Resident Review  |   October 2013
In the ICU
Article Information
Critical Care / Education / CPD / Resident Review
Resident Review   |   October 2013
In the ICU
ASA Monitor 10 2013, Vol.77, 72.
ASA Monitor 10 2013, Vol.77, 72.
The current mantra surrounding physician anesthesi-ologists reiterates that perioperative medicine is the new paradigm. Suffice it to say, we must be actively involved in preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative care. While pre- and intraoperative management of surgical patients is indubitably our realm, the postoperative phase for our sickest patients is much more nebulous domain. The reality is that numerous specialties care for patients in the postoperative ICU setting, immediately after an anesthesiologist has transferred care. Internal medicine, general surgery, emergency medicine and anesthesiology have all laid claim to the intensive care medicine landscape. With so many specialties included, the debate ensues regarding which faction is best-suited to care for these critically ill patients. Which specialty provides the greatest facility and skill-set to care for these patients? Objectively speaking, anesthesiology sits atop this virtual totem pole. As the bridge between all surgical and internal medicine specialties, we possess the ideal skill-set to care for multiple critically ill patients simultaneously. While each ICU patient may present a wide variety of medical challenges, including medical, surgical, trauma, cardiothoracic, transplant, burn, neurological or even pediatric issues, the basic tenets of intensive care medicine remain universal. Irrespective of the type of ICU to which a critically ill patient is admitted, critical care mandates application of decisive differential diagnoses and implementation of treatment algorithms in a swift and methodical manner. The congruency between this skillset and that of the anesthesiologist on a day-to-day basis is profound and undeniable.
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