Brian Erstad selected to co-chair international panel

Nov. 27, 2023

Brian Erstad, PharmD, MCCM, FCCP, FASHP, BCPS, a professor and head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the University of Arizona R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy, has been appointed co-chair of an international panel for the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

Portrait of Brian Erstad, an older white man with short hair smiling and wearing a tan suit and tie.

Brian Erstad, PharmD, MCCM, FCCP, FASHP, BCPS

The Society of Critical Care Medicine is the largest nonprofit medical organization dedicated to promoting excellence and consistency in the practice of critical care. Erstad will lead efforts to develop guidelines concerning the use of treatments for critically ill adult patients who need to undergo sustained paralysis in an intensive care unit setting to help ameliorate various disease states, potentially reducing mortality.

“The intent is to ensure patients receive the most appropriate use of the class of medications known as neuromuscular blocking agents,” said Erstad. “These medications paralyze skeletal muscles, so despite their potential usefulness, they have adverse effects related to prolonged paralysis such as venous thromboembolism, muscle weakness after discontinuation and decubitus ulcers.”

The international panel will develop guidelines for healthcare professionals practicing in critical care settings. This will contribute to improved patient safety and better patient outcomes.

“Erstad’s years of experience make him an ideal co-chair for the Society of Critical Care Medicine,” said Rick Schnellmann, PhD, dean of the Coit College of Pharmacy and the Howard J. Schaeffer Endowed Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences. “He will make an immediate impact in this role and advance health care practices for those who are most vulnerable.” 

Erstad's previously led the development of clinical practice guidelines for stress ulcer prophylaxis for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. He has also served on development panels for other clinical practice guidelines with organizations such as the University HealthSystem Consortium, the American College of Chest Physicians and the American College of Surgeons. He is currently serving as a methodologist on a guideline panel for the American Thoracic Society.

“The Society of Critical Care medicine has many physician, pharmacy and nursing leaders in the field of critical care,” he said. “It is an honor to co-chair a distinguished panel of health professionals for the organization.”