Creation of new knowledge through research is one part of the core mission of the Department of Emergency Medicine. Our investigative program is truly translational in character. By virtue of overlapping interests from faculty with expertise in both basic and clinical investigation, ideas, technology and treatments can be tested at the bench and in patients. Observations in patients can be examined in mechanistic detail at the bench. Finally, specific findings can be translated into policy and protocols at a local, state and national level.
We partner with multiple other specialties and departments within the University to study the acute and emergency care of many different diseases. Clinical decision making, treatment of prolonged cardiac arrest, acute care for trauma patients, and alternative care pathways are specific topics of interest to individual faculty members. We have special concern for the health and safety of emergency providers. Specific efforts are devoted to identifying threats to provider health, deterrents of occupational longevity, and work environment factors that might decrease patient safety. Recent work attempts to reduce risky behaviors and substance use that lead to a need for emergency care. Finally, we study the optimal ways to teach and train providers to perform emergency care, as well as ways to quantify procedural skill.
Our core resources include our clinical sites and laboratories, though we venture regularly into the intensive care units and outpatient setting. Out-of-hospital emergency care is studied with our paramedic and first responder partners throughout Pennsylvania. Dedicated laboratories include a complete human physiology laboratory, a biochemistry wet-lab, and an animal surgical laboratory. Experienced staff members support these research sites.