Intensive care medicine or critical care medicine is a branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and management of life-threatening conditions requiring sophisticated organ support and invasive monitoring.
Patients requiring intensive care may require support for 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. A prime requisite for admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) is that the underlying condition can be overcome.
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 THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE (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. UPON NIGHTINGALES ARRIVAL AND PRACTICING, THE MORTALITY RATE FELL TO 2%....Read More