[Long Read] The TGN1412 drug trial: A personal view


by Ganesh Suntharalingam, Honorary Secretary, Intensive Care Society

On the morning of Monday 13 March 2006, six out of eight healthy male volunteers on a clinical trial received a first dose of a drug never before given to humans, in an independent commercially-run clinical trials unit within the grounds of Northwick Park Hospital.

This was planned and expected to be completely routine. However, all six men had a life-threatening reaction requiring an emergency response by the NHS, which not only had a lasting impact on them but also brought about changes in how higher-risk clinical trials are run and regulated in the UK, EU, and beyond.

Saving the lives of those volunteers Continue reading “[Long Read] The TGN1412 drug trial: A personal view”

The Future Intensivist: A response


by John Gannon

I remember the ‘critical care’ silo mentality that Dr Gary Masterson refers to. However, the problems created by so called ‘single organ doctors’, at that time, where not caused by the ‘ologists’ referred to, but by the ‘anaesthesia based intensivists’ who created the ‘silo’ mentality by shrouding critical care in the complexities of organ support. They did this by jealously guarding the critical care patch and dismissing any attempt by the ‘meddling ologists’ to get involved! Continue reading “The Future Intensivist: A response”

Wellbeing in the ICU: Countering Burnout


by Jeremy Groves, Consultant in Critical Care

I’ve just listened to the recording of Helgi Johannson’s and Peter Brindley’s talks from the 2016 State of the Art Conference.¹ They were talking about burn-out, or in more positive language, wellbeing. These recordings will be made available in the near future on the SOA website, and we will be highlighting our favourites over the coming year, so look out for them. Burnout was one of the most popular topics at this years’ meeting Continue reading “Wellbeing in the ICU: Countering Burnout”

The 2nd Sprint National Anaesthesia Project


by Danny Wong

The 2nd Sprint National Anaesthesia Project: Epidemiology of Critical Care provision after Surgery (SNAP-2: EpiCCS)

The SNAPs are short, sharp, point prevalence studies conducted by the National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia Health Services Research Centre of perioperative practice in the UK. SNAP-1 was a study into postoperative patient reported outcome measures, and was recently published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia. SNAP-2 will involve Continue reading “The 2nd Sprint National Anaesthesia Project”

New Standard Medication Concentrations in Adult Critical Care Area


by Mark Borthwick, Consultant Pharmacist – Critical Care

A decade ago, critical care units prepared medicines for infusion in a fashion determined by each individual unit and without reference to a central recommended list.  As a consequence, there were a huge variety of compositions of medications and fragmentation in practice, with implications for training, use of language/terminology, efficient use of resources and lack of purchasing power to influence development of medicines manufactured in a ready-to-use format. Continue reading “New Standard Medication Concentrations in Adult Critical Care Area”

Devastating Brain Injury Working Party


by Dan Harvey, Chair, Devastating Brain Injury Working Party

The Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine and Intensive Care Society’s Joint Professional Standards (JPS) committee exists to help develop clinical standards and ensure quality and safe practice. Whilst this includes synthesis of research into evidence based guidelines, it also includes publication of guidance in areas where the evidence base is less certain, but clear risks to either patients or professional practice exist. Continue reading “Devastating Brain Injury Working Party”

Jottings from JICS: Prolonging the life of arterial lines – Finding the right solution.


by Jeremy Groves, Consultant in Anaesthesia and Critical Care

It is disheartening for all concerned when an arterial line stops working.  The patient’s monitoring is compromised, re-siting a line takes up both medical and nursing time and it always seems to happen in the patient who is either desperately ill, or has such a poor arterial tree that the wire won’t thread.

An intervention that prolongs the life of a line must be a good thing Continue reading “Jottings from JICS: Prolonging the life of arterial lines – Finding the right solution.”

The Ferreira Judgement: Deprivation of liberty and intensive care units

The Court of Appeal, on Wednesday 26th January 2017, handed down a judgment on the Ferreira Case. The Intensive Care Society is pleased to be able to announce that the Court of Appeal held that that there is generally no Deprivation of Liberty in the administration of life saving treatment. Continue reading “The Ferreira Judgement: Deprivation of liberty and intensive care units”

Neil Smith on his research into decision making in the ICU [Interview]


Alfred Long, ICS Communications Officer

Neil Smith, the recipient of the 2014 Nurse and AHP Foundation Fellowship Award, speaks about his research on decision making in ICUs. He is currently working at Hull Royal Infirmary whilst pursuing a PhD at the University of Hull.

Neil’s study looks into individual decision making in the use of Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT). Continue reading “Neil Smith on his research into decision making in the ICU [Interview]”

Meet the President


by Gary Masterson

President of the Intensive Care Society

As your new ICS President, I thought an introduction would be useful as I don’t see myself as one of the big national names .

I was brought up in Belfast in the 60s and 70s, and studied medicine at Trinity College, Cambridge. My first exposure to critical care was during my surgical house job (or F1 in modern parlance) in Great Yarmouth, when one of my surgical patients was admitted to the intensive care unit. It was a seminal moment. I was mesmerised by the available technology, the data and numbers, and mostly the medical staff. Continue reading “Meet the President”