I read with interest the recent article by Wang et al. “Driving blind: instituting SEP-1 without high quality outcomes data,” in the Journal of Thoracic Disease Vol 12, Supplement 1, February 2020 (1).
The article, in part, addressed potential conflicts of interest regarding SEP-1, a quality of care performance measure sponsored by the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. I am concerned that this article was not subject to peer-review, having been submitted December 14, 2019 and accepted for publication December 20, 2019. Dr. Paul Marik was guest editor of this supplemental issue of the Journal of Thoracic Diseases. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICJME) states that, “editors who make final decisions about manuscripts should recuse themselves from editorial decisions if they have conflicts of interest or relationships that pose potential conflicts related to articles under consideration.” (2). The ICJME makes it clear that conflicts may be due to “…personal relationships or rivalries, academic competition, and intellectual beliefs.” (2). Dr. Marik should have recused himself from reviewing the piece by Wang et al. due to conflicts of interest having published highly critical remarks about SEP-1 (3,4). These intellectual conflicts of interest partly weaken the credibility of the article by Wang et al.
After several rounds of back and forth discussion by the editorial office, the above-mentioned disagreement has been resolved and a consensus has been reached among the authors of the concerned article titled “Driving blind: instituting SEP-1 without high quality outcomes data,” the Guest Editor and Dr. Sean R. Townsend by publishing an erratum of the concerned article based on the matter of fact.
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Provenance and Peer Review: This article was a standard submission to the journal. The article did not undergo external peer review.
Conflicts of Interest: The author has completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form (available at http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/jtd-2021-29). The author has no conflicts of interest to declare.
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- Wang J, Strich JR, Applefeld WN, et al. Driving blind: instituting SEP-1 without high quality outcomes data. J Thorac Dis 2020;12:S22-36. [Crossref] [PubMed]
- The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, Dec. 2019, Section II B 1 c and Section II B. pp. 3-4. Accessed May 21, 2021. Available online: http://www.icmje.org/icmje-recommendations.pdf
- Marik PE, Malbrain MLNG. The SEP-1 quality mandate may be harmful: How to drown a patient with 30 mL per kg fluid! Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther 2017;49:323-8. [Crossref] [PubMed]
- Marik PE. SEP-1: The Lactate Myth and Other Fairytales. Crit Care Med 2018;46:1689-90. [Crossref] [PubMed]