Surgical Intensive Care Unit
A surgical intensive care unit (SICU) is an area of a
hospital in which patients require surgery due to life
threatening medical problems of sudden onset and are
placed under close monitoring and constant,
complicated, detailed nursing and medical care. In other
words, the care is extreme or intensive, hence the
name Intensive Care Unit. Patients are kept in the SICU
for as long as is medically necessary.
An example of an SICU.
FEATURED BOOK: Critical Care Medicine: Principles of Diagnosis & Management

Types of patients typically found on an SICU include those who have had general
surgery, vascular surgery, plastic surgery, bariatric surgery (surgery to reduce obesity),
thoracic (chest) surgery, surgery of the urinary system, surgery of the female
reproductive system, and ear nose and throat surgery.

The SICU consists of highly specialized and complicated devices and equipment for
monitoring patients and for reviving them from apparent death or unconsciousness. The
staff in an SICU is educated and trained to provide the specific type of health care
needed. The first surgical ICU was established in Baltimore. SICUs are sometimes
referred to as Surgical Critical Care (SCC).

A specific type of Surgical Intensive Care Unit that involves caring for patients with
surgery of the brain and/or spine (neurosurgery) is known as an Neurosurgery Intensive
Care Unit (NSICU).

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