The Intensive Care Unit

Chapter

Abstract

Caring for patients in the intensive care unit demands constant, meticulous thought and consideration while implementing every aspect of their management. Among the many life-sustaining therapies provided for those in the intensive care unit (ICU), the use of an individually tailored pharmacologic regimen has the potential to dramatically improve the overall health of the patient as well as to do great harm. Severe derangements in the physiologic responses and homeostatic mechanisms of critically ill patients often times result in challenges in constructing a durable therapeutic regimen. At times, these alterations in function can be difficult to detect, and their effects on the intended action of pharmacologic substances are often impossible to quantify. Knowledge of these specific disease processes, their potential effects on pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, as well as an intimate familiarity with the pharmacologic agents most often used in the intensive care unit can lead to an optimized approach to improving the health of the critically ill patient.

Keywords

Cortisol Heparin Morphine Cyanide Epinephrine 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiaHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain MedicineBeth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA

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