The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is a unit in the hospital where seriously ill patients are cared for by specially trained staff. The ICU staff includes doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, clinical nurse specialists, pharmacists, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dietitians, social workers, and chaplains.
Intensive care units cater to patients with severe and life-threatening illnesses and injuries, which require constant, close monitoring and support from specialist equipment and medications in order to ensure normal bodily functions. They are staffed by highly trained doctors and nurses who specialise in caring for critically ill patients. ICUs are also distinguished from normal hospital wards by a higher staff-to-patient ratio and access to advanced medical resources and equipment that is not routinely available elsewhere. Common conditions that are treated within ICUs include ARDS, trauma, multiple organ failure and sepsis.
Patients may be transferred directly to an intensive care unit from an emergency department if required, or from a ward if they rapidly deteriorate, or immediately after surgery if the surgery is very invasive and the patient is at high risk of complications