What is a Internal Medicine ?
Internal medicine: The medical specialty dedicated to the diagnosis and medical treatment of adults. A physician who specializes in internal medicine is referred to as an internist. Subspecialties of internal medicine include allergy and immunology, cardiology (heart diseases), endocrinology (hormone disorders), hematology (blood disorders), infectious diseases, gastroenterology (diseases of the gut), nephrology (kidney diseases), oncology (cancer), pulmonology (lung disorders), and rheumat-ology (arthritis and musculoskeletal disorders).
What is Critical Care?
Critical care (also known as Intensive Care) is the multiprofessional healthcare specialty that cares for patients with acute, life-threatening illness or injury. Most of us will experience a critical illness or injury, either as the patient, family member or friend of a patient.
Critical care can be provided wherever life is threatened – at the scene of an accident, in an ambulance, in a hospital emergency room, or in the operating room. Most critical care today, however, is delivered in highly specialized intensive care units (ICU). Various terminologies like Critical Care Unit (CCU), Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU), Coronary Care Unit (CCU) may be used to describe such services in a hospital.
Critical care is provided by multiprofessional teams of highly experienced and professional physicians, nurses, respiratory care technicians, pharmacists and other allied health professionals who use their unique expertise, ability to interpret important therapeutic information, access to highly sophisticated equipment and the services of support personnel to provide care that leads to the best outcome for the patient.
Patients are rarely admitted directly to the critical care unit. Rather, they are usually admitted from the emergency room, or surgical area where they are first given care and stabilized. The continuum of critical care begins at the moment of illness or injury and continues throughout the patient’s hospitalization, treatment and subsequent recovery.
What kinds of illness and injury usually require critical care?
Typical examples of critical illness include heart attack, poisoning, pneumonia, surgical complications, premature birth, and stroke. Critical care also includes trauma care – care of the severely injured – whether due to an automobile accident, gunshot or stabbing wounds, a fall, burns, or an industrial accident.
Surgical Critical Care Conditions
Trauma surgeons also perform surgical critical care procedures on patients who were already in the hospital for another surgery or procedure. This includes people with sepsis, respiratory failure, multi-organ failure, or coagulopathy.
If you go to the emergency room with any of these critical injuries or illnesses, a trauma surgeon will quickly evaluate your medical condition and determine the best course of treatment. Sometimes, this means rushing you into emergency surgery.
The procedures a trauma surgeon uses depend on your condition, but may include:
- Exploratory laparotomy
- Emergency thoracotomy
- Chest wall stabilization
After treating your emergency condition, a trauma surgeon will either continue working with you as you recover or transfer your care to another doctor or surgeon.