International Perspectives on Critical Care

  • Hannah WunschEmail author
Part of the Respiratory Medicine book series (RM, volume 18)


Comparisons across countries of critical care provide important information on availability of critical care resources, implications of triage decisions, and delivery of care in the intensive care unit (ICU) for critically ill patients. The variety of populations, resources, care patterns, and cultures create an opportunity to understand the impact of different care choices, and potentially reveal areas for focus for quality improvement. Comparisons across countries highlight the lack of a standard definition of an ICU bed. Large differences also exist in length of hospital stay and discharge patterns, with variability in the use of support facilities, such as hospice care and skilled nursing facilities. These differences reveal the need for appropriate outcome measures that are not skewed by such variation. Knowledge of provision of critical care across regions and countries may improve networks and facilitate both daily care of patients and disaster planning.


Critical care Intensive care unit Beds International health problems Outcome measures Triage Patient discharge Clinical practice variation 


Sources of Support

Award Number K08AG038477 from the National Institute on Aging.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyCollege of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyMailman School of Public Health, Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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