Participating in Research

In addition to being recognized for its outstanding clinical care, UCLA Health is also a premier research institution, so you may be asked to participate in one or several studies. These studies are only allowed if the Institutional Review Board and the Office of the Human Research Protection Program believe the benefits outweigh the risks. These studies are voluntary, have many safeguards, and require best-care practices. In addition to being cared for by the ICU team, study participants have the benefit of being closely monitored by a second team of healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, and study coordinators. Please feel free to ask if you or your loved one might qualify for one of our studies.

Support from the community is integral to our ability to advance our research efforts and improve outcomes for patients and families, at UCLA and worldwide. Learn more about supporting our critical care research efforts.

Prevention and early treatment of acute lung injury (PETAL) network. PETAL network website

The PETAL Network is a multicenter network funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to develop and conduct randomized controlled clinical trials to prevent or treat, and/or improve the outcome of patients who have, or who are at risk for, Acute Lung Injury (ALI) or Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).  

Recent studies:

  • Biology and Longitudinal Epidemiology of PETAL COVID-19 Observational Study (BLUE CORAL) - this study aims to identify acute and critically ill COVID-19 patients and collect detailed data during and after hospitalization in order to increase understanding of COVID-19 (actively enrolling).

  • PETAL Repository of Electronic Data COVID-19 Observational Study (RED CORAL) - this study aims to identify acute and critically ill patients with COVID-19 and collect detailed data from their hospital stay in order to advance United States participation in studies of global epidemiology and increase understanding of the clinical course of COVID-19 (completed enrollment).

  • Outcomes Related to COVID-19 Treated with Hydroxychloroquine among In-patients with Symptomatic Disease (ORCHID) - a clinical trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of adults hospitalized with COVID-19 (no longer enrollling). Learn more

See a full list of PETAL Network studies and learn more.

Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness in the Critically Ill (IVY) Network

The IVY Network is a consortium of academic medication centers in the US funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct research and provide public health surveillance on acute viral respiratory infections.


  • The Surveillance of Respiratory Viruses in the Critically Ill: 2020-2021 IVY Network Surveillance Study (IVY-2021 Surveillance) - this is a multicenter observational public health surveillance activity designed to monitor acute respiratory infections in adults caused by influenza and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Enrollment is anticipated to begin in November 2020.   

  • Cardiomyopathy in Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients (CCCP) - this study aims to characterize cardiomyopathy among critically ill adults with COVID-19 (actively enrolling)

  • COVID-19 patient surveillance - this public health surveillance project aims to describe the epidemiology of a full spectrum of disease severity for COVID-19, and to identify risk factors for severe outcomes or prolonged symptoms in adults with COVID-19 (completed enrollment). Read full articles

  • COVID-19 healthcare worker surveillance - this public health surveillance project was conducted to investigate the prevalence of and risk factors for COVID-19 seroconversion among frontline healthcare workers (completed enrollment). Read full article

Vitamin C, Thiamine, and Steroids in Sepsis (VICTAS). VICTAS study website

VICTAS is a clinical trial testing the combination of vitamin C, thiamine and hydrocortisone for the treatment of sepsis, a life-threatening condition caused by a severe infection. Sepsis is the most common cause for admission to an intensive care unit. Preliminary research suggests that this combination of medications may reduce damage to major organs and increase the likelihood of surviving a severe episode of sepsis. VICTAS is a multicenter, randomized controlled trial whose objective is to further examine the impact of this combination of medications on patients with sepsis (completed enrollment)

Discovery, the Critical Care Research Network

Formed under the auspices of the SCCM by merging the United States Critical Illness and Injuries Trials (USCIIT) and the Critical Care Pharmacotherapy Trials Network (CCPTN). SCCM website

Studies include:

  • Severe ARDS: Generating Evidence (SAGE) - Multicenter cohort study assessing early management of severe ARDS, including ventilator management and use of rescue therapy.
  • Observation of Variation in Fluids Administered and Characterization of Vasopressor Requirements in Shock (VOLUME-CHASER) - Multicenter observational study assessing variability in shock resuscitation and modalities used to determine the amounts of fluids and vasopressors administered. Read full articles

Ethics in the critical care setting

Care for the critically ill is complex, dynamic, and resource-intensive. Knowing when patients are too ill to benefit from intensive care is essential for the clinician to guide patients and families toward aggressive care when it might be helpful and toward palliative care when it is not. Research is being performed to understand the barriers to appropriate palliative care in the ICU and to better match the aggressiveness of care to prognosis.

Critical care ultrasound evaluation of fluid responsiveness in the shock states – carotid flow-time evaluation

Sponsor: GE Healthcare 
This project tested the applicability of bedside ultrasound in the assessment of fluid responsiveness in spontaneously breathing and mechanically ventilated patients. Change in carotid flow and change in carotid time flow were assessed prior, after maneuver (passive leg raise), before, and after fluid bolus. The response was compared to NICOM bioreactance fluid responsiveness monitor. Data on pulmonary B-line quantification, an ultrasound assessment of extravascular lung water in fluid resuscitation, was also collected (completed enrollment). Read full article

Airway database: review of MICU intubations - hypoxemic respiratory failure and in acute right heart failure (with feasibility of Non-invasive ventilation (BiPAP) supported bronchoscopic endotracheal intubation)

IRB#: 15-001844

Transition to mechanical ventilation in severely sick patients (severely hypoxemic, NIV-dependant, in right heart failure) carries a high-risk of complications and further clinical deterioration. Over the past several years, we have gained experience in bronchoscopic intubaton and have published our experience using BiPAP as a tool to support prior and during intubatation, potentially reducing risks of desaturation, derecruitment and hemodynamic swings in transition from negative to positive pressure ventilation. Read full article We have also published our data about the use of awake fiberoptic intubation in severe pulmonary hypertension and suspected right heart failure. Read full article


High output shock that is unresponsive to catecholamine and vasopressin support has a high mortality. ATHOS3 was a Phase III trial that showed that Angiotensin II, an agent that acts through a pathway distinct from catecholamines and vasopressin, could successfully support blood pressure without a need for increasing background vasoactive agents. This trial resulted in FDA-approval of Angiotensin II for vasoactive support in high-output shock. Read full articles

3 Wishes Project

IRB#: 17-001422

Started in December 2017, the “3 Wishes Project” is a pilot research intervention which aims to elicit and implement wishes that are unique to each dying patient and their loved ones. The goal of the 3 Wishes Project is to provide the best possible end-of-life experience for patients and families by celebrating the life of those who are dying and supporting those who are grieving. This intervention has been performed at McMaster University in Canada and proven to be highly successful in improving the bereavement process for family members as well as the professional morale of the healthcare team. Evaluation of the MICU pilot is underway and based on what we learn, we hope to improve, sustain, and expand the 3 Wishes intervention. Learn more

Giving Back

Support from the community is integral to our ability to advance our research efforts and improve outcomes for patients and families, at UCLA and worldwide. You can make a difference by partnering with us in this mission.

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