Critical care

From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellnesspedia

Critical care is a specialized branch of medicine dedicated to diagnosing and treating life-threatening conditions, including complications following surgeries. This field encompasses both intensive care and intensive therapy, and the units offering these services are often referred to as intensive care units (ICU) or intensive therapy units (ITU). Historically, there has also been a designation for units known as high dependency units (HDUs) that provided an intermediate level of care.

Definition[edit | edit source]

Critical care involves close, constant monitoring and support from specialist equipment and medications to ensure the best outcomes for those with severe and life-threatening illnesses or injuries.

History[edit | edit source]

Historically, care for critically ill patients was scattered throughout hospitals until the emergence of dedicated units. The concept of an ICU began to take shape in the 1950s and 1960s, following medical advancements in monitoring and life-support technologies. The term "intensive therapy unit" (ITU) emerged around the same period, often used interchangeably with ICU.

High Dependency Units (HDUs)[edit | edit source]

HDUs function as a bridge between standard wards and ICUs. Patients in HDUs might not need intensive care but still require closer observation and monitoring than what's typically provided in general wards.

Importance[edit | edit source]

The critical care field is essential because it manages patients with the most severe and life-threatening injuries or illnesses. These patients require specialized care and constant monitoring.

Equipment and Technology[edit | edit source]

Critical care units are equipped with advanced technology to monitor and treat patients. This includes:

  • Ventilators to support breathing
  • Intravenous (IV) lines for fluids, medications, and nutrition
  • Monitors to track heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen levels
  • Specialized beds that can turn and rotate patients to prevent bedsores

List of Intensivists (Critical Care Doctors) (USA)[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Introduction to Intensive Care Medicine" - John L. Roberts, MD
  2. "Evolution of the Intensive Care Unit" - Critical Care Medicine Journal
  3. "HDUs: The Bridge Between Wards and ICUs" - British Medical Journal

External Links[edit | edit source]

Critical care Resources
Doctor showing form.jpg

Translate to: East Asian 中文, 日本, 한국어, South Asian हिन्दी, Urdu, বাংলা, తెలుగు, தமிழ், ಕನ್ನಡ,
Southeast Asian Indonesian, Vietnamese, Thai, မြန်မာဘာသာ, European español, Deutsch, français, русский, português do Brasil, Italian, polski

Medicine - Specialties and subspecialties

Cardiac surgery - Cardiothoracic surgery - Colorectal surgery - Ophthalmology - General surgery - Neurosurgery - Oral and maxillofacial surgery - Orthopedic surgery - Hand surgery - Otolaryngology - ENT - Pediatric surgery - Plastic surgery - Reproductive surgery - Surgical oncology - Transplant surgery - Trauma surgery - Urology - Andrology - Vascular surgery

Medicine Internal medicine - Allergy / Immunology - Angiology - Cardiology - Endocrinology - Gastroenterology - Hepatology - Geriatrics - Hematology - Hospital medicine - Infectious disease - Nephrology - Oncology - Pulmonology - Rheumatology
Obstetrics and gynaecology Gynaecology - Gynecologic oncology - Maternal–fetal medicine - Obstetrics - Reproductive endocrinology and infertility - Urogynecology
Diagnostic Radiology - Interventional radiology - Nuclear medicine - Pathology - Anatomical - Clinical pathology - Clinical chemistry - Cytopathology - Medical microbiology - Transfusion medicine
Other specialties Addiction medicine - Adolescent medicine - Anesthesiology - Dermatology - Disaster medicine - Diving medicine - Emergency medicine - Family medicine - General practice - Hospital medicine - Intensive care medicine - Medical genetics - Narcology - Neurology - Clinical neurophysiology - Occupational medicine - Ophthalmology - Oral medicine - Pain management - Palliative care - Pediatrics - Neonatology - Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) - Preventive medicine - Psychiatry -Addiction psychiatry - Radiation oncology - Reproductive medicine - Sexual medicine - Sleep medicine - Sports medicine - Transplantation medicine - Tropical medicine - Travel medicine - Venereology
Medical education Medical school - USMLE - Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery - Bachelor of Medical Sciences - Doctor of Medicine - Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine - Alternative medicine - Allied health - Dentistry - Podiatry - Pharmacy - Physiotherapy - Molecular oncology - Nanomedicine - Personalized medicine - Public health - Rural health - Therapy - Traditional medicine - Veterinary medicine - Physician - Chief physician - History of medicine
Misc. topics Health topics A-Z - Rare diseases - Drugs - Diet - Medicine portal - First Aid - Glossary of medicine - Health insurance - Glossary of health topics - Drug classes - Medicines - Dentistry portal - Pharmacology and Medications-Medications portal - Pharmacology portal - Psychiatry portal

Navigation: Wellness - Encyclopedia - Health topics - Disease Index‏‎ - Drugs - World Directory - Gray's Anatomy - Keto diet - Recipes

Search WikiMD

Ad.Tired of being Overweight? Try W8MD's physician weight loss program.
Semaglutide (Ozempic / Wegovy and Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) available.
Advertise on WikiMD

WikiMD is not a substitute for professional medical advice. See full disclaimer.

Credits:Most images are courtesy of Wikimedia commons, and templates Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY SA or similar.

Contributors: Admin, Prab R. Tumpati, MD