Intensive care medicine

A patient being managed on an intensive care unit
An endotracheal tube
A patient of an intensive care unit in a German hospital in 2015, with two staples of syringe drivers on the right behind him, monitoring screens for heart rate, blood pressure and an electrocardiogram (top) and a portable hemodialysis machine (left)

Several terms redirect here.

- Intensive care medicine

500 related topics



Piece of medical technology that provides mechanical ventilation by moving breathable air into and out of the lungs, to deliver breaths to a patient who is physically unable to breathe, or breathing insufficiently.

Hamilton C6 Ventilator
A standard setup for a ventilator in a hospital room. The ventilator pushes warm, moist air (or air with increased oxygen) to the patient. Exhaled air flows away from the patient.
An East-Radcliffe respirator model from the mid-twentieth century

Ventilators are chiefly used in intensive-care medicine, home care, and emergency medicine (as standalone units) and in anesthesiology (as a component of an anesthesia machine).

Life support

Emergency in order to support life after the failure of one or more vital organs.

Endotracheal tube of an emergency ventilator system
Dialysis center for patients with severe chronic kidney disease
Hemodialysis machine Bellco Formula
An iron lung
Ventilator "Evita4" on an ICU

BLS is the lowest level of emergency care, followed by advanced life support and critical care.


Health care institution providing patient treatment with specialized health science and auxiliary healthcare staff and medical equipment.

Limassol General Hospital in Cyprus
Royal Brompton Hospital is one of the biggest heart and lung hospitals in the world.
During peacetime, hospitals can be indicated by a variety of symbols. For example, a white 'H' on a blue background is often used in the United States. During times of armed conflict, a hospital may be marked with the emblem of the red cross, red crescent or red crystal in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.
Starship Children's Health is a children's hospital in Auckland, New Zealand
McMaster University Medical Centre is a teaching hospital in Hamilton, Ontario
Hospital beds per 1000 people 2013.
Hospital beds per inhabitants
Resuscitation room bed after a trauma intervention, showing the highly technical equipment of modern hospitals
View of the Askleipion of Kos, the best preserved instance of an Asklepieion.
Ruins of a two thousand-year-old hospital were discovered in the historical city of Anuradhapura Mihintale Sri Lanka
Entrance to the Qalawun complex in Cairo, Egypt which housed the notable Mansuri hospital.
A hospital ward in sixteenth century France.
1820 Engraving of Guy's Hospital in London one of the first voluntary hospitals to be established in 1724
Ruins of the Hospital San Nicolás de Bari in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, recognized by UNESCO for being the oldest hospital built in the Americas. Built between 1514 and 1541.
Pennsylvania Hospital (now part of University of Pennsylvania Health System). Founded in 1751, it is the earliest established public hospital in the United States. It is also home to America's first surgical amphitheatre and its first medical library.
A ward of the hospital at Scutari where Florence Nightingale worked and helped to restructure the modern hospital
Clinical Hospital Dubrava in Zagreb, Croatia
The medical center at the University of Virginia shows the growing trend for modern architecture in hospitals.
The National Health Service Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in the UK, showing the utilitarian architecture of many modern hospitals
Hospital chapel at Fawcett Memorial Hospital (Port Charlotte, Florida)
Hinduja National Hospital, Mumbai
An intensive care unit (ICU) within a hospital
Uniklinikum Aachen in Germany
Tampere University Hospital in Tampere, Finland
All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, India
Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania
Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami's Health District, the primary teaching hospital for the University of Miami's Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and the largest hospital in the United States with 1,547 beds

A district hospital typically is the major health care facility in its region, with many beds for intensive care and additional beds for patients who need long-term care.


Medical specialty concerned with the total perioperative care of patients before, during and after surgery.

An anesthesiologist controlling a patient's airway while inducing anesthesia
Photo of prebriefing for mixed modality simulation being used for anesthesia resident training

It encompasses anesthesia, intensive care medicine, critical emergency medicine, and pain medicine.


Process of correcting physiological disorders in an acutely ill patient.

A patient being managed on an intensive care unit

It is an important part of intensive care medicine, trauma surgery and emergency medicine.

Intensive care unit

Intensive care unit
ICU patients often require mechanical ventilation if they have lost the ability to breathe normally.
Nurses in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
A pediatric intensive care unit room at Helen Devos Children's Hospital.
US Army ICU nurse attending to a patient in Baghdad, Iraq
ICU nurses monitoring patients from a central computer station. This allows for rapid intervention should a patient's condition deteriorate whilst a member of staff is not immediately at the bedside.
Mobile ICU of the university hospital in Antwerp, Belgium

An intensive care unit (ICU), also known as an intensive therapy unit or intensive treatment unit (ITU) or critical care unit (CCU), is a special department of a hospital or health care facility that provides intensive care medicine.

Tracheal intubation

Placement of a flexible plastic tube into the trachea to maintain an open airway or to serve as a conduit through which to administer certain drugs.

Anesthesiologist using the Glidescope video laryngoscope to intubate the trachea of a morbidly obese elderly person with challenging airway anatomy
Laryngoscope handles with an assortment of Miller blades (large adult, small adult, child, infant and newborn)
Laryngoscope handle with an assortment of Macintosh blades (large adult, small adult, child, infant and newborn)
An endotracheal tube stylet, useful in facilitating orotracheal intubation
A cuffed endotracheal tube, constructed of polyvinyl chloride
A Carlens double-lumen endotracheal tube, used for thoracic surgical operations such as VATS lobectomy
An endotracheal tube in good position on CXR. Arrow marks the tip.
An endotracheal tube not deep enough. Arrow marks the tip.
Laryngoscopes prepared for emergency anaesthesia
In cricothyrotomy, the incision or puncture is made through the cricothyroid membrane in between the thyroid cartilage and the cricoid cartilage
Cricothyrotomy kit
Diagram of a tracheostomy tube in the trachea: 
1 - Vocal folds 
2 - Thyroid cartilage 
3 - Cricoid cartilage 
4 - Tracheal rings 
5 - Balloon cuff
A premature infant weighing 990 grams (35 ounces), intubated and requiring mechanical ventilation in the neonatal intensive-care unit
Tracheal intubation is anticipated to be difficult in this child with a massive ameloblastoma
The laryngoscopy. From García, 1884

By the mid-20th century, the tracheotomy as well as endoscopy and non-surgical tracheal intubation had evolved from rarely employed procedures to becoming essential components of the practices of anesthesiology, critical care medicine, emergency medicine, and laryngology.

Physical therapy

One of the medical profession.

Military physical therapists working with patients on balance problems, orthopedic, amputee, Examining patient's strength, flexibility, joint range of motion balance and gait.
Exercise to shoulder and elbow to increase motion following fracture and dislocation of humerus is being given by an Army therapist to a soldier patient.
Treatment by orthopedic physical therapists

Residencies are aimed to train physical therapists in a specialty such as acute care, cardiovascular & pulmonary, clinical electrophysiology, faculty, geriatrics, neurology, orthopaedics, pediatrics, sports, women's health, and wound care, whereas fellowships train specialists in a subspecialty (e.g. critical care, hand therapy, and division 1 sports), similar to the medical model.

Pulse oximetry

Noninvasive method for monitoring a person's oxygen saturation.

Tetherless pulse oximetry
A pulse oximeter probe applied to a person's finger
Absorption spectra of oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO2) and deoxygenated hemoglobin (Hb) for red and infrared wavelengths
The inner side of a pulse oximeter

Pulse oximetry is useful in any setting where a patient's oxygenation is unstable, including intensive care, operating, recovery, emergency and hospital ward settings, pilots in unpressurized aircraft, for assessment of any patient's oxygenation, and determining the effectiveness of or need for supplemental oxygen.

Respiratory therapist

A clinician auscultating the chest of a pediatric patient.
Respiratory Therapist in an intensive care unit
Registered Respiratory Therapist
A Respiratory Therapist gives an immunization shot to a patient
A Respiratory Therapist teaches students about the dangers of smoking.
Anesthesia vaporizer
CABG surgery with CPB
A Respiratory Therapist takes a blood sample from a 3-day-old in preparation for transfer to an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation unit
A pediatric patient prepared for a polysomnogram by a Respiratory Therapist.
A premature infant on ECMO, a form of heart/lung machine, is being transferred between hospitals

A respiratory therapist is a specialized healthcare practitioner trained in critical care and cardio-pulmonary medicine in order to work therapeutically with people who have acute critical conditions, cardiac and pulmonary disease.