Major Grant Will Support Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) has been awarded a grant in support of its new Project DisPatCH — Disseminating Patient-Centered Outcomes Research to Healthcare Professionals. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced that SCCM is the recipient of this grant, marking the first time the Society has received federal funding in support of a program.

Project DisPatCH, under the leadership of SCCM members Ruth Kleinpell, PhD, RN-CS, FCCM, and Timothy Buchman, MD, MCCM, aims to help fulfill the goals of the AHRQ by developing and distributing resources for critical care clinicians focused on patient-centered outcomes research over the grant’s three-year period. The AHRQ supports this type of research to improve the quality, effectiveness, accessibility and cost-effectiveness of healthcare in the United States. Read more…

Can Metabolomics Help Diagnose Pediatric Sepsis?

Metabolomics is a relatively new technology that involves the measurement of an organism’s global metabolic response to some physiologic stress. The study of this technology is gaining momentum, as measurement of a person’s metabolic profile in easily accessible biological fluids can help distinguish disease states from non-disease states earlier. Thus, patients could receive appropriate therapies earlier, which can improve outcomes in cases such as pneumonia and sepsis. In the May 2013 issue of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the authors used 1H proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to measure the concentrations of 58 different metabolites in serum samples taken from 140 pediatric subjects from 11 different institutions. Read more…

Webcast Highlights Third Edition of SSC Guidelines

Severe sepsis and septic shock are major healthcare problems, affecting millions of people around the world each year, killing one in four (and often more), and increasing in incidence. Similar to polytrauma, acute myocardial infarction, or stroke, the speed and appropriateness of therapy administered in the initial hours after severe sepsis develops are likely to influence outcome.

During the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) webcast, What’s New in the Third Edition of the SSC Guidelines?, R. Phillip Dellinger, MD, MCCM, and Christa A. Schorr, RN, MSN, FCCM, will discuss the additions to the latest update of the Surviving Sepsis Campaign guidelines and the rationale for the changes. The webcast will be held Wednesday, May 29, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Central Time.

Register online today. Registration is complimentary for all participants. If you have any questions, please contact SCCM Customer Service at +1 847 827-6888. This event is part of SCCM’s newest webcast series, which outlines strategies for successful implementation of the SSC recommendations. Previous webcasts, now available free of charge, are available for download at www.survivingsepsis.org.

Programs are supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation:

Apply for ANZICS New Fellowship Program

The Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) has instituted a fellowship program, Intensive Care Global Rising Star Programme, in support of innovative and productive research. ANZICS will be awarding three travel fellowships for attending their 38th Annual Scientific Meeting, to be held October 25 to 27, 2013, in Hobart, Tasmania,  Australia. One fellowship will be awarded to a clinician/scientist from each of the following regions: America (USA, Canada and South America), Europe (including United Kingdom and Ireland) and Asia.

Award recipients will have the opportunity to present an overview of their past and ongoing research activities during a dedicated symposium. Travel expenses (to the value of $3,000), accommodation and registration costs for the recipients will be covered.

Applicants should have the following:

  • Medical degree and completed (or be in-training for) fellowship in intensive care medicine.
  • Age 45 years or younger, as of October 25, 2013.

Those interested in applying for this opportunity should fill out the online abstract submission form no later than May 31, 2013. Applicants will be notified by June 3, 2013.

Critical Connections Focuses on Sepsis Management

The April/May issue of Critical Connections focuses on managing sepsis in the intensive care unit, highlighting various strategies, from the use of early goal-directed therapy to implementing the Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC) guideline recommendations and bundles. Find the following articles:

  • Surviving Sepsis Campaign Enters Second Decade with Dynamic Plans
  • Rapid Identification of Sepsis: The Value of Screening Tools
  • Early Goal-Directed Therapy: Contemporary Care and Controversies
  • Ongoing Clinical Trials in Sepsis
  • Challenges in Pediatric Sepsis

The latest issue also features an article highlighting the growing concern over physician burnout and providing strategies for identifying the problem and improving performance.

SCCM Congratulates Members on Research Awards

The Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has approved 51 new awards, totaling $88.6 million over three years, to fund patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research projects under the first four areas of its National Priorities for Research and Research Agenda.  The Society of Critical Care Medicine congratulates the following members for their award-winning projects related to critical care:

  • Christopher Ethan Cox, MD, MPH – Improving Psychological Distress Among Critical Illness Survivors and Their Informal Caregivers
  • J. Randall Curtis, MD, MPH – Health System Intervention to Improve Communication About End-of-Life Care for Vulnerable Patients
  • Elliott R. Haut, MD – Preventing Venous Thromboembolism: Empowering Patients and Enabling Patient-Centered Care via Health Information Technology
  • Rebecca Aslakson, MD – Utilizing Advance Care Planning Videos to Empower Perioperative Cancer Patients and Families
  • Erik Paul Hess, MD, MS – Shared Decision Making in the Emergency Department: The Chest Pain Choice Trial; and Shared Decision Making in Parents of Children with Head Trauma: Head CT Choice
  • Debra Kay Moser, DNSc, RN – Reducing Health Disparities in Appalachians with Multiple Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors
  • Rachel Berger, MD, MPH – Using the Electronic Medical Record to Improve Outcomes and Decrease Disparities in Screening for Child Physical Abuse

We congratulate these members for their dedication to evolving research and to the field of critical care medicine.

Wear Blue Tomorrow to Support Critical Care

Be sure to wear blue on Friday, May 17, to show your support forNational Critical Care Awareness and Recognition Month (NCCARM). There is still time to mark this year’s NCCARM, and the Society offers several simple ideas for recognition of the critical care team. Some teams choose to offer tours of the intensive care unit to other hospital staff, while others organize educational symposia or invite former patients and their families back to the unit. No matter how you choose to celebrate, we hope you post your NCCARM photos and stories to the SCCM Facebook page.

Glutamine and Antioxidants for Patients with Multiple Organ Failure

Critically ill patients are at risk for significant oxidative stress; however, several small analyses have proposed that supplementation with glutamine, with or without antioxidants, may improve survival. Heyland and colleagues from the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group conducted an international, multicenter study to test the hypothesis that 28-day mortality in critically ill adults would be reduced by supplementation with glutamine, with or without antioxidants. Results were published in a recent issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

There were 1,223 patients randomized to one of four groups. Overall 28-day mortality was 29.8%. Patients who received glutamine had a trend towards worse mortality at 28 days compared to patients who did not receive glutamine (32.4% vs. 27.2%; adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.28; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.00 to 1.64; P=0.05). The combination of glutamine with antioxidants made no significant difference in survival (AOR, 1.09; 95% CI, 0.86 to 1.40; P=0.48). In-hospital mortality and mortality at 6 months were significantly higher among patients who received glutamine; they also had increases in ICU length of stay, length of mechanical ventilation, and overall hospital length of stay. Antioxidant supplementation had no effect on secondary outcomes. The findings from this large, robust randomized study are in opposition to those of previous smaller studies. Read the full Concise Critical Appraisal.

Call for CCM Editor Applicants

The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) is seeking an Editor-in-Chief for its journal Critical Care Medicine. This position requires a commitment to publication excellence and timely but fair editorial decision, upholding and enhancing the journal’s quality and reputation. To this end, the Editor-in-Chief is responsible for directing the journal’s editorial board, including the Associate Editors, and the Editor of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, to ensure they are following all appropriate procedures and working within the journals’ defined budgets. Job responsibilities include maintaining and establishing editorial policies, ensuring the content, quality, and timeliness of each issue, directing the peer review process, ensuring that accepted manuscripts conform to defined standards, and meeting all publishing responsibilities assigned.

Preferred applicants should have:

– 5 years of service on an Editorial Board
– Experience as Editor-in-Chief, or Associate Editor for a medical journal
– Current member of SCCM for 10+ years
– Active in international medical networks
– Reputation for clinical acumen

This part-time position offers a competitive stipend. Interested applicants should submit a CV, statement outlining a vision for the journal and cover letter to humanresources@sccm.org. Applications will be accepted until May 31, 2013.

$50,000 in Funding Available for Research Projects

Through generous funding from the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), a Vision Grant of $50,000 is offered to support member researchers. Submit your application by August 31, 2013, to be considered for grant support in 2014.

Eligible research should focus on one or more of the following areas of investigation:
Education: Evaluation, enhancement, and expansion of education to caregivers and families in providing patient-centered critical care.
Integrated Team of Dedicated Experts: Promotion of patient-centered critical care delivered by an integrated team of dedicated experts, including quality and health service delivery.

Outcome Measurements and Reporting: Development and measurement of quality of care provided in the ICU, thereby reducing errors and increasing patient safety.

Continuous Improvement: Focus on patient-centered care in the ICU, which includes ongoing efforts in quality improvement.

For more information or to download the application, visit www.sccm.org/VisionGrant. Learn more about last year’s winner.

Recognizing Nursing Excellence

Barbara McLean, MN, RN, CCRN, FNP, FCCM, received this year’s Norma J. Shoemaker Award for Critical Care Nursing Excellence in recognition of her dedication to critical care as both a clinician and educator.

McLean BarbaraAs a critical care specialist at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, McLean exemplifies excellence in critical care nursing through her tireless efforts as a patient care provider and advocate. A well-known educator, she has been invited to speak all over the world including the Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Spain. She has been active in Nursing Section leadership and has served on numerous Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) committees. In 2001, McLean became the 20th nurse to be inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Critical Care Medicine. Additionally, she was elected to an at-large seat on SCCM’s Council in 2004, then re-elected in 2007. Her care for the critically ill and injured are evidenced through her service after Hurricane Katrina and again in Haiti after the devastating earthquake; she has made more than eight trips back to Haiti in continued support of those in need. In recognition of her contributions, SCCM presented her with the Distinguished Service Award in 2011.

It is time again to nominate a colleague for the SCCM’s Norma J. Shoemaker Award for Critical Care Nursing Excellence. If you know someone who demonstrates dedication and commitment to critical care nursing, nominate them today.

Additional SCCM Awards

The Society offers several other awards. Most offer a complimentary registration for the Critical Care Congress, and all provide the unique opportunity to recognize colleagues for their dedication to the field. Award applications are due August 1, 2013.

Submit Your Abstract for Congress

Abstract submission for the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) 43rd Critical Care Congress is now open. Contribute to the advancement of critical care by submitting your original investigative research and case reports for presentation at the 2014 Congress to be held in San Francisco, California, USA. If accepted, your work will be on display from January 10 to 12, 2014, and will be published in Critical Care Medicine, the #1 critical care sub-specialty journal. You also will benefit from:

  • Peer evaluation: Select posters will be visited by critical care experts who provide indispensable feedback.
  • Awards: Multiple awards are offered, including scientific awards, educational scholarships and research awards.

Presenting authors who are SCCM members at the time of abstract submission may have an opportunity to apply for complimentary Congress registration.

Abstracts will be accepted until 12:00 p.m. Central Time on September 3, 2013. Submission categories are: Administration, Basic Science, Case Reports, Clinical Science, and Education. Visit www.sccm.org/abstracts for complete details on submission guidelines and categories.

Be Critical Care Aware in May

During National Critical Care Awareness and Recognition Month (NCCARM), be sure to share your celebration ideas and stories with the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) and your colleagues. This month-long celebration allows critical care team members to exemplify their dedication to patient care while creating more awareness of this demanding, life-saving practice.

Some hospitals organize tours of the intensive care unit to outside staff, offer an educational symposium or simply remember to wear blue on Friday, May 17. No matter how you celebrate, be sure to post your stories and photos on the Society’s Facebook page.

Effect of Cardiac Function and Systemic Vascular Resistance in Premature Infants

Permissive hypercapnia is a well-accepted ventilator strategy for the management of acute respiratory distress syndrome as well as other causes of respiratory failure, such as the respiratory distress syndrome seen in premature infants. Multiple studies have demonstrated that both myocardial contractility and systemic vascular resistance (SVR) decrease with hypercapnic acidosis, the ultimate effect being that cardiac function is maintained or even augmented. The effects of hypercapnic acidosis on cardiac function in the preterm infant have not been elucidated. In a prospective observational study, published in the May issue of The Journal of Pediatrics, the authors analyzed paired blood gasses and echocardiograms from 29 hemodynamically stable preterm infants at 30 weeks gestation

Samples were taken within the first two weeks of life, either during the transitional period (days 1-3) or post-transitional period (days 4-14). In all, there were 103 paired blood gasses and echocardiograms from 21 subjects in the transitional period and 44 paired studies from 15 subjects in the post-transitional period. During the transitional period, pH and PaCO2 had no effect on any of the hemodynamic measures, including shortening fraction, stress-velocity index, or SVR. However, during the post-transitional period, the infants’ hemodynamics resembled those seen in adult patients. The results of the study demonstrated differences in the way the older infants responded to acidosis and hypercapnia. Read the full Concise Critical Appraisal.

Apply New SSC Bundles in Triage

The recently revised Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC) guidelines identify triage in the emergency room as “time zero,” starting the clock on measuring compliance with the bundle elements. This measurement is central to the Campaign’s goals of performance improvement and mortality reduction. When determining patient eligibility for the three- and six-hour bundles, clinicians must understand the rationale for establishing triage as time zero and recognize how to implement the bundles in various scenarios.

During the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) April 23 webcast, The New Surviving Sepsis Campaign Bundles: From Time Zero to Tomorrow, senior leaders of the Surviving Sepsis Campaign will focus on the revised SSC bundles and the rationale for the changes. Additionally, they will highlight ongoing research efforts that are dependent upon the data from bundle implementation.

This event, part of SCCM’s newest webcast series, provides strategies for successful application of the SSC guidelines. An initiative of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) and SCCM, the SSC aims to improve the management, diagnosis and treatment of sepsis in order to reduce its high mortality rate.

Register online today. Registration is complimentary for all participants. If you have any questions, please contact SCCM Customer Service at +1 847 827-6888.

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