Show Summary Details
Page of

Critical care 

Critical care
Chapter:
Critical care
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199681907.003.0009
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 13 July 2020

Critical care medicine is the specialty providing organ support to acutely unwell patients, and overlaps with anaesthetics, acute medicine, surgery, and emergency medicine. Patients are usually managed on the intensive care unit (ICU) or high dependency unit and require organ support in the form of intubation/ventilation/sedation, circulatory support (inotropes/vasopressors), renal replacement therapy (usually continuous venovenous haemofiltration), and nutrition. Common reasons for ICU admission include sepsis, complex surgery, respiratory disease, metabolic disturbance (such as diabetic ketoacidosis), head injury or reduced conscious level, and following cardiac arrest. A standardized approach to the evaluation of critically ill patients is outlined, as well as management of sepsis, acute asthma, and head injury. Principles of sedation, intubation, and ventilation/respiratory support are covered, as well as renal replacement therapy. The role of indwelling devices such as arterial lines and central venous catheters is also summarized.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.