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Critical Connections Blog

Concise Critical Appraisal is a regular feature aimed at highlighting the best and most relevant literature from a variety of academic journals and encouraging discussion around recent studies and research.

Recent Posts

ICU Readiness Assessment: We Are Not Prepared for COVID-19
Nearly 5,000 U.S. intensive care unit (ICU) clinicians say that their ICUs are not prepared for the potential onslaught of COVID-19 patients. According to the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) ICU Readiness Assessment, their specific concerns range from shortages of supplies and staff, patient surge and overcrowding, and personal protective equipment.
Posted: 4/1/2020 | 0 comments
Critical Care Physician Tapped to Lead COVID-19 Testing Efforts
Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett P. Giroir, MD, a prominent critical care physician who has a long history of membership and involvement with the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), has been tapped to lead one of the most important missions in the government’s COVID-19 response.

Posted: 3/30/2020 | 0 comments
SCCM Member Provides Remote Disaster Response to Italy
SCCM Member and disaster management expert Marie R. Baldisseri, MD, MPH, FCCM, is helping Italy remotely with their COVID-19 response plans. Dr. Baldisseri shares her knowledge about the situation in Italy and talks about what drives her to respond in times of crisis. 
Posted: 3/30/2020 | 0 comments
United States Resource Availability for COVID-19
With the onset of COVID-19, and the strong possibility of large percentages of the U.S. population being admitted to the hospital and intensive care unit (ICU), the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) has updated its statistics on critical care resources available in the United States.
Posted: 3/13/2020 | 0 comments
Concise Critical Appraisal: Dexamethasone Use in the Treatment of ARDs
Villar et al (Lancet Respir Med. 2020;8:267-276) attempted to demonstrate the effect of steroids in patients with moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) along with modern standard ICU practices, including lung-protective mechanical ventilation.
Posted: 3/10/2020 | 0 comments
ICU Liberation Labs: Engaging the Team Ensures the ICU Liberation Bundle Improves Patient Outcomes
The ICU Liberation Labs during the 49th Critical Care Congress featured information about the ICU Liberation Initiative – which aims to liberate patients from the harmful effects of pain, agitation/sedation, delirium, immobility, and sleep disruption that are common after ICU stays – and offered insights on the bundle’s implementation from ICU Liberation Collaborative members.
Posted: 2/20/2020 | 0 comments
Discovery Grant Awarded to Researchers Seeking to Uncover Drivers of PARDS; Improve Therapy
Researchers seeking to evaluate the causes of PARDS and improve therapy options have been awarded the Discovery Research Grant, making it the first time the full grant has been awarded to a single project because of the strength of the grant.
Posted: 2/18/2020 | 0 comments
SCCM Awards Three Weil-Research Grants
Named for Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) founder and its first president, Max Harry Weil, MD, PhD, MCCM, the SCCM-Weil Research Grant is typically awarded to two SCCM members as a stepping-stone to carry out basic, translational, or clinical research. SCCM seeks to sponsor research efforts that will ultimately improve patient care in the intensive care unit (ICU) and after hospital discharge. For the first time, SCCM has increased the number of grants from two to three: Thomas S. Valley, MD, MSc; Jacob S. Brenner, MD, PhD; and Blair N. Wendlandt, MD, MSc.
Posted: 2/18/2020 | 0 comments
From the PICU to America’s Got Talent: Angelica Hale’s Story
Most people know Angelica Hale as the tenacious young lady who won hearts with her incredible performances on America’s Got Talent in 2017. But before she became the youngest runner-up in the show’s history, she was a severely ill four-year-old with sepsis and kidney failure. Read ICU Heroes Award winner Angelica Hale's story.
Posted: 2/17/2020 | 0 comments
Message from the President: Sepsis
In 2001 a sepsis definitions conference was held to determine whether new data existed to inform updates to the sepsis criteria established in 1991. Afterward, the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) and the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) announced plans to launch the Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC) with the goal of reducing mortality from sepsis by 25%. Given the prominence of sepsis and septic shock as emergency conditions, it is worthwhile to review how care has evolved to its current format and the future directions it may take.
Posted: 2/12/2020 | 0 comments
Surviving Sepsis Campaign Releases First Children’s Sepsis Guidelines
The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) is committed to reducing mortality and morbidity from sepsis and septic shock worldwide. The Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC) released its first evidence-based guidelines for the pediatric patient population. “Surviving Sepsis Campaign International Guidelines for the Management of Septic Shock and Sepsis-Associated Organ Dysfunction in Children” was published in the February 2020 issue of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine (Weiss S, et al. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2020;21(2);e52-e106).
Posted: 2/7/2020 | 0 comments
Caring for Critically Ill Patients with Novel Coronavirus
Concern over the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is growing. It is vital that those on the frontlines be prepared. This article highlights several strategic goals and special considerations related to caring for a critically ill patient who can transmit a deadly disease to you, your staff, or others in your hospital.
Posted: 1/31/2020 | 0 comments
Joint Commission Proposes Changes to Medication Management Standard
The Joint Commission (TJC) is proposing the addition of new and revised requirements for hospital, critical access hospital, ambulatory care, home care, behavioral healthcare, and nursing care center accreditation programs.
Posted: 1/24/2020 | 0 comments
Assessment of Inflammation Phenotypes in Pediatric Sepsis-Induced Multiple Organ Failure
This Concise Critical Appraisal discusses how Carcillo et al (Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2019. Epub ahead of print) compared mortality in children with severe sepsis and MOF who present with one of four phenotypes: 1) immunoparalysis-associated MOF (IPMOF), 2) thrombocytopenia-associated MOF (TAMOF), 3) sequential liver failure-associated MOF (SMOF), and 4) MOF without any immunologic phenotype. The study investigated the association between these phenotypes and macrophage activation syndrome, a potential common pathway of uncontrolled inflammation (Carcillo et al. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2017;18:S32-S45).
Posted: 12/9/2019 | 0 comments
How ICU Liberation Brought Value to Our Patients, Team Members, and Administrators
An interview with an ICU Liberation Collaborative Leader and Participant.
Posted: 11/25/2019 | 0 comments
Donor-Funded Training Supports Fundamentals Courses in Rwanda

Learn how Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) members turned a passion for improving care into action by holding donor-funded training in resource-limited areas.

Posted: 11/18/2019 | 0 comments
Strategies for Reducing and Eliminating CLABSI And CAUTI in the Intensive Care Unit
The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) held a session at the 48th Critical Care Congress that offered best practices for reducing CLABSI and CAUTI infections. Subject matter experts discussed quality improvement strategies as well as overcoming challenges and resistance to change.  We’ve outlined the questions from the session and curated responses.
Posted: 11/13/2019 | 0 comments
Concise Critical Appraisal: Moderate Therapeutic Hypothermia in Patients with Nonshockable Rhythms
Lascarrou et al (N Engl J Med. 2019. Epub ahead of print) set out to test the effectiveness of moderate therapeutic hypothermia (MTH) in patients with nonshockable rhythms.
Posted: 11/12/2019 | 0 comments
Call for Strategic Planning Proposals
Members of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) play a crucial role in cultivating new ideas and initiatives. Submitting a strategic planning proposal is one way to engage with SCCM and be a part of its mission to improve critical care and are under way. Proposals are due by March 6, 2020.
Posted: 11/8/2019 | 0 comments
Help Shape the Future of Sepsis Research on the National Level
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) is changing its priorities to invest in sepsis research in a more targeted and strategic way. In an important opportunity to help shape the future of sepsis research, NIGMS has issued a request for information related to its new priorities. The request for information is found here and is due by November 15, 2019.
Posted: 10/22/2019 | 0 comments
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