Critical care medicine specializes in caring for the most seriously sick or injured patients. These patients are best treated in a specialized area known as the intensive care unit (ICU) with professional equipment and experienced personnel. Some hospitals maintain separate units for special cases (e.g. cardiac, surgical, neurologic, pediatric, or neonatal patients). ICUs have a high nurse-to-patient ratio to provide the necessary high intensity of service, including treatment and monitoring of physiologic parameters.
The critical care team consists of a diverse group of highly trained professionals. The head of the team, the critical care physician, also known as an Intensivist, is specially trained to care for critically ill patients who may require organ support, life support or intensive monitoring. These physicians are board certified in a medical specialty such as anesthesiology, internal medicine, surgery and pursue subspecialty board certification in critical care.
There are many reasons a person may need care in an ICU, the following are the most common reasons :
- Shock, a condition when the organs of the body do not get enough oxygen and blood pressure for them to function normally.
- Respiratory failure, when the lungs do not work sufficiently.
- Renal failure, when the kidneys fail to work.
- Neurological conditions.
- Bleeding and clotting problems.
- Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome (MODS).
When a patient is in the ICU, many people are involved in making decisions about that person’s care. Doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers make choices about how to care for patients throughout the day. In certain conditions the doctor will involve the patient’s family in the decision making process. These decisions can be very difficult ones to make which an ICU team is prepared to deal with professionally.
BIMC Hospital has a fully equipped ICU which is prepared to handle even most severe medical condition. The ICU area at BIMC Hospital includes 4 fully equipped bed units and an isolation ICU bed with a separate air filtration system where patients with highly contagious infections can be closely monitored and treated at all times without risking the infection to spread further.