Q

Critical Care

Is an intensive care unit (ICU) different than an emergency room (ER)?

A Answers (7)

  • A Internal Medicine, answered on behalf of
    Is an intensive care unit (ICU) different than an emergency room (ER)?
    The ICU is an ongoing intensive management center, whereas the ER is an initial identification and treatment center, says Pamela Miller, MD, of Fawcett Memorial Hospital. Watch this video to learn why both are important.
  • A Emergency Medicine, answered on behalf of
    Is an intensive care unit (ICU) different from a hospital's ER?
    Not sure what the difference is between an ICU unit and an ER? In this video, ER physician Jen Waxler, MD, from Brandon Regional Hospital clears up the confusion.
  • A Emergency Medicine, answered on behalf of
    Is an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Different from a Hospital's Emergency Room (ER)?
    Yes, there is a difference between an ICU and an ER, says Michael Dodd, MD, from Frankfort Regional Medical Center. An ICU is longer term and can be viewed as an extension of the ER. Learn more in this short video.
  • A , Nursing, answered

    Intensive care and emergency room are two different areas of a hospital. The emergency room of a hospital is where ambulances bring people who are critical. It is also the area where patient's go when they need immediate care and cannot wait for an appointment with a physician. Some people who go to the emergency room will be treated and discharged while others will be admitted to the hospital for further care. The intensive care unit is where critically ill patients go until they are stabilized. Intensive care units receive their patients from surgery, the emergency room, as well as other areas of the hospital. 

  • A Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, answered on behalf of
    Yes, the ICU is different then the emergency room. The emergency room is an area of the hospital where patients are brought first when they have had some type of accident or emergency. (For example a car accident or a heart attack). Patients are evaluated and cared for in the emergency room. Depending on how sick the patients are the emergency room doctor may send them to another area of the hospital called the ICU. The ICU is called the intensive care unit. Patients who are very sick and need specialized care are placed in the ICU. Nurses in the ICU have special training to take care of patients who are very sick.
  • A Emergency Medicine, answered on behalf of
    Is an intensive care unit (ICU) different from a hospital's emergency room?
    An intensive care unit (ICU) is one of the places a patient may go after being treated in the ER.  Elaine Nelson, MD, Emergency Medicine Medical Director at Regional Medical Center of San Jose, explains what type of patient might need the ICU.
  • A Emergency Medicine, answered on behalf of
    Is An Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Different from a Hospital's Emergency Room?
    The emergency department helps determine if an illness is life-threatening, whereas an ICU provides long-term care for the illness. Watch Justin Williams, MD, of Methodist Stone Oak Hospital, discuss the difference between the two.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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What is the ICU?