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Invited Commentary
January 2017

Who Belongs in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Divisions of Cardiology and Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • 2Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • 3Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgical Critical Care Unit, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • 4UNC Mechanical Heart Program, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • 5Cardiovascular Clinical Trials, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
JAMA Cardiol. 2017;2(1):45-46. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2016.3881

With roots firmly established in our historic battlefields, and a maturation heavily influenced by the global polio epidemic of the 1950s, intensive care units (ICUs) have now become common fixtures within hospitals worldwide. Home to patients with life-threatening ailments whose recovery depends on constant monitoring, specialist care, and an assortment of pharmacologic and mechanical interventions, the utilization of ICU services has seen marked expansion over the past several decades. At the same time, the development of disease-specific ICUs—including specialty cardiac, pediatric, and neurological units—means that there are now a myriad of care options available to our critically ill patients.

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