Submit Your Abstract for SCCM’s 44th Critical Care Congress

sq-CongressAbstract submission for the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) 44th 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 2015 Congress, to be held in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. If accepted, your work will be on display from January 18 to 20, 2015, and will be published in Critical Care Medicine, the number one critical care subspecialty journal. You also will benefit from:

  • Presentation Opportunity: Authors of the top 64 abstracts are granted the opportunity to give oral presentations.
  • 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 noon Central Time on August 1, 2014. Submission categories are: Case Reports, Clinical, Clinical Research, and Basic Science Research.

Visit www.sccm.org/abstracts for complete details on submission guidelines and categories.

Mark your calendar and join more than 6,000 members of the critical care community in the Valley of the Sun for SCCM’s 44th Critical Care Congress, to be held January 17 to 21, 2015, in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The 2015 Congress will provide unique opportunities to network with leadership in critical care and enjoy enlightened and innovative learning experiences that highlight the most up-to-date, evidence-based developments in critical care medicine. Registration opens June 2014.

New Edition of Compensation of Critical Care Professionals Available

The third edition of Compensation of Critical Care Professionals is now available. This resource is invaluable for critical care providers needing to benchmark compensation packages. Available in a free download, this edition  presents results and comparison data divided out by profession from a 2013 survey of critical care professionals conducted by the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM).

Employees can use the information to compare salaries, benefits and working conditions of critical care professionals across the country. Employers can access and review valuable information to help them formulate competitive compensation packages to meet the increasing demands of critical care personnel.

Compensation of Critical Care Professionals, Third Edition, is available to download for free in the SCCM store.

Early-Bird Rates for Critical Care Ultrasound Courses End Soon

Register for the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) Critical Care Ultrasound, Advanced Critical Care Ultrasound, and Critical Care Ultrasound – Pediatric courses by Wednesday, June 18, 2014, to take advantage of discounted registration rates.

In the evaluation and treatment of acute illness and injury, every second makes a difference. Focused ultrasound examinations in the critical care setting have become an extension of the clinical assessment because of their rapid, precise detection capabilities. Assist in the immediate management of patients by learning or enhancing point-of-care ultrasound skills.

Critical Care Ultrasound and Critical Care Ultrasound – Pediatric will be held August 17 and 18, 2014, at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The Advanced course will follow on August 19, 2014. Make your hotel reservation by July 14, 2014, to receive SCCM’s discounted rate.

Register online today for Critical Care Ultrasound, Advanced Critical Care Ultrasound, and Critical Care Ultrasound – Pediatric using your Customer ID and password, or contact SCCM Customer Service at +1 847 827-6888.

Board Review: Early Registration Deadline Approaching

The early registration deadline for the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) Adult and Pediatric Multiprofessional Critical Care Board Review Courses (MCCBRC) is Wednesday, June 18, 2014.

These 4.5-day courses provide the most comprehensive review in the diagnosis, monitoring and management of critically ill patients. The courses include interactive board preparation sessions and feature practice board questions, answers and rationales. World-class faculty focus on preparing fellows and attendings for their critical care certification and recertification. These courses also provide an excellent update for any critical care professional seeking the most current review of the field.

As a registered participant, you will benefit from:

  • Online access to practice questions
  • A comprehensive course syllabus
  • Networking opportunities with colleagues and world-renowned experts

Also, included in your registration fee is post-course online access to MCCBRC On Demand, which allows you to access videos containing the slide presentations and synchronized speaker audio for every lecture.

The 2014 Adult and Pediatric MCCBRC will be held August 12 to 16, 2014, at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Register online for the Adult or Pediatric MCCBRC using your Customer ID and password, or contact SCCM Customer Service at +1 847 827-6888.

Register Now for Webcasts on Corticosteroids and Pet and Music Therapy

In the month of June, the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) will feature two webcasts on critical care topics pertinent to quality patient care:

Use of Corticosteroids in Septic Shock
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
1:00 p.m. Central Time
Register online today

Septic shock is a serious condition often seen in the intensive care unit. Treatment is complicated and options vary. In this webcast from the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s Controversies in Critical Care series, the rationale for use or avoidance of corticosteroids in critically ill patients with septic shock will be discussed. Djilalli Annane, MD, and Greet Van den Berghe, MD, PhD, will highlight the controversies surrounding the use of low-dose corticosteroids and the association with clinical outcomes. The registration fee for this 60-minute webcast is $30 for SCCM members ($40 for nonmembers). For institutions seeking unlimited participation, a $200 group rate is available. Participants will receive 1 hour of continuing education credit.

Learning Objectives

  • List the rationales for the use of low-dose steroids in septic shock
  • Explain the controversies surrounding steroid use and clinical outcomes
  • Describe the context in which steroids should be used (e.g., dose, duration, severe sepsis versus septic shock)
  • Outline the end points for use of steroids (e.g., mortality versus shock reversal)
  • Categorize the adverse effects expected for steroid use in the critically ill
  • Review the 2012 Surviving Sepsis Campaign guidelines regarding recommendations for steroid use

The Controversies in Critical Care webcast series is a joint project of the SCCM Scientific Review Committee and the American College of Critical Care Medicine’s Ethics Committee. This series is intended to provide insight into topics in critical care medicine for which no clear consensus or unequivocal evidence is available to guide practice decisions.

The Impact of Pet and Music Therapy on the Critically Ill
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
12:00 p.m. Central Time
Register online today

Anxiety among patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) is often understandably heightened. Patients are confronted with unfamiliar surroundings and intrusive procedures, including mechanical ventilation. Music and pet therapy are two integrative approaches that may alleviate such anxiety and reduce sedation frequency and intensity. In this webcast from SCCM’s Project Dispatch series, Linda Chlan, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Erika Gonzalez, MSN, RN, CCRN, will share their unique experiences with integrative therapies for patients and families in the ICU. Complimentary registration is made possible by a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Learning Objectives

  •  Understand the key obstacles and challenges to establishing such programs
  •  Apply similar strategies in your institution
  •  Evaluate your program’s success

This webcast was organized by the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s Project Dispatch. Project Dispatch aims to improve the quality, efficacy, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness of healthcare in the United States by developing and distributing resources for critical care clinicians focused on patient-centered research. This project is supported by grant number R18HS21940 from AHRQ. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of AHRQ.

If you have any questions regarding either webcast, please contact SCCM Customer Service at +1 847 827-6888.

What Effect Do Corticosteroids Have on the Genomic Response of Pediatric Septic Shock?

The use of steroids in patients with inotrope/pressor–resistant septic shock is controversial in both adult and pediatric populations. While these patients’ hemodynamics may improve with adjunctive steroid treatment, the metabolic and immune costs may negate a definitive survival benefit. However, little has been written about the effects glucocorticoids have on global gene expression in patients with septic shock. Wong and colleagues address this topic by using a transcriptomics approach to characterize the genomic response of pediatric patients in septic shock who have received glucocorticoids. They found that the administration of corticosteroids in pediatric septic shock is associated with additional repression of genes corresponding to adaptive immunity. They did not comment on actual immune suppression, though, as qualitative evaluations of immunity were not performed.

Ultimately, steroid use in catecholamine-resistant septic shock — even in seemingly low doses — can have significant consequences in a patient’s ability to fight an initial infection or even subsequent nosocomial infections unrelated to the patient’s illness severity or infecting organism. This fact, coupled with the absence of definitive outcome benefits, should give pediatric critical care practitioners pause before prescribing steroids in children with septic shock.

Read the full Concise Critical Appraisal by logging into the SCCM eCommunity. 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.

What Critical Care and Emergency Medicine Clinicians Need to Know about MERS

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released recommendations regarding Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Critical care and emergency medicine clinicians should be alert for patients who:

  • Develop severe acute lower respiratory illness within 14 days after traveling from countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula, excluding those who only transited at airports in the region; or
  • Are close contacts of a symptomatic recent traveler from this area who has fever and acute respiratory illness; or
  • Are close contacts of a confirmed case

Clusters of patients with severe acute respiratory illness (e.g., fever and pneumonia requiring hospitalization) without recognized links to cases of MERS-CoV or to travelers from countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula should be evaluated for common respiratory pathogens. If the illnesses remain unexplained, providers should consider testing for MERS-CoV, in consultation with state and local health departments. Healthcare professionals should immediately report to their state or local health department any person being evaluated for MERS-CoV infection as a patient under investigation.

New: ICU Heroes Award

The new ICU Heroes Award, presented by the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), recognizes that patients and their respective family members are an integral part of intensive care unit (ICU) care. The award is consequently offered to an ICU patient, family and the multiprofessional ICU team that delivered the care.

Applicants are asked to share the patient’s story with a focus on attention to patient- and family-centered aspects of care. The following will be considered during the application evaluation process:

  • Clinical details
  • Principal diagnosis
  • ICU course
  • Hospital course
  • Outpatient course
  • Final outcome
  • How the individual’s course demonstrates multiprofessional care

The winning patient and ICU team leader will receive a medal, and the winning ICU team and the patient’s family will receive a commemorative plaque. Complementary travel and registration to SCCM’s Critical Care Congress also will be provided to select award recipients.

The deadline to submit an application is August 1, 2014. Application submissions and questions related to this award may be directed to SCCM staff member Kathleen Ward at kward@sccm.org.

Apply For ICU Design Citation Award

The ICU Design Citation award was conceived to identify and recognize a critical care unit already in operation whose design demonstrates attention to both functional and humanitarian issues. This prestigious award is co-sponsored by the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and the American Institute of Architects Academy of Architecture for Health.

The deadline to submit an application is August 15, 2016.

The citation is awarded to the entry that best resolves both functional and humanitarian issues in a unique and complementary manner. The focus is on planning and design characteristics rather than process or administrative features. Units are reviewed in a blinded fashion according to the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates commitment to creating a healing environment and promoting safety and security
  • Demonstrates commitment to efficiency
  • Demonstrates attention to an innovative, unique aesthetic and creative design features

ICU Design Guidelines

Most healthcare providers have little experience designing and constructing an intensive care unit (ICU). The ICU Design Guidelines can make the process easier and the finished project more efficient, effective, safe, and patient centered.

Award Winning ICU Designs

SCCM offers an interactive, web-based program that contains the top ICU design projects since 1992, with each project reviewed in short video segments. The companion PDF document contains features and floor plans of each winning unit.

Learn more about ICU design.

Wear Blue Tomorrow to Support Critical Care

Be sure to wear blue on Friday, May 16, to show your support for National 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 critical care teams.

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 Society’s Facebook page.

Consent for Research On Demand is Now Available

The recently broadcast Consent for Research in the ICU webcast is now available for purchase On Demand.

In this webcast from the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) Controversies in Critical Care series, Alex Kon, MD, FCCM, and Dan Thompson, MD, MA, FCCM, discuss the challenges associated with obtaining pediatric and adult consent for complex research in critically ill patients. Also, federal regulations, the SUPPORT study, and the potential impact of consent decisions on the well-being of patients and healthcare personnel are reviewed.

Consent for Research in the ICU On Demand gives you access to videos containing both slides and lectures from every lecture in a searchable format, making it the next best thing to attending the live event. Once you’ve purchased Consent for Research in the ICU On Demand, you can access the materials as often as you like by logging into www.MySCCM.org.

Consent for Research in the ICU On Demand is available for purchase in the SCCM store. The registration rate is just $35 for members ($45 for nonmembers).

The Controversies in Critical Care webcast series is a joint project of the SCCM Scientific Review Committee and the American College of Critical Care Medicine’s Ethics Committee. This series is intended to provide insight into topics in critical care medicine for which there is no clear consensus or unequivocal evidence for guiding practice decisions.

Registration Open for Pet and Music Therapy Webcast

Registration is now open for The Impact of Pet and Music Therapy on the Critically Ill, the latest webcast from the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) Project Dispatch series. Music and animals have a distinct ability to improve a patient’s mood and outlook. Anxiety among patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) is often understandably heightened. Patients are confronted with unfamiliar surroundings and intrusive procedures, including being on mechanical ventilation. Music and pet therapy are two integrative approaches that may alleviate such anxiety and reduce sedation frequency and intensity. In this webcast, expert faculty will share their unique experiences with integrative therapies for patients and families in the ICU.

Linda Chlan, PhD, RN, FAAN, will review the results of her randomized clinical trial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association: “Effects of Patient-Directed Music Intervention on Anxiety and Sedative Exposure in Critically Ill Patients Receiving Mechanical Ventilatory Support.” She will highlight how music can be used to reduce the common patient symptom of anxiety and the subsequent reduction of sedative exposure in mechanically ventilated patients. Erika Gonzalez, MSN, RN, CCRN, will discuss her critical care unit’s implementation of music and pet therapy.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the key obstacles and challenges to establishing such programs
  • Apply similar strategies in your institution
  • Evaluate your program’s success

This webcast will take place on Wednesday, June 25, 2014, at 12:00 p.m. Central Time.

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

This webcast was organized by the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s Project Dispatch. Project Dispatch aims to improve the quality, efficacy, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness of healthcare in the United States by developing and distributing resources for critical care clinicians focused on patient-centered research. This project is supported by grant number R18HS21940 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Registration Open for Webcast on Corticosteroids in Septic Shock

Registration is now open for Use of Corticosteroids in Septic Shock, the latest webcast from the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) Controversies in Critical Care series. Treating critically ill patients can be further complicated by a diagnosis of septic shock; the treatment options are varied and debatable. This webcast will discuss the rationale for use or non-use of corticosteroids in critically ill patients with septic shock. Expert faculty will highlight the controversies surrounding the use of low-dose corticosteroids and its association with clinical outcomes.

Djilalli Annane, MD, and Greet Van den Berghe, MD, PhD, will debate seminal clinical trials, meta-analyses and other studies that have been completed in this area. The rationale for testing for adrenal insufficiency, cortisol metabolism in critical illness, and the adverse effects of corticosteroids in critically ill patients will also be reviewed. A third member of the panel, R. Phillip Dellinger, MD, MCCM, will moderate the discussion and review the 2012 SCCM Surviving Sepsis Campaign recommendations on corticosteroid use. The webcast will conclude with a question and answer session.

Learning Objectives

  • List the rationales for the use of low dose steroids in septic shock
  • Explain the controversies surrounding steroid use and clinical outcomes
  • Describe the context in which steroids should be used (e.g., dose, duration, severe sepsis versus septic shock)
  • Outline the end points for use of steroids (e.g., mortality versus shock reversal)
  • Categorize the adverse effects expected for steroid use in the critically ill
  • Review the 2012 SCCM septic shock guidelines regarding recommendations for steroid use

This webcast will take place on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. Central Time and participants will receive 1 hour of continuing education credit.

Register online today using your Customer ID and password. The registration fee for this 60-minute webcast is $30 for SCCM members and $40 for nonmembers. For institutions seeking unlimited participation, a $200 group rate is available. Please contact SCCM Customer Service at +1 847 827-6888 to inquire about the group rate.

The Controversies in Critical Care webcast series is a joint project of the SCCM Scientific Review Committee and the American College of Critical Care Medicine’s Ethics Committee. This series is intended to provide insight into topics in critical care medicine for which there is no clear consensus or unequivocal evidence for guiding practice decisions.

What’s New for the 2014 Critical Care Ultrasound Courses?

The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) is introducing a number of improvements and innovations for the 2014 Critical Care Ultrasound programs to enhance the experience of attendees. This summer, SCCM has added a dedicated Critical Care Ultrasound – Pediatric course. The new workshop is designed specifically for ultrasound clinicians caring for critically ill or injured infants and children in the intensive care unit (ICU). This course includes expanded vascular, lung and volume hands-on training skill stations with targeted “Pediatric Rapid Response” and “Unexpected Congenital Heart Disease” case discussions.

An hour of new clinical cases has been added to the agenda to enhance Critical Care Ultrasound and Advanced Critical Care Ultrasound, which both focus on the critically ill or injured adult patient. For all three courses, this year’s skill stations will include not only demonstrations on human models, but also simulation software to show pathology.

The 2014 summer ultrasound courses will be held August 17 to 19, 2014, at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Register online for Critical Care Ultrasound, Critical Care Ultrasound – Pediatric, and Advanced Critical Care Ultrasound using your Customer ID and password, or contact SCCM Customer Service at +1 847 827-6888.

Report of Decreased Mortality Related to Severe Sepsis in Australia and New Zealand

Much attention has been devoted in the literature to the details of sepsis pathophysiology and therapy over the last decade, while severe sepsis and septic shock remain the number one cause of death in critically ill patients. The failure of numerous randomized controlled trials for interventions in severe sepsis has led some to believe that little progress has been made in terms of improving survival. Kaukonen and colleagues sought to estimate trends in mortality in a large cohort of patients in Australia and New Zealand over a 13-year period. The authors hypothesized that mortality rates decreased significantly throughout this time period. Their study affirmed similar findings of decreased mortality among patients with severe sepsis over the last decade. However, the study also demonstrated a decrease in overall mortality among all admitting ICU diagnoses over the same time period. This mortality reduction remained after multiple adjustments for confounders, including illness severity. These findings likely reflect a better understanding of disease processes and therapies in the ICU, whether related to sepsis or not. One potential criticism of this work is that an element of surveillance bias or stage migration (i.e., the Will Rogers phenomenon) might be at play given improved awareness and detection of sepsis. With the decrease in short-term mortality observed in this study and others, future studies examining measures of healthcare-related quality of life and other measures of morbidity are merited.

Read the full Concise Critical Appraisal by logging into the SCCM eCommunity. 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.

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