The Pragmatic Critical Care Research Group (PCCRG) was founded in 2013 by Drs. Matthew Semler, David Janz, and Todd Rice of Vanderbilt University to improve care for critically ill patients by using clinical trials to compare commonly used treatments. Over time, the group has grown into a multi-center clinical trials network that includes more than 100 emergency medicine, anesthesia, and critical care medicine physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other personnel from 20 health systems across the United States.
The network has completed 15 randomized trials enrolling almost 40,000 patients. Results of these trials, including 5 published in the New England Journal of Medicine or JAMA, have identified common, inexpensive treatments that improve patient outcomes (e.g., use of balanced crystalloids rather than saline, bag-mask ventilation during emergency tracheal intubation) and therapies commonly administered in clinical practice that may be ineffective or harmful (e.g., administration of a fluid bolus prior to emergency tracheal intubation).
Today, the network conducts federally-funded clinical trials in emergency and critical care medicine led by the Coordinating Center (Director: Dr. Jonathan Casey), Executive Committee (Members: Todd Rice, MD, MSc; Wesley Self, MD, MPH; David Janz, MD, MSc; Adit Ginde, MD; Stacy Trent, MD, MSPH; Matthew Prekker, MD, MPH; Brian Driver, MD; Kevin Gibbs, MD; Derek Russell, MD; and Sheetal Gandotra, MD), and Steering Committee (Chair: Dr. Matt Semler) with clinicians and researchers from each hospital. The network focuses on comparing commonly used treatments for respiratory failure, shock, and other common acute illnesses.
PCCRG aims to continue to use clinical trials to inform the best care for acutely ill patients in
real-world settings, to engage patients and community members in acute care research, and to
advance methods for implementing clinical trial results to improve care for individual patients
through personalized medicine.