Critical Care Research in our division is focused around sepsis and sepsis-associated organ dysfunction.
Sepsis is a systemic response to infection or injury which kills over 200,000 Americans a year. Research on the pathogenesis of sepsis includes investigations into basic mechanisms of inflammation, innate immunity, mitochondrial dysfunction and host-pathogen interactions.
There is also a strong interest in individual differences leading from uncomplicated infections to sepsis.
Translational efforts focus on studying these basic discoveries in septic patients and characterizing the role of patient factors, such as smoking and nutritional status.
Clinical research focuses on developing novel therapies for sepsis-related organ failure, especially lung failure, called acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ALI/ARDS) and neuromuscular consequences of sepsis, including delirium and ICU-acquired weakness.
We are or have been involved in multi-center studies exploring novel strategies of mechanical ventilation and novel pharmacologic treatments for ALI/ARDS. We have also coordinated the largest study of ICU-acquired weakness and are pursuing a variety of possible treatments for these patients. Investigators are also focused on the national epidemiology of sepsis and sepsis-related death and the identification of previously unknown risk factors.
Finally, organizing care delivery for septic patients to provide appropriate care to all victims is a major emphasis of our clinical effectiveness research projects. This is bolstered by on-going screening, identification and data collection of all septic patients admitted to the ICU.