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Clinical Division of the Department of Critical Care Medicine

The Department of Critical Care Medicine’s clinical focus is to provide masterful care for critically ill patients in our medical centers. We are leaders in the global medical community as well as our own. We are visible, respected, and in constant communication with members of the international critical care community and we sit at the table with respected and influential global champions of excellence in health care including the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, and the American College of Emergency Medicine.

Attending physicians in the Department of Critical Care are all certified by the appropriate Boards of Medical Specialists and are trained and experienced in teaching medical trainees at every level of postgraduate training, including medical students from the University of Pittsburgh. Night and after-hours call is inseparable from critical care. Departmental critical care physicians are always available for consultations about patient care questions from colleagues on all the ward services throughout the hospital.

Our physicians in the Adult Division provide high-quality, around-the-clock direct patient care for the sickest patients in our hospitals, including UPMC Presbyterian, UPMC Montefiore, UPMC Magee, UPMC Mercy, and the Oakland VA Hospitals.

Our Pediatric Division provides full intensive care services for pediatric patients from birth to young adults at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

Intensivists in our Hospitalist Division provide inpatient care at UPMC Mercy, UPMC Passavant, and UPMC St. Margaret. 

In an effort to create a unified, integrated system-wide approach to better define the future of critical care, our department, under the leadership of Department Chair Derek Angus, MD, and Chief Nurse Executive Holly Lorenz, MSN, RN, created an ICU Service Center. The primary aim of the ICU Service Center is to deliver the highest quality critical care with the greatest degree of compassion to critically ill patients and their families. The ICU Service Center will maximize resource utilization particularly as it pertains to end-of-life care, create quality assurance benchmarks as they apply to the cost of ICU care, and create a regional structure to expand our telemedicine network, making tertiary level critical care available to outlying hospitals in underserved communities.

In addition to its ICU care focus, the Departmental clinical physicians are also responsible for leading the “Rapid Response Team” (RRT) at the flagship Presbyterian Hospital. The RRT is an on-site emergency clinical resource for hospital patients who become clinically unstable, especially after normal hours. The RRT interdicts the progression of critical illnesses, either treating them on-site or transferring them to an ICU, or both.

The field of organ transplantation is expanding rapidly, and ethical issues regarding organ donation abound. The CCM Department makes use of new resources including Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) to ensure that current medical ethics concerning donation are applied and to maximize recovery of viable organs. Departmental physicians staff the Organ Donation Support Team (ODST) to insure expertise and standardization for organ donors.

Departmental physicians are also world leaders in the field of clinical research. Research conducted by primarily pure science at the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research, founded by the world-renowned Dr. Peter Safar and renamed in his honor in 1994, push the envelope of reanimation. The Clinical Research, Investigation, and System Modeling of Acute illness (CRISMA) Center is a multidisciplinary clinical, translational and health services research group conducting cutting-edge research into the optimal care of the critically ill. The clinical research that our physicians conduct ultimately improves the standard of clinical care.