FOAMed Resource Series Part V: Critical Care

Author: Brit Long, MD (@long_brit, EM Attending Physician, SAUSHEC) // Editor: Alex Koyfman, MD (@EMHighAK, EM Attending Physician, UTSW Medical Center / Parkland Memorial Hospital)

Critical care is an essential part of emergency medicine. Many of us in EM love the initial resuscitation and management of patients who require immediate, life-saving care.  Every patient deserves our best, and emergency providers often need to make decisions within seconds that can drastically change management.

FOAMed has demonstrated the ability to improve knowledge translation, allowing us access to the most up to date literature. Today’s FOAMed resource post will evaluate critical care. Prior parts of the series have evaluated ECG, ultrasound, pediatrics, and toxicology. For more information, please see these prior posts:





This list of critical care resources by no means covers all of the available FOAMed critical care blogs or podcasts. The following list is comprised of blogs/podcasts with the best educational pearls, valid content, and EM clinical impact, with appropriate references. Only currently-active sites are listed. If you have found other helpful resources, please mention them in the comments below.


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EMCrit is now a conglomeration of the original critical care blog/podcast EMCrit by Dr. Scott Weingart with PulmCrit (Dr. Josh Farkas) and EMNerd (Dr. Rory Spiegel). This resource “brings the best-evidence based information from the fields of critical care, resuscitation, and trauma and translate it for bedside use in the ED and ICU.” This is one of the best critical care resources available, with a 15-30 minute podcast every 2 weeks, along with posts and literature updates. The site has procedural videos that are second-to-none on airway management and central line insertion. PulmCrit and EMNerd provide key reviews of controversial topics and must-know studies for the EM provider. This is an essential resource for critical care and emergency providers.




The Intensive Care Network (ICN) was developed to “educate, link, and stimulate healthcare individuals involved in critical care.” Oli Flower and Roger Harris are two of the primary team leaders, and the site provides podcasts (searchable by subject, system, and specialty), videos, and a blog. Other resources include clinical cases, best evidence, radiology, ultrasound, and simulation cases.




The Maryland CC Project comes from the University of Maryland Critical Care Fellows dating back to 2013. This resource provides almost weekly lectures and videos, all with an outline and show notes with each post. The site includes clinical pearls, cases, and core content lectures. Overall, this is an amazing learning resource for learners of all levels.




PulmCCM first launched in 2011 to improve flow of information in pulmonary and critical care medicine. The site has several areas including “Everything Good” literature review with online journal club, “Real-World Boards” with a free place for board review questions and simulations, PulmCCM Journal which is an online peer-reviewed journal, and a library chock-full of review articles and guidelines. For those seeking a quick review of a topic, this resource is extremely helpful.




LIFTL’s Critical Care Compendium is a collection of pages covering critical care core topics and current controversies. There are over 1650 entries, with contributors consistently updating pages. The page contains links to hundreds of topics, along with ICU Mind Maps, Critical Care Drug Manual, ECG library, questions, and fellowship overview.  A list of critical care textbooks and other FOAM resources is provided as well. This resource is an absolute must.




RESUS.ME, or Resuscitation Medicine Education, is a blog covering acute medicine, critical care, pediatrics, trauma, ultrasound, and pharmacology. It contains key lectures from world-renown conferences as well.




Critical Care Reviews is a free resource from Rob Mac Sweeney with a goal of providing a structured content in the form of open access articles. This site includes journal watch, weekly newsletter, podcast, and critical care book filled with content and the most up to date literature. You can sign up for a free, weekly email that contains critical care literature from key journals. A “Hot Articles” section contains articles chosen as most noteworthy since 2011.




Thinking Critical Care is a blog from Philippe Rola in Canada. The site contains weekly posts aimed at common and controversial ICU topics, with a goal of “blending good evidence, physiology, common sense, and applying it at the bedside!” Guest contributors are a large component of this resource.




This blog from Justin Mandeville is an amazing resource for those wanting a background on common ICU conditions. The site is broken down into categories. “Emergencies” contains algorithms for management of ICU disease, “Guidelines” has links to original guideline manuscripts, and “Key Papers” contains papers broken by subject. The “New to ICU” contains information essential for medical students and residents starting an ICU rotation, with general overview, an approach to evaluation and management, guidelines, and core papers.


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Academic Life in EM is a powerhouse for FOAMed. In particular, their ALiEM AIR-Pro Series is an awesome resource, as is their original AIR series. These are selected posts from blogs around the world based on certain topics. You’ll find posts in the ALiEM AIR-Pro Series from many of the blogs on this list. ALiEM has done the work for you, finding some of the highest quality posts from around the globe.




The Resus Room by Simon Laing is a blog and podcast that provides evidence-based medicine updates and guidelines on EM and critical care content. The site contains a guidelines section with videos for equipment. Each month a summary of key literature updates is provided, along with infographic summaries.




Deranged Physiology is a collection of posts evaluating ICU medicine and human physiology. The site actually started as notes from the originator detailing physiology and critical care medicine. The blog also contains cases with approach to evaluation and management, list of key chapters from textbooks, questions, and test resources for those studying for critical care boards.




INTENSIVE is a critical care educational blog for physicians and those in training from the Alfred ICU in Australia. The site contains many great resources. “Labs and Lytes” contains case-based learning, a journal club that evaluates key studies, ECMO resources, ultrasound topics (mainly based on echocardiogram), simulation exercises, and links to many other great sites. The resource page in particular contains great self-directed learning exercises, along with examination prep.




The IC-HU Project is one of the only resources available aimed at improving care for patients, families, and critical care providers. Multiple posts are provided weekly on patient stories, some heart-breaking and others acting as shining beacons for humanity in medicine. This forum allows all members of the care team to share thoughts and emotions on the path to healing.




EDECMO is a blog/podcast by Dr. Joe Bellezo, Dr. Zack Shinar, and Dr. Scott Weingart with a goal to increase knowledge of Extra-Corporeal Life Support (ECLS) in the ED and demonstrate how cardiopulmonary bypass can be completed. Each podcast and accompanying blog post takes the use through updates in resuscitation and ECMO uses in the ED.




The Bottom Line is a collection of landmark critical care papers, each summarized in a standardized format with a “bottom line” at the end with key points. Each paper and review is consistently evaluated in a reliable manner. Topics are broken into specialty and system. The site also contains a blog that lists updates in conferences, editorials, and websites. For those who love to keep up to date or gain an evidence-based overview of the classic literature, this resource is of tremendous value.


Thanks for reading and making it to the end. As you can see, there is a great deal of critical care FOAMed. If you have found other useful sites, please let us know!

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