An intensive care unit (ICU), also known as a critical care unit (CCU), intensive therapy unit or intensive treatment unit (ITU) is a special department of a hospital or health care facility that provides intensive care medicine.
Intensive care units cater to patients with the most severe and life-threatening illnesses and injuries, which require constant, close monitoring and support from specialist equipment and medication in order to ensure normal bodily functions. They are staffed by highly trained doctors and critical care nurses who specialise in caring for seriously ill patients. Common conditions that are treated within ICUs include trauma, multiple organ failure and sepsis.
Patients may be transferred directly to an intensive care unit from an emergency department if required, or from a ward if they rapidly deteriorate, or immediately after surgery if the surgery is very invasive and the patient is at high risk of complications.