Critical Care or Intensive Care as a branch of medicine has existed for a very long time, as evidenced by the fact that the Society of critical care medicine was established way back in 1970.
It is a branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and management of life threatening conditions, requiring intensive and sometimes invasive monitoring and sophisticated life support. To put it in another way, Critical care deals with patients in whom it is critical that they receive all round, intense monitoring and support to tide them over acute situations.
This care is usually provided in “Intensive care units” or ICUs and always by specially trained individuals who meet up with the rigorous demands of these units. A patient may need this specialized care during any kind of medical, surgical or cardiac illness, or they may be admitted into these units following trauma resulting in multiple injuries each of which could be potentially life threatening. Specialized units for stroke patients, cancer patients and also for children are available at most leading centres in our country.
The growing role of technology is evident in most such units in the form of advanced ventilators, invasive and non-invasive monitoring systems, dialysis machines that can provide renal replacement therapy at the bedside, to name a few, and all this is backed by modern imaging and laboratory facilities.
Once admitted in these areas, a patient is ensured of multi-disciplinary care round the clock and with the help of top of the line equipment and dedicated individuals who take care of them till they are stable and fit to move out to a regular area of the hospital,pending discharge.
Dr K S Reddy MD, PDCC, IDCCM, IfCCM,
Critical Care Co-Ordinator,
Apollo Health City,