Brian Erstad, PharmD, MCCM, FCCP, FASHP, BCPS, a professor and head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the University of Arizona R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy, has been appointed co-chair of an international panel for the Society of Critical Care Medicine.
The Society of Critical Care Medicine is the largest nonprofit medical organization dedicated to promoting excellence and consistency in the practice of critical care. Dr. Erstad will lead efforts to develop guidelines concerning the use of treatments for critically ill adult patients that need to received sustained paralysis in the intensive care unit setting to help ameliorate various disease states and potentially reduce mortality.
“The intent is to help ensure patients receive the most appropriate use of the class of medications known as neuromuscular blocking agents.” Dr. Erstad said. “These medications paralyze skeletal muscles, so despite their potential usefulness, they have potential adverse effects related to prolonged paralysis such as venous thromboembolism, muscle weakness after discontinuation, and decubitus ulcers.”
As an international panel, the guidelines developed by Dr. Erstad and the panel will be used by all healthcare professionals who practice in critical care settings. The impact of which will contribute to improved patient safety and better patient outcomes.
Dr. Erstad's involvement in this panel is not his first experience in this role. He previously led the development of clinical practice guidelines for stress ulcer prophylaxis for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. He has also served on development panels for other clinical practice guidelines with organizations such as the University HealthSystem Consortium, the American College of Chest Physicians, and the American College of Surgeons. Additionally, he is currently serving as a methodologist on a guideline panel for the American Thoracic Society.
“The Society of Critical Care medicine has many physician, pharmacy and nursing leaders in the field of critical care,” he said. “It is an honor to co-chair a distinguished panel of health professionals for the organization.”