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Chapter 1 - Recognition of critical illness

from Section I: - Specific features of critical care medicine

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 July 2010

Edited by
Edited in association with
Fang Gao Smith
Affiliation:
University of Warwick
Joyce Yeung
Affiliation:
West Midlands Deanery
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Summary

The initial assessment of the critically ill patient should begin with a brief, targeted history and an appraisal of the patient's vital signs to identify life threatening abnormalities that merit immediate attention. The goals of resuscitation are usually achieved by the use of supplemental oxygen, fluid or red blood cell transfusion, inotropic support or antibiotics as needed. Physiological Scoring Systems (PSS) developed from the recognition that critically ill patients, and in particular patients who suffered cardiac arrests, often had long periods of deterioration before the crisis or medical emergency occurred. Medical emergency teams (METs) and critical care outreach (CCO) teams aim to provide critical care skills rapidly to critically ill patients. Referrals to the critical care services may happen from any level, but the final decision to admit a patient to a critical care bed should be made by an experienced critical care physician.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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