Not only intensive care, but also an intensive experience for those affected and relatives: as scary as the apparatus appears and disturbing the constant bustle act, so the monitoring and therapy in the intensive care unit are vital for the patient. "He is now in intensive care" - most people who hear such a sentence, fears, unpleasant feelings or flight reflexes are awakened. Understandable - a stay there is necessary only in a strong (physical) state of emergency and therefore linked to our feelings with the threat of death and inevitable illness.
But as terrible as the situation seems to be, there is one thing above all else: the possibility of stabilizing and perhaps ameliorating the possibly life-threatening condition of a patient by means of intensive monitoring, care and therapy so that illness and, in the worst case, death can be averted.
When is the stay in an intensive care unit necessary?
An admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) is indicated when a patient requires particularly intensive monitoring and treatment. This can be an acute emergency or a chronic illness that becomes acutely worse (eg a pulmonary embolism or a severe asthma attack), an extensive injury, eg after a car accident (polytrauma), the first hours to days after an operation or certain therapies, which can be associated with serious complications (eg, the dissolution of blood clots).
Even patients who need to be ventilated are cared for in the intensive care unit. In smaller hospitals, there is usually an interdisciplinary ward on which all intensive care patients lie. In larger or specialist clinics, there are often multiple specific ICUs or at least multiple functional units in a ward - eg the CCU (Cardiac Care Unit) for patients with acute heart problems, the stroke unit for stroke patients, or intensive care units for surgical patients undergoing surgery to be supervised there. Increasingly, there are also "intermediate care stations" (IMC), which are in terms of equipment and care intensity between the ICUs and normal wards, and in which intensive care patients who are not so seriously ill, are cared for.