What is Acute Care Research?

What is Acute Care Research?

Acute care research encompasses the study of epidemiology, mechanisms of disease, outcomes and risk factors to fulfill the following primary objectives:

  1. To characterize the clinical course of acute illness
  2. To optimize the current assessment strategies and clinical management upon presentation
  3. To identify novel strategies for therapeutic interventions
  4. To recognize risk factors associated with the acquisition of an acute illness
  5. To outline risk factor reduction techniques 

From a global perspective, the International Forum for Acute Care Trialists brings together researchers to broaden the scope of acute care research by identifying issues facing acute care centers across the world, and visualize any trends in the source, transmission, presentation, and treatment of disease. InFACT facilitates initiatives that aim to address these concerns, and collectively strive to improve the current standards of care.
Advantages of collaboration in research include:
- Combined experience and training
- Shared resources and technology
- Varying backgrounds foster creativity
- Demand for expanded capacity
- Division of labor
- Opportunity to learn from other disciplines
- Opportunity to lend credibility and validity to project

What has been the impact of acute care research?

ARISE Investigators. ARISE: Australasian Resuscitation in Sepsis Evaluation Randomized Controlled Trial. NEJM, Oct 1 2014 (ePub)
  • For patients with septic shock, this study compared early goal-directed therapy with usual resuscitation care in 51 tertiary care and nontertiary care metropolitan and rural hospitals in Australia. Early goal-directed therapy is a plan of care that aims to correct specific numbers and problems during the resuscitation.
  • It showed that there was no difference in the number of deaths in either group, telling us that managing septic shock according to a specific protocol aiming to achieve certain goals was no better than the usual care that we provide. This has an impact around the world on the management of septic shock
The NICE-SUGAR Study Investigators. Intensive versus Conventional Glucose Control in Critical Care Patients. N Engl J Med 2009; 360:1283-12974
  • For patients in a critical care unit, this study compared the effect of maintaining blood glucose levels within a tighter range (4.5 to 6.0 mmol/L), with the standard maximum blood glucose (less than 10.0 mmol/L)
  • The study showed an increase in the number of deaths within 90 days, and an increase in the number of hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) episodes in patients randomized to the tight glucose control group. This demonstrates that the usual standard maximum is a safer guideline for critical care patients
Nielsen N et al. Target Temperature Management 33°C Versus 36°C After Out-of-hospital Cardiac Arrest, a Randomised, Parallel Groups, Assessor Blinded Clinical Trial. N Engl J Med 2013; 369:2197-22065
  • This study assessed the effect of induced hypothermia at 33˚C, compared to the standard 36˚C, in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients who remain unconscious after return of spontaneous circulation.
  • It showed that there was no difference in the number of deaths between the two groups, impacting the use of induced temperature management in unconscious cardiac arrest patients

Executive Members

  • ANZICS Clinical Trials Group
  • BRICNet
  • George Institute
  • GiViTI
  • GSA
  • ICS UK
  • LASI
  • SCCTG-Scottish
  • SCCTG-Scandinavian
  • SOAP Investigators