Intensive-care medicine

Mechanical ventilation may be required if a patient's unassisted breathing is insufficient to oxygenate the blood Intensive-care medicine or critical-care medicine is a branch of medicine concerned with the provision of life support or organ support systems in patients who are critically ill and who usually require intensive monitoring Patients requiring intensive care may require support for hemodynamic instability hypertension/hypotension, airway or respiratory compromise such as ventilator support, acute renal failure, potentially lethal cardiac arrhythmias, or the cumulative effects of multiple organ failure, more commonly referred to now as multiple organ dysfunction syndrome They may also be admitted for intensive/invasive monitoring, such as the crucial hours after major surgery when deemed too unstable to transfer to a less intensively monitored unit Intensive care is usually only offered to those whose condition is potentially reversible and who have a good chance of surviving with intensive care support Since the critically ill are so close to dying, the outcome of this intervention is difficult to predict[citation needed] A prime requisite for admission to an Intensive Care Unit is that the underlying condition can be overcome Medical studies suggest a relation between intensive care unit ICU volume and quality of care for mechanically ventilated patients[1] After adjustment for severity of illness, demographic variables, and characteristics of the ICUs including staffing by intensivists, higher ICU volume was significantly associated with lower ICU and hospital mortality rates For example, adjusted ICU mortality for a patient at average predicted risk for ICU death was 212% in hospitals with 87 to 150 mechanically ventilated patients annually, and 145% in hospitals with 401 to 617 mechanically ventilated patients annually Hospitals with intermediate numbers of patients had outcomes between these extremes In general, it is the most expensive, technologically advanced and resource-intensive area of medical care In the United States, estimates of the 2000 expenditure for critical care medicine ranged from US$15–55 billion, accounting for about 05% of GDP and about 13% of national health care expenditure Halpern, 2004

Organ systems

Intensive care usually takes a system by system approach to treatment, rather than the SOAP subjective, objective, analysis, plan approach of high dependency care The nine key systems see below are each considered on an observation-intervention-impression basis to produce a daily plan As well as the key systems, intensive-care treatment raises other issues including psychological health, pressure points, mobilisation and physiotherapy, and secondary infections The nine key IC systems are alphabetically: cardiovascular system, central nervous system, endocrine system, gastro-intestinal tract and nutritional condition, hematology, microbiology including sepsis status, peripheries and skin, renal and metabolic, respiratory system The provision of intensive care is, in general, administered in a specialized unit of a hospital called the intensive-care unit ICU or critical-care unit CCU Many hospitals also have designated intensive-care areas for certain specialities of medicine, such as the coronary intensive-care unit CCU or sometimes CICU, depending on hospital for heart disease, medical intensive-care unit MICU, surgical intensive-care unit SICU, pediatric intensive-care unit PICU, neuroscience critical-care unit NCCU, overnight intensive-recovery OIR, shock/trauma intensive-care unit STICU, neonatal intensive-care unit NICU, and other units as dictated by the needs and available resources of each hospital The naming is not rigidly standardized For a time in the early 1960s, it was not clear that specialized intensive care units were needed, so intensive-care resources see below were brought to the room of the patient that needed the additional monitoring, care, and resources It became rapidly evident, however, that a fixed location where intensive-care resources and personnel were available provided better care than ad hoc provision of intensive care services spread throughout a hospital

Equipment and systems

An endotracheal tube

Common equipment in an intensive-care unit ICU includes mechanical ventilation to assist breathing through an endotracheal tube or a tracheotomy; hemofiltration equipment for acute renal failure; monitoring equipment; intravenous lines for drug infusions fluids or total parenteral nutrition, nasogastric tubes, suction pumps, drains and catheters; and a wide array of drugs including inotropes, sedatives, broad spectrum antibiotics and analgesics

Medical specialties

Critical-care medicine is a relatively new but increasingly important medical specialty Physicians with training in critical-care medicine are referred to as intensivists[2] The specialty requires additional fellowship training for physicians having completed their primary residency training in internal medicine, anesthesiology, or surgery Board certification in critical care medicine is available through all three specialty boards Nurse intensivists receive their training after basic education through ASTNA Paramedics are certified to levels of CCEMTP or FP-C Intensivists-physicians with a primary training in internal medicine sometimes pursue combined fellowship training in another subspecialty such as pulmonary medicine, cardiology, infectious disease, or nephrology The Society of Critical Care Medicine is a well-established multiprofessional society for practitioners working in the ICU, including intensivists Most medical research has demonstrated that ICU care provided by intensivists produces better outcomes and more cost-effective care[3] This has led the Leapfrog Group to make a primary recommendation that all ICU patients be managed or co-managed by a dedicated intensivist who is exclusively responsible for patients in one ICU However, there is a critical shortage of intensivists in the United States, and most hospitals lack this critical physician team member Patient management in intensive-care differs significantly between countries In Australia, where Intensive Care Medicine is a well-established speciality, ICUs are described as 'closed' In a closed unit the intensive-care specialist takes on the senior role where the patient's primary doctor now acts as a consultant The advantage of this system is a more coordinated management of the patient based on a team who work exclusively in ICU Other countries have open Intensive Care Units, where the primary doctor chooses to admit and, in general, makes the management decisions There is increasingly strong evidence that 'closed' Intensive-Care Units staffed by Intensivists provide better outcomes for patients[4][5]


Florence Nightingale era

Florence Nightingale

The ICU's roots can be traced back to the Monitoring Unit of critical patients through nurse Florence Nightingale The Crimean War began in 1853 when Britain, France, and Turkey declared war on Russia Because of the lack of critical care and the high rate of infection, there was a high mortality rate of hospitalised soldiers, reaching as high as 40% of the deaths recorded during the war Nightingale and 38 other volunteers had to leave for the Fields of Scurati, and took their "critical care protocol" with them Upon arriving, and practicing, the mortality rate fell to 2% Nightingale contracted typhoid, and returned in 1856 from the war A school of nursing dedicated to her was formed in 1859 in England The school was recognised for its professional value and technical calibre, receiving prizes throughout the British government The school of nursing was established in Saint Thomas Hospital, as a one-year course, and was given to doctors It used theoretical and practical lessons, as opposed to purely academic lessons Nightingale's work, and the school, paved the way for intensive care medicine

Dandy era

Walter Edward Dandy was born in Sedalia, Missouri He received his BA in 1907 through the University of Missouri and his MD in 1910 through the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Dandy worked one year with Dr Harvey Cushing in the Hunterian Laboratory of Johns Hopkins before entering its boarding school and residence in the Johns Hopkins Hospital He worked in the Johns Hopkins College in 1914 and remained there until his death in 1946 One of the most important contributions he made for neurosurgery was the air method in ventriculography, in which the cerebrospinal fluid is substituted with air to help an image form on an X-Ray of the ventricular space in the brain This technique was extremely successful for identifying brain injuries Dr Dandy was also a pioneer in the advances in operations for illnesses of the brain affecting the glossopharyngeal as well as Ménière's syndrome, and he published studies that show that high activity can cause sciatic pain Dandy created the first ICU in the world, 03 beds in Boston in 1926

Ibsen era

Bjørn Aage Ibsen 1915–2007 graduated in 1940 from medical school at the University of Copenhagen and trained in anesthesiology from 1949 to 1950 at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston He became involved in the 1952 poliomyelitis outbreak in Denmark[6], where 2722 patients developed the illness in a 6 month period, with 316 suffering respiratory or airway paralysis Treatment had involved the use of the few negative pressure respirators available, but these devices, while helpful, were limited and did not protect against aspiration of secretions Ibsen changed management directly, instituting protracted positive pressure ventilation by means of intubation into the trachea, and enlisting 200 medical students to manually pump oxygen and air into the patients lungs[7] At this time Carl-Gunnar Engström had developed one of the first positive pressure volume controlled ventilators, which eventually replaced the medical students In this fashion, mortality declined from 90% to around 25% Patients were managed in 3 special 35 bed areas, which aided charting and other management In 1953, Ibsen set up what became the world's first Medical/Surgical ICU in a converted student nurse classroom in Kommunehospitalet The Municipal Hospital in Copenhagen[8], and provided one of the first accounts of the management of tetanus with muscle relaxants and controlled ventilation In 1954 Ibsen was elected Head of the Department of Anaesthesiology at that institution He jointly authored the first known account of ICU management principles in Nordisk Medicin, September 18, 1958: ‘Arbejdet på en Anæsthesiologisk Observationsafdeling’ ‘The Work in an Anaesthesiologic Observation Unit’ with Tone Dahl Kvittingen from Norway He died in 2007

Safar era

Peter Safar, the first Intensivist doctor in the USA,[citation needed] was born in Austria as the son of two doctors He first migrated to the United States in 1949 Safar first got certification as an anesthesiologist, and, in the 1950s, he started and praised the "Urgency & Emergency" room setup now known as an ICU[citation needed] It was at this time the ABC Airway, Breathing, and Circulation protocols were formed, and artificial ventilation as well as cardiopulmonary resuscitation became popular[citation needed] These experiments counted on volunteers of its team, and used only minimal sedation It was through these experiments that the techniques for maintaining life in the critical patient were established[citation needed] The first surgical ICU was established in Baltimore, and, in 1962, in the University of Pittsburgh, the first Critical Care Residency was established in the United States It was around this time that the induction of hypothermia in critical patients was also tested[citation needed] In 1970, the Society of Critical Care Medicine was formed