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Invited Commentary
Sep 10, 2012

Addressing the Growth in Intensive Care  : Comment on “Intensive Care Unit Admitting Patterns in the Veterans Affairs Health Care System”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Clinical Research, Investigation, and Systems Modeling of Acute Illness Center, Department of Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Drs Seymour and Kahn); and Department of Health Policy and Management, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (Dr Kahn).

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(16):1226. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3773

More than 50 000 patients receive intensive care each day in the United States,1 and the need for critical care is expected to increase with the aging population. But this growth in critical illness is not without consequences. When intensive care units (ICUs) are full, sick patients in the emergency department or ward may experience admission delays, and considerable evidence suggests that these delays are associated with attributable morbidity and mortality.2,3 Full ICUs may also strain intensivist physicians, leading to burnout and preventable medical errors.