Influence of Potassium Dichromate on Tracheal Secretions in Critically Ill Patients*

Influence of Potassium Dichromate on Tracheal Secretions in Critically Ill Patients*Michael Frass, MD; Christoph Dielacher, RN; Manfred Linkesch, MD; Christian Endler, PhD; Ilse Muchitsch, PhD; Ernst Schuster, PhD; and Alan Kaye, MD Background: Stringy, tenacious tracheal secretions may prevent extubation in patients weaned from the respirator. This prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study with parallel assignment was performed to assess the influence of sublingually administered potassium dichromate C30 on the amount of tenacious, stringy tracheal secretions in critically ill patients with a history of tobacco use and COPD. Methods: In this study, 50 patients breathing spontaneously with continuous positive airway pressure were receiving either potassium dichromate C30 globules (group 1) [Deutsche Ho- mo ̈opathie-Union, Pharmaceutical Company; Karlsruhe, Germany] or placebo (group 2). Five globules were administered twice daily at intervals of 12 h. The amount of tracheal secretions on day 2 after the start of the study as well as the time for successful extubation and length of stay in the ICU were recorded. Results: The amount of tracheal secretions was reduced significantly in group 1 (p < 0.0001). Extubation could be performed significantly earlier in group 1 (p < 0.0001). Similarly, length of stay was significantly shorter in group 1 (4.20 􏰀 1.61 days vs 7.68 􏰀 3.60 days, p < 0.0001 [mean 􏰀 SD]). Conclusion: These data suggest that potentized (diluted and vigorously shaken) potassium dichromate may help to decrease the amount of stringy tracheal secretions in COPD patients. (CHEST 2005; 127:936–941) Key words: COPD; double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study; extubation; homeopathy; tracheal secretions Abbreviations: APACHE 􏰁 acute physiology and chronic health evaluation; BMI 􏰁 body mass index; CPAP 􏰁 con- tinuous positive airway pressure; Fio2 􏰁 fraction of inspired oxygen