

An independent appraisal and re-analysis of hydroxychloroquine treatment trial for COVID-19

Viewpoint
Intson K, Kumar S, Botta A, Neckles R, Leung C, Jawaid A
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20262

A recent open-label study claimed that hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin represent promising new options for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2. This re-analysis reveals severe limitations in the methodology of this study, including ambiguous inclusion/exclusion of participant data and inconsistent analysis techniques, and yielded nonsignificant differences between control and treatment groups across any treatment days.

Recommendations on the use of anticoagulants for the treatment of patients with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia in Switzerland

Review article: Medical guidelines
Alberio L, Angelillo-Scherrer A, Asmis L, Casini A, Fontana P, Graf L, Hegemann I, Kremer Hovinga JA, Korte W, Lecompte T, Martinez M, Nagler M, Studt JD, Tsakiris DA, Wuillemin W
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20210

Management of acute heparin-­induced thrombocytopenia currently involves cessation of heparin exposure, and inhibition of coagulation with an anticoagulant other than heparin.

Gout management in Swiss primary care – a retrospective observational study

Original article
Meier R, di Gangi S, Valeri F, Rosemann T, Zechmann S
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20209

Swiss gout patients receive comprehensive treatment, which is reflected in a high number of patients treated with urate-lowering therapy, laboratory tests per person and a high treatment success rate, although there is no systematic approach to the treatment of gout.

Characteristics of emergency department presentations requiring consultation of the national Poisons Information Centre

Original article
Liakoni E, Berger F, Klukowska-Rötzler J, Kupferschmidt H, Haschke M, Exadaktylos AK
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20164

According to data from European hospitals, about 1% of all emergency department (ED) admissions are related to poisoning. Poison information centres (PICs) can provide valuable support to ED personnel and help to optimise patient management in such cases.

Immunosuppressant therapeutic drug monitoring and trough level stabilisation after paediatric liver or kidney transplantation

Original article
Posfay-Barbe KM, Baudet H, McLin VA, Parvex P, Chehade H, Combescure C, Bonnabry P, Fonzo-Christe C
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20156

Immunosuppressive therapy must be guided by therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) in paediatric liver (LT) and kidney transplantation (KT) patients to prevent under- and overdosing, which have clinical consequences.

Describing adverse events in medical inpatients using the Global Trigger Tool

Original article
Grossmann N, Gratwohl F, Musy SN, Nielen NM, Simon M, Donzé J
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20149

Improving patient safety in hospitals demands effective and reliable monitoring of adverse events (AEs). The most common method of assessing AEs is retrospective chart review; the Global Trigger Tool is a promising chart review method.

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