Critical Care Anesthesia

The physicians within our Division of Critical Care Medicine are all highly trained anesthesiologists dedicated to providing superb care to Medical University of South Carolina’s critically ill patients. All of our critical care faculty are Board-Certified in both Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine. The Division of Critical Care cares for surgical patients in the Medical/Surgical Intensive Care Unit (MSICU), where Dr. Larry Field has been the medical director since its opening in 2008. The Medical University of South Carolina is the major tertiary referral center in the southeast United States for complex gastrointestinal medical and surgical patients and complex cancer patients; and the 18-bed MSICU admits approximately 1,000 of the sickest of these complex patients per year.

Patients admitted to the ICU commonly require

  • Management of the simultaneous multiorgan failure of severe sepsis syndrome.
  • Respiratory support (Ventilator management or BiPAP) for:
    • Hypoxic respiratory failure including Acute Lung Injury (ALI) and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), often as part of sepsis syndrome
    • Postoperative ventilator weaning
    • Severe pneumonia and COPD exacerbations
    • Pulmonary edema
    • Airway protection
  • Blood pressure control to treat severe hypotension or hypertension.
  • Neurologic protection.
  • Continuous dialysis for acute renal failure.
  • Blood product, fluid, and electrolyte replacement.
  • Sedation, analgesia, and delirium management.
  • Wound, feeding tube, and drainage tube management.
  • Invasive access for medication/nutrition delivery.
  • Intensive/invasive hemodynamic and glucose monitoring.

The Anesthesia Critical Care Faculty provide perioperative care for major abdominal surgeries, pancreatic islet cell transplants, surgical oncology procedures and complicated gastric bypass surgeries. Anesthesiologists are particularly trained and experienced in the care of high risk perioperative patients; our specific skills and knowledge of physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology uniquely qualify anesthesiologists to serve perioperative and critically ill patients well.

The MSICU practices a multidisciplinary approach to critical care medicine involving nursing staff, pharmacy, respiratory therapy and dieticians in daily rounds. Additionally, there is close collaboration between this MSICU team and the surgical/medical services. In such a complex environment, our critical care anesthesiologists serve a central role in optimizing care during one of the most the most expensive, technologically-advanced and resource-intensive times of patients’ hospital care.

The CVICU is collaboration between Anesthesia critical care, Cardiothoracic surgeons and Cardiologists. The team of critical care attendings, fellows, residents and advanced practice providers provides care to patients requiring left ventricular devices (LVADs), extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and complex cardiac and thoracic surgery.

The Division of Critical Care has been granted two ACGME-accredited Anesthesiology Critical Care Fellowship positions. The Division is also responsible for the education of anesthesiology and emergency medicine residents and medical students who rotate through the MSICU. See our Anesthesiology Critical Care Fellowship Program.

Division of Critical Care Anesthesiologists

Laura Hannah Bell, M.D. 

Patrick Britell, M.D.

Carlee Clark, M.D.

Brad Eastman, M.D.

Larry Field, M.D.
Director, Critical Care Anesthesia Division

Jeff McMurray, M.D.

Horst Rieke, M.D.

Ryan Smith, M.D.

Stephanie Whitener, M.D.