Intensive Care Medicine Research Group

The overall research priority is in translational research and healthcare processes research. The study group focuses on pathophysiology of sepsis, especially on wound healing in sepsis and septic encephalopathy. One of the research priorities is in evaluation and development of healthcare processes. We have evaluated and developed new technologies to improve early diagnostics, prognostication and monitoring of critical illness and explore healthcare processes, acute care pathways, cost effectiveness and performance improvements with patient centered outcomes.

Contact information

Research group leader

  • Professor
    Tero Ala-Kokko

Research group description

Intensive care is a very resource‐intensive filed in medicine. Focus on effective treatments, well-functioning care pathways, minimizing treatment related adverse events and focusing on providing long-term improved patient centered outcomes will achieve good quality care within the limits of available resources. This is also in the strategy of future hospital renewal program of the Oulu University Hospital as well as in the focus of study groups current and future plan.

It is important that more research is done to improve the lives of patients and their families during and after intensive care. We will focus on the development and assessment of patient and family centered rehabilitating care. We need to prevent the physical and cognitive consequences of critical illness to decrease the societal and individual burden of critical illness. We need to identify those that need and benefit from long-term follow-up and support (eg. Cohort-66 study, pediatric Braininjury project, ICU adult and pediatric follow-up clinic).  Delirium prevention in acute care is vital to improve cognitive outcome and decrease financial burden of this common brain dysfunction related to critical illness (eg. BRAINICU project, SE project). New diagnostic tools are needed to identify early detection of deteriorating ward patients (eg. remote ICU monitoring).

The research will lead to better treatments, which has an impact on patient outcome, preventive methods and improved prognostication in high mortality and morbidity critically ill patients. Furthermore, we gain to develop more cost-effective services, better patient triage and care processes with both national and international impact. Patient centered outcomes such as quality of life and functional performance gained after hospital discharge will be improved through improved processes.  Within five years we will have a clearer picture of health care needs of the critically ill patients for developing more cost-effective services, better patient triage and care processes with both national and international impact. In addition to patient outcome improvement early diagnostics, monitoring and treatment without delay will have significant economic and financial impact.

Our Team

Where are we headed

Firstly, to gain more knowledge on the pathophysiology of sepsis especially on wound healing in sepsis and septic encephalopathy, secondly to evaluate and develop new technologies to improve early diagnostics, prognostication and monitoring of critical illness and finally to explore healthcare processes, acute care pathways, cost effectiveness and performance improvements regarding critical illness with patient centered outcomes. Our new EEG signal analysis (Cerenion C-Trend) methods will be further developed and validated for better detection of brain dysfunction related to critical illness and patient outcome prediction as well as assessing treatment modalities for prevention of cognitive adverse outcomes. National registries including Northern Finland birth cohorts will be used to gain population level data on the epidemiology of critical illness and its significance on healthcare use and outcome. Emergency medicine processes will be evaluated, and more effective acute care pathways are under development by our team using regional networks.

Our main collaborators

National research collaboration (eg. FINNICU, BRAINICU, BRAININJURY, FOURNIER) and different types of local academic partners (Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit and Research Group of Oral Health Sciences, Physiological Signal Analysis Team. Center for Machine Vision and Signal Analysis, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology. Department of Infection Control. Department of Pathology. Institute of Health Science) as well as national non-academic partner (CERENION OY)

How to find us

Research Unit of Surgery, Anesthesiology and Intensive Care

Intensive Care Center, Oulu University Hospital

PO BOX 22, 90029 OUH

Finland

tero.ala-kokko(at)ppshp.fi