Critical care

Critical illness and intensive care sees us at our most vulnerable. Lack of oxygen and respiratory complications pose major threats to survival – we're leading better care for those fighting for breath.


Mike Grocott

Key investigator: Prof Mike Grocott

Critical care consultant and researcher with a focus on hypoxia, lung injury and perioperative care, Mike Grocott leads the critical care research area within the NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre.

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Major achievements include:

  • Showing that chemotherapy before an operation reduces cancer patients’ physical fitness, which can impact recovery
  • Establishing a fitness programme to improve recovery from surgery
  • Assessment of the impact of a lack on oxygen on tissues and demonstration of the varied response in healthy volunteers
  • Demonstration of the safety and effectiveness of new methods to improve resuscitation outcomes for patients following cardiac arrest 

Personalising lung injury care

Prof Howard Clark and Prof Tony Postle

Patients’ responses to lung injury treatments vary greatly, impacting survival and recovery.We're investigating tailored treatments, based on the exact make-up of the fluid lining the air sacs of each individual's lungs.

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Surviving when oxygen is lacking

Prof Mike Grocott

One in five of us will end up in an intensive care unit (ICU) at some point in life. 40%, nearly half, will die, with a lack of oxygen reaching vital organs a major cause. Exploiting the oxygen-thin air at high altitude, via the Xtreme Everest research programme, we're simulating the hypoxia (lack of oxygen) experienced by many ICU patients.

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Resuscitation during a cardiac arrest

Prof Charles Deakin

When our breathing or heart fails, fast and effective resuscitation can make all the difference. We are continually developing and improving resuscitation practices to give patients the best possible chance of survival, whatever the situation. 

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Fitness and recovery after surgery

Prof Mike Grocott

We’ve shown that patients’ physical fitness is linked with their outcomes after surgery. We’re now assessing whether specific exercise programmes between chemotherapy and surgery can improve quality of life and outcomes through the Fit-4-Surgery program.

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Recovery following critical illness

Dr Rebecca Cusack

It’s known that prolonged immobility during and after critical illness impacts people’s recovery and outcomes. We’re evaluating the benefits of physiotherapy at an early stage of critical illness to reduce these effects.

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Improving care for the dying and bereaved

Prof Alison Richardson

We're developing and improving palliative and end of life care, identifying the issues patients, their families, healthcare professionals and organisations confront in the face of criticla illness and deteriorating health.

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