The Evolution of Intensive Care Units as Critical Care Centres


Critical care or the management of life-threatening conditions through close attention by specially trained health professionals has become a feature of health care systems around the globe. It has become a necessity; required for the comprehensive management of patients at the risk of life-threatening organ dysfunction. Today, critical care centres have changed drastically leading to reduced mortality.

However, the journey has not been smooth and straightforward. The critical care centres have evolved and come a long way from recovery rooms in the 19th century. Have a look at the progression of these centres from the very beginning.

Postoperative rooms were the only direct antecedent of the Intensive Care Units (ICU) during the 1850s. It was not uncommon for hospitals to have these rooms; however, the patients were shifted to many different rooms instead of keeping them in one solely dedicated room.

A faint beginning of intensive care units started in the 1930s when a three-bed unit for the care of neurosurgical patients was opened in Germany. Since then, massive improvements have been made in terms of understanding the processes that affect critical patients and technology.

The polio epidemic in the second half of the 20th century led to the proper development and establishment of Intensive Care Units in Copenhagen. It was then when the need for specialty rooms was realized, and it was realised that the transfer of the patients to different rooms led to the development of risk. The doctors, during the epidemic, reduced the mortality rate in patients by 50% by caring for them in specific areas of the hospital.

During the years after 1968, mechanical ventilator became the part of the ICUs.

It was during this period that critical care in India also started developing gradually. The first, very own respiratory care units were established in two hospitals in Mumbai by a renowned physician with international training in pulmonology. With continuing developments, fluid administration, oxygen administration, blood transfusions, and other procedures became essential components and procedures of ICU. 

Intensive care has become highly sophisticated, diversified, and detailed in the last few decades. The patterns of diseases seen in Indian ICUs are different than those seen elsewhere. Many tropical infections including tuberculosis, malaria, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, etc., form a significant proportion of the patients in these units.

In India, the process of care improved steadily with attention to intensive care and significant changes like better coordination with different teams and family to enhance the outcomes of ICU patients.

Over the preceding decades, particular techniques also evolved progressively. The onset and discovery of different lethal diseases like cancer due to changing climate, lifestyle, etc., led to the unprecedented expansion of these high dependency units. Thus the evolvement of the intensive care units into critical care centres.

The changing era of improving the safety of patients and healthcare providers' performance has put great emphasis on enhancing Intensive Care Units. Therefore, these intensive care units have expanded enormously in the present times with improved monitoring, treatment, support, and care. We, at Medipulse house intensive care units of high standards, to ensure effective treatment and dignity of the patients. Ranked as Jodhpur’s, top private hospital our critical care unit has several wings of care with medical specialists to provide treatment for a wide array of diseases.  With critical care at the crossroads of development in our country, we have made provisions to bring innovation and continuous developments.