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.
Katz JN. Who Belongs in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit?. JAMA Cardiol. 2017;2(1):45-46. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2016.3881