The site

Critical Concepts is an educational website devoted to the discussion of medical care for the critically ill.

While this primarily means the modern ICU, topics are applicable to complex, unstable patients in any venue, including the emergency department and prehospital environment. Medical, surgical, burns, cardiac, neurocritical care, large academic centers and small community hospitals, and other populations are all within our purview; pediatrics is generally not.

The intended audience includes providers of critical care from novices (students, rotating residents, new nursing or PA/NP graduates) to advanced practitioners (intensivists, fellows, trained midlevels).

Due to this broad audience, articles are divided into three general categories:

  • Tutorials which provide foundational education into core critical care topics, intended for readers still in training. Topics are generally uncontroversial and sources are usually not cited.
  • Evidence reviews exploring the literature on specific topics.
  • Discussions on advanced topics, controversies, and other dilemmas where textbook answers leave us unsatisfied.

Keep up by following our Twitter account (@critconcepts) or our Facebook page, tapping our RSS feed, or subscribing to email updates using the form at the bottom of each post.

The author

I’m Brandon Oto, PA-C, NREMT, FCCM. I attended the University of New England’s PA program in 2014–2016, then trained at Johns Hopkins through their Postgraduate Critical Care PA Residency, a one-year generalist program. I then spent several years in the trauma ICU at a busy trauma center in the Washington, DC area, until relocating to Connecticut, where I currently staff a medical ICU.

Formerly, my background was in EMS, and I worked for several years as an EMT Basic. Articles and educational material for that audience can largely be found at my other website, EMS Basics, or on my personal site Degrees of Clarity.

My focused interests include resuscitation, mechanical ventilation, ICU liberation, vascular access, difficult diagnoses, and point-of-care ultrasound.

I can be reached at [email protected] for any questions, comments, or concerns.

Disclosures and disclaimers

I have no conflicts of interest as a rule, and on the rare occasion they may present will disclose them at the relevant time.

Graphics and other media on this site are either my own, or should be cited for the source from which they were obtained.

Posts and articles here may or may not have been reviewed by other parties, but should generally be considered non-peer-reviewed and solely the opinion of the author, an experienced but imperfect advanced practice provider. Do not determine any medical care based solely upon this website.

No statements here are the opinion of my employer, and all references to patient scenarios or events are either wholly fictional or wholly anonymized.