New research centre to ensure better treatment for the critically ill patients

In many cases, the treatment received by critically ill patients in Danish intensive care departments has not been tested to the best standards. Now, Innovation Fund Denmark is investing DKK 36 million to ensure that patients with the most serious diseases receive the very best treatment.

Far too many patients die following acute admission to an intensive care department; in fact one-quarter of them. This figure must be reduced, and therefore Innovation Fund Denmark has granted DKK 36 million for a new Danish research centre to be located at Rigshospitalet as well as the university hospitals in Aarhus and Aalborg.

In addition to the Danish researchers, physicians are also participating from 30 Danish and international intensive care departments, primarily from Scandinavia and Australia.

- With a mortality rate of more than 25 percent, serious, critical diseases are the leading cause of death globally, and we don't know the full effects, and the especially side-effects, of many treatments. The great dilemma is that some of the treatments can potentially be directly harmful to patients, said Prof. Anders Perner from Rigshospitalet, who is to head the new research centre.

Better documented treatment

Life-saving treatment for critically ill patients takes place at intensive care departments, but many treatments are not based on documented clinical trials. The treatments are based on small-scale trials and physiological knowledge and traditions. The task facing the new centre will be to ensure better documented treatments for the critically ill.

In many cases, these patients are suffering from failure of several organs - usually lungs, circulation and kidneys. The condition arises due to blood poisoning, extensive surgery, serious haemorrhage or trauma, and every year the condition afflicts thousands of Danish patients, or millions at global level.

Millions of patients will benefit

Research at the new centre will start by focusing on these routine treatments: oxygen (after asphyxia), anti-psychotics (as a relaxant for delirium) and routine prevention of stomach ulcers caused by stress.

- The results will help improve treatment and we hope they will reduce the high mortality rates and thereby the overall burden of critical diseases. This will benefit millions of patients, their families, and societies throughout the world, said Anders Perner.

Innovation Fund Denmark is contributing DKK 36 million. Contributions from intensive care departments, from conducting trials, have been calculated at DKK 12 mill.

Budget: DKK 51 mill.
Investment by Innovation Fund Denmark: DKK 36 mill.
Duration: six years

Contact information

  • Professor Anders Perner, Consultant, Intensive Care Department, Rigshospitalet, +45 6044 5412, email 
  • The representative from Innovation Fund Denmark is the Chairman of the granting committee, Kim Krogsgaard, +45 20148384, email: 
  • The head of press and media communication at Innovation Fund Denmark is Thomas Bjerre, +45 6190 5019, email:

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