Intensive Care Unit (Encyclopedia of Surgery)
An intensive care unit, or ICU, is a specialized section of a hospital that provides comprehensive and continuous care for persons who are critically ill and who can benefit from treatment.
The purpose of the intensive care unit (ICU) is simple even though the practice is complex. Healthcare professionals who work in the ICU or rotate through it during their training provide around-the-clock intensive monitoring and treatment of patients seven days a week. Patients are generally admitted to an ICU if they are likely to benefit from the level of care provided. Intensive care has been shown to benefit patients who are severely ill and medically unstablehat is, they have a potentially life-threatening disease or disorder.
Although the criteria for admission to an ICU are somewhat controversialxcluding patients who are either too well or too sick to benefit from intensive carehere are four recommended priorities that intensivists (specialists in critical care medicine) use to decide this question. These priorities include:
- Critically ill patients in a medically unstable state who require an intensive level of care (monitoring and treatment).
- Patients requiring intensive...
(The entire section is 1455 words.)
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