Critical care (also known as Intensive Care) is the multiprofessional healthcare specialty that cares for patients with acute, life-threatening illness or injury. Most of us will experience a critical illness or injury, either as the patient, family member or friend of a patient.
Critical care can be provided wherever life is threatened - at the scene of an accident, in an ambulance, in a hospital emergency room, or in the operating room. Most critical care today, however, is delivered in highly specialized intensive care units (ICU). Various terminologies like Critical Care Unit (CCU), Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU), Coronary Care Unit (CCU) may be used to describe such services in a hospital.