Organizational Approach

The U.S. Critical Illness and Injury Trials (USCIIT) Group facilitates collaboration among experts with the goal of promoting clinical trials in the critically ill or injured. Triannual face-to-face meetings foster the development of evidence-based clinical protocols and the subsequent preparation of applications for funding to test specific hypotheses. To maximize inclusiveness and the scientific rigor of the discussions, three face-to-face meetings are held annually: every fall at the NIH Bethesda campus, every winter in conjunction with the Annual Congress of the Society of Critical Care Medicine, and every spring in conjunction with the International Conference of the American Thoracic Society.

The tri-annual meetings of the USCIIT Group support its dual missions of fostering investigator-initiated hypothesis testing and planning strategically at a national level.  These meetings are important because they uniquely address fundamental gaps in the field, including

  • fragmented nature of care for the critically ill and injured, across time (prehospital, inpatient, rehab), across domains (ED, OR, ICU, floor), specialties (physicians, nurses, therapists, nutritionists, scientists, engineers), and geography (continental US, Alaska, and Hawaii)
  • lack of a mechanism for investigator-government-community interaction to drive multicenter studies, strategic planning, and best practice
  • educational curricula and training opportunities for clinical research and trial design in the ICU
  • paucity of university and hospital support for critical illness and injury research, which is typically dispersed across multiple departments