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What is critical care medicine?

Dr. Nicole Nelson, MD
Emergency Medicine Specialist

Critical Care Medicine is an area of medicine that deals with failing organ systems. For example, patients who are on a ventilator to support their lungs or medicines to support their blood pressure are managed by critical care doctors in an intensive care unit.

Critical care medicine is the area of medical care that is given in the intensive care units. This includes the intensive care, cardiac intensive care, newborn intensive care and surgical intensive care units. These are highly specialized units that require a multi-disciplinary team of physicians, nurses and the variety of therapists. Often these patients are on ventilators. Some physicians will be trained to care for patients only in these areas and go under the designation of "Intensivists" or "Critical Care Specialists."

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Important: 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.