icuroom.net – a new critical care addendum
© BioMed Central Ltd 2005
Received: 10 September 2005
Published: 8 October 2005
Critical care medicine practitioners and physicians-in-training often turn to web resources to seek relevant information. Due to the overwhelming amount of critical care literature, complex critical care formulas and medications, a web resource that provides 'one stop' quick, easy, efficient access to critical care information, including various therapies, calculations and medications, is of great help.
icuroom.net is a relatively new addition to the web based resources available to critical care clinicians. The resource is useful for both physicians-in-training and for practicing intensivists. The major feature of the website is a list of links to critical care resources that review specific intensive care unit (ICU) topics. Examples of these topics include acid-base physiology, determination of brain death, sedation guidelines, and antibiotics. The sources of information for these reviews include practice parameters from other institutions and organizations, power point presentations from clinicians, and published systemic reviews. Some of these reviews are from various societies and institutions, such as the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the Food and Drug Administration, and Johns Hopkins University. The site also provides links to various other critical care societies, as well as to ICU algorithms and medication dose calculators. The home page has a daily 'teaching pearl' in critical care medicine, as well as a link to previous teaching pearls. A recent pearl gives seven tips on fever and blood cultures in the ICU. The site is free, does not require registration or special software, is easy to navigate, and has a search feature.
The site has many weaknesses. The major weakness is that much of the information provided is not evidence based. The site simply provides links to various other websites and articles, and does not critically evaluate the topics. The number of topics covered is presently limited, but the site is likely to get better as more modules are added. Some of the material cannot be downloaded, and some of the reviews provided do not clearly identify the author. The website itself is not visually pleasing and looks somewhat amateurish. Although the site is designed and managed by Iqbal Ratani MD, no other information about the webmaster is provided. There is no indication of how often the site is updated.
Overall, there is a wealth of information presented in this site. Medical students and residents will obtain great educational value from visiting the site. In addition to physicians with an interest in intensive care medicine, the site should also be of interest to emergency room physicians, and internists.
The site is user-friendly, provides one critical care teaching pearl everyday, and access to various calculation software.
The alphabetical listing of links to the sites and articles. It would be nice to categorize articles based on systems or by specialties.
It would be nice to have an interactive evidence based discussion forum.
The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) guidelines – http://www.sccm.org/professional_resources/guidelines/table_of_contents/index.asp
This website provides professional evidence based critical care practice guidelines.
Critical Care Evidence-Based Medicine Journal Club – http://ccforum.com/articles/browse.asp?sort=Journal+club+critique. This site provides an editorial of published articles based on the University of Pittsburgh's journal club's critique of the current published literature.