Critical Care

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Critical Care Week

Critical Care Week

Critical Care or Intensive Care Medicine, as it is sometimes referred to, is a branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and management of life-threatening conditions. Because the delivery of critical care often requires sophisticated monitoring and organ support technology it has been associated with care delivered in intensive care units (ICU). However, since every hospitalized patient is at some risk for experiencing a life-threatening event, the delivery of critical care is not limited to a place. Indeed, most hospitals dispatch so called rapid response teams for the purpose of delivering critical care wherever and whenever the need arises and if required to facilitate the safe transport of patients to an ICU setting.

Critical Care is one of the three pillars of the ATS and as such is embedded in the society's mission statement "To improve health worldwide by advancing research, clinical care, and public health in respiratory disease, critical illness, and sleep disorders." Given the prevalence and complexity of critical illness syndromes research funded through the ATS casts a broad net focusing on fundamental biologic disease mechanisms pertaining to shock and sepsis, on life support technology such as mechanical ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, on transplant immunology and host defense, as well as on behavioral interventions directed at minimizing the neurologic and psychologic trauma associated with critical illnesses and their care. It is our hope that Critical Care week will serve to educate the public about this important but poorly understood branch of medicine.


Rolf D. Hubmayr M.D.

Rolf D. Hubmayr M.D.
Emeritus Professor of Medicine & Physiology
Mayo Clinic
Member, American Thoracic Society