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Web report

Critical Care Medicine Tutorials

Mary E Hartman

Author Affiliations

Research Fellow, CRISMA (Clinical Research, Investigation and Systems Modeling of Acute Illness) Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Critical Care 2003, 7:395  doi:10.1186/cc2341


The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:


Published:9 June 2003

© 2003 BioMed Central Ltd

Keywords:
critical care; evidence-based medicine; tutorial

Web report

CCMTutorials.com is a comprehensive, interactive website that introduces the reader to the field of critical care medicine. It includes both information in lecture format and clinical scenarios covering a variety of conditions that are commonly encountered in intensive care units. The website has six main subjects (introduction, problem oriented approach, respiratory failure, shock, renal failure, and sepsis), which are hierarchically subdivided into numerous smaller topics. Each topic has a main menu containing numerous subtopics. The discussion of each subtopic is one or more pages long, often with links to related subjects. The site is thorough and well organized, and has information for visitors of all levels of training. However, much of the information is introductory, and more experienced clinicians can expect a lower yield from the site than may medical students.

CCMTutorials.com has much to offer the casual, interested viewer. However, the site only works well if one thinks like the author. Because it does not have a 'search' feature, the site can be quite difficult to navigate if one is looking for a topic that does not appear in one of the main menus. In addition, the clinical scenarios are superficial and brief. They do not allow any direct participation and often discuss only one point of interest before moving on to the next scenario. For help with these, or any other questions, there is a window that allows the visitor to e-mail a question to Dr Neligan (the author).

The main disadvantage of CCMTutorials.com is that there is no information about the website itself. Although the site is clearly licensed to a physician at the University of Pennsylvania, no other information about the site's author is presented. Much of the information posted on the site is not referenced. There is no indication of how often the site is updated. Text is often written from the first person perspective, implying that we are getting only this author's opinion on a particular subject. This is substantiated by the author's acknowledgement that the 'tutorials are not peer reviewed'.

Best feature

This site provides a strong introduction to critical care, including unique pathophysiologic and medical concerns.

Worst feature

The website is complex, and it is easy to get deeply buried in it. Finding one's way back to any particular screen is tricky, and I was not always able to do it.

Wish list

A 'search' feature that would allow one to go right to the area of interest.

Other links

http://www.4um.com/tutorial/ webcite

This is the sister site to CCMTutorials.com.

http://members.lycos.co.uk/anaesthetics/critical.htm webcite This site provides particularly detailed information about cardiac physiology.

http://www.vspn.org/LIBRARY/WWWDirectory/Emergency_Medicine.htm webcite This site contains a number of links for selected topics in emergency medicine and critical care.

http://members.tripod.com/~lyser/ webcite

This critical care tutorial website is currently under construction.

Competing interests

None.

Acknowledgement

MEH is supported by NIH/NICHD (NIH 5-T32 HD40686).