Open Access

Surgical critical care

Critical Care20049:E11

https://doi.org/10.1186/cc2935

Received: 27 July 2004

Published: 25 August 2004

Keywords

critical care evidence-based medicine intensive care surgery

http://www.surgicalcriticalcare.net is a website maintained by the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship program at Orlando Regional Medical Center. It is directed at any member of the health care field who is interested in surgical critical care, from medical students to intensivists to allied health professionals. In keeping with this aim, its content is both administrative and educational. This report focuses only on the educational content of the website.

The site contains a lecture series that starts with the basics of critical care such as hemodynamic monitoring and progresses to more complicated issues that are relevant specifically to surgical critical care, such as abdominal catastrophes and neurotrauma. Most of the topics are in the form of PowerPoint presentations, and some also have an associated handout in PDF format. Notably, there are several topics listed for which the lecture is not available at this time. The lectures are produced by various members of the critical care team, including medical doctors and pharmacists. The content in most of the lectures is evidence based, with appropriate references provided. A second feature of the website is a section presenting interesting cases that can be explored in an interactive manner, with the user acting as the intensivist. Unfortunately, only one case is currently present on this page, but three more appear to be planned.

The evidence-based medicine (EBM) section of the website is quite useful and currently contains 34 reviews that are relevant to the field of surgical critical care. The topics range from general critical care topics such as assessment of adrenal insufficiency in critically ill patients to specific surgical problems such as use of steroids in spinal cord injury. The reviews are usually concise and comprehensive, with a list of appropriate references at the end. Links to two other EBM sites relevant to surgical critical care, are included at the bottom of the page. A section that nicely complements the EBM section is entitled 'A practical guide to statistics'. This section, which is written by the director of the critical care unit, includes topics ranging from basic statistical theory to different analytic techniques to a chapter describing how to critically analyze medical literature. Although not intended as a comprehensive resource on statistics, it is adequate for the non-biostatistician to perform simple statistics and to interpret the medical literature.

From a technical standpoint, the website achieves its goals of being a resource for anyone who is interested in the field. The site is simply structured with a navigation bar that allows rapid access to the different pages of the website. In addition, all educational components are freely accessible to the general public. However, viewing of the PowerPoint presentations seems to require Internet Explorer. The site was last revised in April 2004, but it is not clear how frequently the content is updated. Overall, this site is a useful and easily accessible resource for those interested in the field of surgical critical care.

Best feature

The best feature is the inclusion of EBM reviews.

Worst feature

Some lectures are missing, and few lectures are available as PDF handouts.

Wish list

A greater number of interactive cases and a section on surgical procedures in the ICU (e.g. surgical airway) would be useful additions.

Other links

Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma: trauma practice guidelines – http://east.org/tpg.html This website, run by Wake Forest University, provides evidence-based guidelines for many management problems related to the trauma patient.

Notes

Abbreviations

EBM: 

evidence-based medicine.

Declarations

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Resident, General Surgery, University of Toronto

Copyright

© BioMed Central Ltd 2004

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