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Critical care

Critical care doctors treat persons who face severe illness or injury. They most often care for patients in a hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU).

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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