The Massey Emergency Critical Care Center (EC3), which opens today, was created to deliver optimal care to the most critically ill and injured patients from the moment of arrival through the first crucial hours of their health crisis.

The first of its kind in the country, this unit includes five resuscitation/trauma bays and nine patient rooms, and gives teams of U-M doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists and others the room and technology they need to stabilize the patient, make an initial diagnosis, and begin to provide advanced care for health crises such as strokes, sepsis, hemorrhages, traumatic brain injury, cardiac arrest, overdoses and acute lung injury.

Just before its opening, the EC3 was named in honor of the Joyce and Don Massey Family Foundation, in recognition of a gift to support emergency care and research for traumatic brain injury.

Designed with research in mind, the EC3 will make it easier for teams to test new diagnostics, devices, monitoring equipment and treatment strategies. Many of those ideas will come to the EC3 through the U-M Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care (MCIRCC).

U-M has many emergency research clinical trial efforts under way, and serves as the hub for multi-hospital clinical trial networks including the Neurological Emergencies Treatment Trial (NETT) network, Michigan StrokeNet, and the Pediatric Emergency Care Research Network (PECARN). The U-M Injury Center is one of only 11 funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Recently, a collaborative project between researchers in U-M’s Pulmonary/Critical Care and Surgical Critical Care divisions, and Emergency Medicine, has resulted in UMHS becoming one of only 11 clinical centers funded by the National Institutes of Health for projects focusing on Prevention and Early Treatment of Acute Lung injury (PETAL).

Having the EC3 as an early critical care resource will help U-M attract funding for future research trials. And, by ensuring closer connections between emergency and intensive care staff, the EC3 will help ensure that patients who qualify for a study will be identified and enrolled, before hours slip by or they receive care that might make them ineligible.

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.

Special two-year fellowship programs now make emergency medicine-trained doctors eligible to be board certified in critical care by the American Board of Medical Specialties. UMHS has new emergency critical care fellowships, run through the departments of Anesthesiology and Internal Medicine in collaboration with Emergency Medicine. The EC3 will also be a training ground for other U-M critical care physicians-in-training and specialized emergency critical care nurses.

Click here for more information about the EC3.

Click here to watch an interview with Medical Director of the EC3, Kyle Gunnerson, MD.