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This content is taken from the The University of Glasgow's online course, Introduction to Critical Care Medicine. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds MICHELLE: Hello. And welcome to an Introduction to Critical Care, our online course running in conjunction with University of Glasgow and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. I’m Michelle, a Clinical Teaching Fellow in Critical Care here. And these are my fellow educational leads for the online course.

Skip to 0 minutes and 21 seconds MO: Hello. My name is Mo. I’m a Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine.

Skip to 0 minutes and 26 seconds MALCOLM: Hello. I’m Malcolm. I’m also a Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, and I have an academic interest.

Skip to 0 minutes and 32 seconds MO: Each week, we will follow the case of a patient who has a medical condition commonly managed in critical care. In our trauma week, we’ll focus on how to triage patients when dealing with multiple casualties and learn how to manage trauma in the pre-hospital setting and once they arrive. We’ll also look at some of the complications of trauma and how we look after patients to give them the best chance of survival.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds MALCOLM: In our sepsis week, we’ll expand on the basic knowledge of how to manage sepsis in the initial stages and discuss what extra support we can provide in the critical care unit. We’ll also highlight the new definitions of sepsis and discuss what implications this might have in practice.

Skip to 1 minute and 10 seconds MICHELLE: Our first week will be split into two parts, the first being an introduction to what critical care is and which patients are cared for in this type of unit. The second part will focus on the first of our common presentations to critical care and follow a patient who was initially admitted with a lower respiratory tract infection but fails to improve during their admission to the wards, resulting in them needing to be transferred to the critical care unit to receive the extra support they need to get them the best chance of survival.

Skip to 1 minute and 36 seconds During this week, Malcolm, who’s one of the directors of our masters in critical care course, will provide some interesting insight into the use of high flow nasal oxygen in critical care.

Skip to 1 minute and 46 seconds MALCOLM: Throughout the course will be opportunities to take part in interactive-learning activities, including discussions and polls, which we hope you’ll get involved with. The discussions will be supported by us. And so they’re a good platform for asking any questions you might have.

Skip to 2 minutes and 0 seconds MO: So what do you think critical care is? What type of patients do you think we commonly look after in our critical care unit? Take a few moments to think about this before starting the course. You can also revisit this question at the end and see how your thoughts might have changed.

Introduction: Meet the Educators


Welcome to the Introduction to Critical Care Medicine course. We are excited to take you through the next three weeks. We aim to provide an introduction to the subject and give you a flavour of the key principles of Critical Care Medicine.

Throughout the course you are invited to read articles, watch videos and listen to an audio recording to illustrate the key learning points from each week. In the last week you will hear from one of our own patients about their experience in Critical Care.

Three weeks, three cases, three pathologies:

Each week we will follow a different patient with a different problem.

This week we will introduce you to the concept of Critical illness and what it means. You will also meet our first patient, who has some trouble breathing. The articles will take you through the case making you think and learn about what might be causing this. You will also look at where in the hospital the patient is best managed, whether that is in the ward or in a Critical Care environment.

Week 2 will continue with a case based theme. Here you will meet our second patient, who has sustained trauma. During this week you will learn how and why we triage patients. You can then try this for yourself by taking part in one of our polls. Following the patient journey, you will then learn about some of the complications of trauma, including major haemorrhage, renal failure and the need for Critical Care.

Week 3 will introduce you to our third and final patient, who is quickly diagnosed with sepsis. Here you will learn the definitions of sepsis and how they have changed, how we treat sepsis and why mortality is still high, despite our best efforts. You will also learn about the extra support which can be provided for patients like this in a Critical Care unit, rather than on a ward.

Take a moment to watch the video featuring Dr Malcolm Sim, Dr Mo Al-Haddad and Dr Michelle Clarkson. Dr Sim and Dr Al-Haddad are Consultants in Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine, whilst Dr Clarkson is a Clinical Teaching Fellow in Critical Care at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow. Click the links below to find out more about them.

And finally…

What do you think Critical Care is? What sort of patients do you think we treat in our Critical Care Unit? Have a think about how you would answer these questions and discuss your answers with your peers below. You could also take this opportunity to introduce yourself to other people on the course.

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This video is from the free online course:

Introduction to Critical Care Medicine

The University of Glasgow