- The ICU is highly specified and sophisticated area of a hospital which is specifically designed, staffed, located, furnished and equipped, dedicated to management of critically ill patients, injuries or complications.
- It is a department with dedicated medical, nursing and allied staff. It operates with defined policies; protocols and procedures, having its own quality control, education, training and research programmes.
- It is emerging as a separate specialty and can no longer be regarded purely as part of anaesthesia, medicine, surgery or any other speciality.
- It has to have its own separate team in terms of doctors, nursing personnel and other staff who are tuned to the requirement of the speciality.
- ICUs are designed to prevent cross infection and ICU psychosis.
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.
- Critical Care units represent the apex of technical advancements in medicine. Such units integrate many specialities and diverse technologies, offering the possibility of survival to patients who would otherwise die. It is therefore obvious that the role of the Intensive Care services are vital and crucial to a tertiary care hospital, as the Critical Care unit contributes immensely to survival of acutely and critically ill patients.
- There is a dedicated team of doctors involved in providing critical care services. These specialists, who have special training in the care of critically ill patients, work closely with other specialists like, surgeons of different specialties, cardiologists, nephrologists, gastroenterologists, paediatricians and other specialists in the hospital
- Intensive care unit is the multiprofessional healthcare specialty that cares for patients with acute, life-threatening illness or injury
Patients requiring intensive care usually require support for:
- hemodynamic instability (hypertension/hypotension),
- airway or respiratory compromise (such as ventilator support),
- acute renal failure,
- potentially lethal cardiac dysrhythmias,
- and frequently the cumulative effects of multiple organ system failure.
Patients admitted to the intensive care unit not requiring support for the above are usually 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.
The high-tech facilities available in this ICU are:
- Mechanical Ventilators both invasive and non invasive.
- Infusion pumps.
- Blood Gas Analysers,Airway Acessories,Percutareous Tracheostomy.
- Invasive hemodynamic monitoring including cardiac output monitoring.
- Internal / external pacemaker.
- Intra Aortic Balloon Pump.
- Continuous ECG and BP monitors.
- Total parenteral nutritional support
- External tube nutritional support
- Inhouse hemodialysis unit
- Patient controlled pain relief system
- Acute pain relief with regional blocks and other nerve blocks with nerve locaters.
- 2D portable Echo Machine,Ultrasonography,
- C Arm for imaging
Critical care is a high-technology specialisation in medicine. People admitted are often dangerously ill on admission. They can also be high-risk cases - ill and with associated medical problems -stable but admitted for observation because they could develop a life threatening situation at any time. Proper critical care with timely diagnosis can save their lives. This second category benefits most from proper and scientific critical care.