Basic principles of organization and performance of an Intensive Care Unit

Hippokratia 1999, 3(4):148-159

K. Chatzinikolaou


Intensive Care Units (ICUs), developed during the last 40 years, in the context of the rapid medical and technological evolution, built-in today’s independent hospital departments.
ICU is faced with critically ill patients, e.g. patients with life threatening acute derangement of one or more of their vital functions, following a severe insult.
The performance of the ICU consists of monitoring of the vital functions, support of the failing organ functions, treatment of the casual illness and intensive care of the critically ill patients. The following requirements are essential for a successfully functioning ICU:
a) specialized and adequate medical and nursing staff,
b) adequate space and modern equipment for monitoring, diagnosis, support and care of the critically ill,
c) cooperative work,
d) rationalistic use resources,
e) continuing education,
f) participation in research projects and last but not least
g) psychological support of the patients and their relatives