Skip to main content

History of Critical Care Medicine: The Past, the Present and the Future

  • Chapter

Abstract

The term “Critical Care Medicine” was first introduced in the late 1950s at the University of Southern California (USC) from the concept that immediately life-endangered patients, the critically ill and injured, may have substantially better chances of survival if provided with professionally advanced minute-to-minute objective measurements. Such measurements were largely based on “real time” electronic monitoring of vital signs, hemodynamic and respiratory parameters, and complementary measurements on blood and body fluids. Care was increasingly delegated to a new generation of dedicated physicians, professional nurses, therapists, and clinical pharmacists in special care units. Since then, progress in the management of the acutely life-threatened patient has been accelerated by rapid advances in both monitoring and measurement technologies and the interventions that were triggered by them. Intubation and mechanical ventilation, hemodialysis, volume repletation guided by measurement of intravascular pressures and cardiac output, resuscitation by the routine use of chest compression, defibrillation and pacemaker insertion came into general use. These individual techniques had progressively evolved over the preceding decades by anesthesiologists in the operating room and postanesthesia recovery units and by cardiologists in the catheterization laboratory. Conventional methods of observation based on physical examination and largely manual measurement of vital signs at the bedside were therefore increasingly superceded by electronic techniques of quantitative monitoring and measurements.

Keywords

  • Acute Respiratory Failure
  • Critical Care Unit
  • Professional Nurse
  • Cardiac Output Measurement
  • Special Care Unit

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-88-470-1436-7_1
  • Chapter length: 15 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   189.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-88-470-1436-7
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   249.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   249.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Weil MH, Shubin H, Carlson RW (1976) The new practice of critical care medicine. In: Weil MH and Shubin H (eds) Critical care medicine — Current principles and practices. Harper & Row, New York, pp 1–7

    Google Scholar 

  2. Anonymous (1993) Step-down units and telemetry monitoring: optimizing utilization. Health Devices 22:25–27

    Google Scholar 

  3. Weil MH, Shoemaker W (1988) Competent and continuing care of the critically ill. Crit Care Med 16:298

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Weil MH, Shoemaker W (2004) Pioneering contributions of Peter Safar to intensive care and the founding of the Society of Critical Care Medicine — Peter Safar, physician, scientist, teacher, and humanist: testimonials. Crit Care Med 32:S8–S10

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Byan-Brown CW (1991) The evolution of critical care medicine: an international exchange. In: Shoemaker WC, Taylor RW (eds) Critical care. State of the art. The Society of Critical Care Medicine, pp 293–309

    Google Scholar 

  6. Ibsen B (1954) The anaesthsist’s viewpoint on the treatment of respiratory complications in poliomyelitis during epidemic in Copenhagen, 1952. Proc R Soc Med 47:72–74

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Mizok BA, Weil MH (1993) Introduction: History and destiny of critical care medicine. In: Carlson RW, Geheb MA (eds) Principles and practice of medical intensive care. WB Saunders, Philadelphia

    Google Scholar 

  8. Weil MH, Shubin H (1969) Critical care medicine I: The “VIP” approach to the bedside management of shock. JAMA 207:337–340

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Weil MH, Shubin H, Rosoff L (1965) Fluid repletion in circulatory shock: central venous pressure and other practical guides. JAMA 192:668–674

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Weil MH, Shubin H, Rand W (1966) Experience with a digital computer for study and improved management of the critically ill. JAMA 198:147–152

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  11. Safar P, DeKornfeld TJ, Person JM (1961) The intensive care unit. Anesthesia 16:275

    CrossRef  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Safar P, Escarraga L, Elam J (1958) A comparison of the mouth-to-mouth and mouth-to-airway methods of artificial respiration with the chest-pressure arm-lift methods. N Engl J Med 258:671–677

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Safar P (1958) Ventilatory efficacy of mouth-to-mouth artificial respiration: airway obstruction during manual and mouth-to-mouth artificial respiration. JAMA 167:335–341

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Sambhi MP, Weil MH, Udhoji VN (1962) Pressor responses to norepinephrine in humans before and after corticosteroids. Am J Physiol 203:961–963

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Weil MH, Shubin H (1970) Changes in venous capacitance during cardiogenic shock. Am J Cardiol 26:613

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Weil MH, von Planta M, Rackow EC (1988) Critical care medicine: introduction and historical perspective. In: Shoemaker W (ed) Textbook of critical care medicine. WB Saunders, Philadelphia, pp 1055–1073

    Google Scholar 

  17. Weil MH, Henning RJ (1979) New concepts in the diagnosis and fluid treatment of circulatory shock. Anesth Analg 58:124–132

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Carrington JH, Shubin H, Martin R et al (1971) Physical arrangements at the bedside in support of automated systems for patient care. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 18:149–154

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. Weil MH, Michaels S, Puri VK et al (1981) The Stat Laboratory: facilitating blood gas and biochemical measurements for the critically ill and injured. Am J Clin Pathol 76:34–42

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Ebemeyer U, Peter Safar (2005) Physician, scientist, and teacher. Prehosp Disaster Med 20:76–78

    Google Scholar 

  21. Weil MH (1973) Presidential address: the Society of Critical Care Medicine, its history and its destiny. Crit Care Med 1:1–4

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Committee on Guidelines of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (1976) Guidelines for organization of critical care units. In: Weil MH, Shubin H (eds) Critical care medicine — Current principles and practices. Harper & Row, New York, pp 8–14

    Google Scholar 

  23. Knaus WA, Draper EA, Wagner DP (1983) The use of intensive care: new research initiatives and their implications for national health policy. Milbank Mem Fund Q 61:561–583

    CrossRef  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. Weil MH (1987) Foreword. In: Fein IA, Strosberg MA (eds) Managing the critical care unit. Aspen, Rockville, MD, pp xix–xxi

    Google Scholar 

  25. Safar P, Grenvik A (1971) Critical care medicine; organization and staffing of intensive care units. Chest 59:535–547

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. Weil MH, Shubin H (1971) The new practice of critical care medicine. Editorial. Chest 59:473–474

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. Weil MH, Shubin H (1971) Introduction: symposium on care of the critically ill. Mod Med 39:83–85

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  28. Weil MH, Shubin H, Faber DA et al (1971) A new approach to critical care units. Hospitals 45:65–68

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  29. Pontoppidan H, Gettin B, Lowenstein E (1972) Acute respiratory failure in the adult. N Engl J Med 287:690–698

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. Weil MH (1976) In: Weil MH, Shubin H (eds) Critical care medicine — Current principles and practices. Harper & Row, New York, pp xiii–xiv

    Google Scholar 

  31. Dorman T, Angood PB, Angus DC et al (2004) Guidelines for critical care medicine training and continuing medical education. Crit Care Med 32:263–272

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. Haupt MT, Bekes CE, Brilli RJ (2003) Guidelines on critical care services and personnel: recommendations based on a system of categorization of three levels of care. Crit Care Med 31:2677–2683

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  33. Society of Critical Care Medicine (1995) Guidelines for intensive care unit design. Crit Care Med 23:582–588

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  34. Shoemaker W, Appel PL, Kram HB et al (1988) Prospective trial of supranormal values of survivors as therapeutic goals in high risk surgical patients. Chest 94:1176

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  35. Weil MH (1994) The assault on the Swan-Ganz catheter. Chest 113:1379–1386

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  36. Porembka DT (1996) Transesophageal echocardiography. Crit Care Clin 12:875–918

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  37. Shoemaker WC, Appel PL, Kram HB et al (1988) Multicomponent noninvasive physiologic monitoring of circulatory function. Crit Care Med 6:482

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  38. Bernstein DP (1989) Noninvasive cardiac output measurements In: Shoemaker WC, Ayres SM, Grenvik A et al (eds) Texbook of critical care, 2nd edn., WB Saunders, Philadelphia, pp 159–185

    Google Scholar 

  39. Weil MH, Bisera J, Trevino RP et al (1985) Cardiac output and end-tidal carbon dioxide. Crit Care Med 13:907–909

    CAS  PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  40. Shoemaker WC (1990) Critical care in the nineties: state of the art. In: Society of Critical Care Medicine (eds) Critical care — State of the art. pp 1–14

    Google Scholar 

  41. Ristagno G, Tang W, Sun S et al (2006) Role of buccal PCO2 in the management of fluid resuscitation during hemorrhagic shock. Crit Care Med 34:S442–S446

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  42. Weil MH, Tang W (2007) Welcoming a new era of hemodynamic monitoring: expanding from the macro to the microcirculation. Crit Care Med 35:1204–1205

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  43. Johnson BA, Weil MH (1991) Redefining ischemia due to circulatory failure as dual defects of oxygen deficits and carbon dioxide excesses. Crit Care Med 19:1432–1438

    CAS  PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  44. Jin X, Weil MH, Sun S et al (1998) Decreases in organ blood flows associated with increases in sublingual PCO2 during hemorrhagic shock. J Appl Physiol 85:2360–2364

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  45. Pellis T, Weil MH, Tang W et al (2005) Increases in both buccal and sublingual partial pressure of carbon dioxide reflect decreases of tissue blood flows in a porcine model during hemorrhagic shock. J Trauma 58:817–825

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  46. Groner W, Winkelman JW, Harris AG et al (1999) Orthogonal polarization spectral imaging: A new method for study of the microcirculation. Nat Med 5:1209–1212

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  47. Goedhart PT, Khalilzada M, Bezemer R et al (2007) Sidestream dark field (SDF) imaging: a novel stroboscopic LED ring-based imaging modality for clinical assessment of the microcirculation. Optics Express 15:15101–15114

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  48. Sakr Y, Dubois MJ, De Backer D et al (2004) Persistent microcirculatory alterations are associated with organ failure and death in patients with septic shock. Crit Care Med 32:1825–1831

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2009 Springer-Verlag Italia

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Ristagno, G., Weil, M.H. (2009). History of Critical Care Medicine: The Past, the Present and the Future. In: Gullo, A., Lumb, P.D., Besso, J., Williams, G.F. (eds) Intensive and Critical Care Medicine. Springer, Milano. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-88-470-1436-7_1

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-88-470-1436-7_1

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Milano

  • Print ISBN: 978-88-470-1435-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-88-470-1436-7

  • eBook Packages: MedicineMedicine (R0)