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Medical Practice

A Review of Experience Operating a General Medical Intensive Care Unit

Br Med J 1971; 1 doi: (Published 16 January 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;1:158
  1. T. J. H. Clark,
  2. J. V. Collins,
  3. T. R. Evans,
  4. K. Tweedily


    From 18 months' experience of operating a four-bedded general medical intensive care unit a high staff-to-patient ratio was the most important factor in its success. Heavy capital spending does not appreciably reduce the importance of adequate numbers of trained staff, though patient-monitoring equipment can be useful and sometimes vital. As the scope for intensive care widens, the problems of clinical care become difficult, because no doctor is likely to be competent enough to provide for all categories of patients, and there is no intensive care equivalent of the general physician. Intensive care is likely to function best in a divisional specialist system of clinical care.

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