The Need for ICU and Critical Care
ICU or Intensive Care Units are specialized treatment branches in hospitals for patients who are acutely unwell and/or suffering from life-threatening injuries and illnesses.
An Intensive Care Unit (ICU) works as the life-support system for patients in an emergency medical situation.
ICUs are multi-disciplinary teams, formed by highly specialized medical experts, including doctors and nurses who are adept at taking care of critically ill or injured patients with a variety of medical, surgical and trauma conditions.
Through this blog, we’ll try to further understand the need for ICUs and the importance of critical care medicine in healthcare.
Why is Intensive Care needed?
When a person is severely ill or undergoing a medical surgery, an intensive care unit is required to monitor the condition of a patient closely and provide accurate and timely treatment.
An ICU consists of specialized medical equipment such as – a ventilator, heart beat monitors, IV lines and pumps, feeding tubes, dialysis machines and drains to aid various body functions before, during and after treatment.
Here are few common reasons why a person requires intensive care treatment:
- Single or multiple organ failure
- Life-threatening injury or accident
- Acute long-term conditions such as – high blood pressure, blood sugar, etc.
- Emergency medical condition such as a stroke or a paralysis,
- Series infections such as sepsis or pneumonia
- Complex surgeries such as organ transplants, neurosurgery, severe burns, bypass surgery,major trauma, etc.
Intensive care ensures critically ill patients are closely monitored before while they are connected to medical equipment via tubes, wires and cables.
During the treatment, patients in an ICU require the support of critical care medicine, which is a branch of healthcare that deals with the diagnosis, management and treatment of life-threatening conditions, injuries and illnesses.
Let’s understand the role of critical care medicine in detail.
What is Critical Care Medicine?
Critical care is a branch of medical science which encompasses the treatment of all physical and physiological aspects of patients who are critically ill and injured.
In an ICU, sometimes also known as emergency care, highly specialized critical care medicine specialists provide intensive levels of medical care and treatment to patients.
A critical care patient requires immediate medical aid and continuous monitoring, so as to improve the chances of their survival and recovery. Critical care specialists are doctors who perform deep investigation and diagnosis of a patient’s condition, and then provide the best suitable treatment for acute illnesses.
A critical care medicine specialist is equipped and trained to consider every aspect of a patient’s physiological condition, including the state of internal and external organs, and functioning of other vital systems that form the basis of a healthy body, such as endotracheal intubation, arterial cannulation, mechanical ventilation.
The Need for ICU and Critical Care in Healthcare
Be it a sudden emergency situation, a chronic medical condition or a planned surgery, patients who require specialized care and attention rely on intensive care units and critical care medicine to avoid deterioration of health and to recover smoothly.
Every hospital has a dedicated ICU to offer a safe, secure and specialized environment with a highly proficient multidisciplinary team (doctors, physicians and nurses) and advanced technological equipment (for monitoring vitals and carrying out bodily functions) needed for the treatment of critically ill patients.
Some common critical procedures include:
– Airway Management
– Central venous access
– Arterial cannulation
– Haemodialysis Catheter
– Hemodynamic Monitoring
Most importantly, patients who have suffered severe physical injuries or mental trauma require significant care, monitoring and time to recover, and only an ICU environment and critical care specialist can provide that.
The Benefits of Critical Care
In the ICU, a patient gets round-the-clock specialized treatment by highly trained medical professionals.
ICUs have evolved significantly over the years, and today, the treatment for critically ill patients have been simplified to a great extent via less invasive monitoring and fewer interventions.
Due to the result of personalized care, there are many benefits accrued, such as:
- Improved medical outcomes
- High quality of Care
- Early Mobilization
- Reduced complications
- Shorter lengths of stay in the ICU
- Enhanced medication safety
- Reduced Mortality + Morbidity rates
- Reduced ICU costs
It is clear that both the patient and their family members benefit from ICU treatment. Contrary to expectations, a critically ill patient recovers faster when undergoing treatment in a highly specialized environment with high-quality care, as compared to a normal ward.
Another important benefit is – a critical care specialist closely monitors a patient’s condition, and knows when to make necessary interventions and act as a link between the patient and his/her family.
Further, critical care medicine specialists are experts who ensure the post-operative experience after a surgery or medical treatment is smooth, pain-free and comfortable for a recovering patient. This makes life easier for patients as well as their family members.
Looking for a Critical Care Specialist in Delhi-NCR?
I am a certified critical care doctor from New Delhi, with more than 17 years of experience in managing India’s leading ICUs at some of the best hospitals, including Max Hospitals, Fortis Healthcare, AIIMS.
As an ICU specialist, you can consult me online for managing and treating complex illnesses and life-threatening medical conditions. I am proficient at providing emergency medical aid and support to patients who are in the need for advanced care.
Book an appointment online for a consultation with me.