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.
Intensive care unit is the multiprofessional healthcare specialty that cares for patients with acute, life-threatening illness or injury
Critically ill patients in a medically unstable state who require an intensive level of care (monitoring and treatment).
Patients who are generally not eligible for ICU admission because they are not expected to survive. Patients in this fourth category require the approval of the director of the ICU program before admission.
Patients requiring intensive monitoring who may also require emergency interventions.
Patients who are medically unstable or critically ill and who do not have much chance for recovery due to the severity of their illness or traumatic injury.
ICU care requires a multidisciplinary team that consists of but is not limited to intensivists (clinicians who specialize in critical illness care); pharmacists and nurses; respiratory care therapists; and other medical consultants from a broad range of specialties including surgery, pediatrics, and anesthesiology. The ideal ICU will have a team representing as many as 31 different health care professionals and practitioners who assist in patient evaluation and treatment. The intensivist will provide treatment management, diagnosis, interventions, and individualized care for each patient recovering from severe illness.