Life-threatening conditions -- such as heart attack and stroke; severe breathing problems and injuries -- require immediate and ongoing medical attention. Critical care can occur at the scene of an accident or in an emergency room. But it is most often given in a hospital's intensive care unit (ICU).
Source: Society of Critical Care Medicine
Reviewed by: Steven Bergeson, MD, medical director of quality, Allina Health clinics; J Richard Sheely, MD, medical director, Allina Health clinics
First published: 3/14/2007
Last reviewed: 6/4/2012