Critical care is always about the brain. This statement is obvious when the primary problem is neurologic emergencies. However, even when the primary pathology necessitating intensive care unit (ICU) treatment lies outside the brain, the eventual aim of care is preserving cerebral function. Thus, regardless of whether the proximate cause for ICU admission is neurologic insult or systemic illness, there is increasing recognition of the long-term effects of these conditions and their treatment on recovery of brain function and functional outcomes over the long term.
Tasker RC, Menon DK. Critical Care and the Brain. JAMA. 2016;315(8):749-750. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.0701