Common complications in the surgical intensive care unit.

Surgical and trauma intensive care units provide the facilities, resources, and personnel needed to care for patients who have been severely injured, present with acute surgical emergencies, require prolonged and complex elective surgical procedures, or have severe underlying medical conditions. Correcting the immediately evident physiologic derangement is only the first step in the care of these patients, because in many cases their prognosis and ultimate outcome will depend on whether additional insults accrued during their intensive care unit and hospital stay will prevent them from a full recovery. The nature, number, and complexity of the interventions used to provide advanced support requires a unique attention to the concept of patient safety, particularly when the population involved is that most vulnerable to injury and with the least amount of physiologic reserve to recover from it. The medical community, the public, and even regulatory agencies have focused on specific preventable complications that are common in surgical and injured patients, such as medical errors, healthcare-associated infections, and venous thromboembolism. Enough scientific knowledge has been obtained through well-conducted clinical trials to generate detailed evidence-based guidelines for the prevention and management of some of these pathologies, but still there are outstanding questions in terms of the applicability of the recommendations to the critically ill. In addition to clinical and technical expertise, performance improvement and quality monitoring activities provide direction for system solutions required to properly address many complications that are not provider specific.
AuthorsRobert G Sawyer, Carlos A Tache Leon
JournalCritical care medicine (Crit Care Med) Vol. 38 Issue 9 Suppl Pg. S483-93 (Sep 2010) ISSN: 1530-0293 [Electronic] United States
PMID20724882 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
  • Catheter-Related Infections (diagnosis, epidemiology, etiology, prevention & control)
  • Critical Care
  • Cross Infection (diagnosis, epidemiology, prevention & control)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Errors
  • Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated (diagnosis, drug therapy, epidemiology)
  • Postoperative Complications (diagnosis, epidemiology, etiology, prevention & control)
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Risk Factors
  • United States (epidemiology)

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