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Learn about different types ICUs

1.The Medical/Surgical/Respiratory ICU is the most common type of ICU. Patients with many different medical, surgical, respiratory conditions may be admitted to the Medical/Surgical/Respiratory ICU. Hospitals may have separate Medical, Surgical or Respiratory ICUs or any combination thereof.  

Medical/Surgical/Respiratory ICUs provide all types of monitoring and treatments. Depending upon the hospital, the Medical/Surgical/Respiratory ICU may be the main ICU or there may be other specialty ICUs .

2.The Cardiac ICU, sometimes referred to as the CCU or Coronary Care Unit, cares for patients who have heart disease and occasionally other medical or surgical problems. Conditions such as myocardial infarction (heart attack), angina, congestive heart failure, arrythmias and cardiomyopathy are common reasons to be admitted to this ICU. Some hospitals perform cardiac surgery, such as coronary artery bypass, and care for these patients in this special ICU. Patients may come to this unit following cardiac angioplasty or the placement of stents in their coronary blood vessels.

The Cardiac ICU provides heart rhythm monitoring and treatments that are specialized to the cardiac patient. For example, continuous monitoring of detailed ECGs and special treatments such as intra-aortic balloon pump therapy, pulmonary artery catheters, and thrombolytic therapy are available.

3.The Neurological ICU cares for patients with brain or spinal cord conditions and occasionally other medical or surgical problems. Conditions such head injuries, stroke, vascular (blood vessel) surgery and infections are common reasons to be admitted to this ICU. The Neurological ICU provides brain and spinal cord monitoring and treatments that are specific for the neurological patient. For example, continuous EEG monitoring, intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring and special spinal cord stabilization techniques are available.

Many hospitals do not have a special ICU for neurological conditions. In that case, other ICUs, such as the Medical/Surgical/Respiratory ICU, will care for patients with neurological conditions. Occasionally, patients with neurological conditions need to be transferred to medical centers with Neurological ICUs.

4.The Trauma/Burn ICU cares for patients with major injuries or burns. Patients involved in auto accidents, gunshot injuries or burns are cared for in the Trauma/Burn ICU. Many hospitals do not have a special ICU for trauma/burn patients. In that case, other ICUs, like the Medical/Surgical/Respiratory ICU, will provide care for trauma/burn patients. Occasionally a patient who has sustained trauma or a burn may need to be transferred to a hospital that has a Trauma/Burn ICU.

The Trauma/Burn ICU provides injury and wound care and treatments that are specialized to the trauma/burn patient.

 

 

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