ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Every day, some of the nation’s most critically ill and injured patients come through the doors of the University of Michigan Health System’s adult emergency department. Once they get stabilized by emergency medicine teams, most head for an operating room or directly upstairs to one of U-M’s six specialized adult intensive care units.

But soon, these super-critical emergency patients will get an even higher level care from the moment of arrival through the first crucial hours, all within the emergency department, in a project approved today by the U-M Board of Regents.

The new Emergency Critical Care Center, or EC3, will be among the first of its kind in the nation when it opens in two phases starting in spring 2015. Through close partnerships between U-M emergency department and ICU teams, it will ensure patients a smoother transition to the next phase of care.

The EC3 may mean some patients can get through an initial health crisis without needing an ICU bed at all. That’s an important goal given the high demand for U-M ICU care and the ever-growing number of patients coming to U-M hospitals.

Designed with research in mind, the EC3 will make it easier for teams to test new diagnostics, devices, monitoring equipment and treatment strategies. The results of such studies could benefit patients worldwide who suffer strokes, sepsis, hemorrhages, brain trauma, cardiac arrest, overdoses and acute lung injury.

The new facility will also serve as the training ground for a new breed of emergency critical care physicians. This rapidly growing discipline involves post-residency training merging the skill sets of critical care with emergency medicine, giving doctors expertise focused on the first hours after the onset of a major health emergency.

To continue reading the full announcement and to view 3D renderings of the EC3 project, visit the University of Michigan Health System website.

For more information, contact:
Kara Gavin,