Understanding the Definition of ICU in Hospitals and Their Types

Definition of ICU in a hospital – In the hospital area there is a room called ICU. The existence of an ICU or Intensive Care Unit will help treat everyone who has a serious enough illness that basically requires careful medical monitoring and the highest level of medical care.

The ICU room or Intensive Care Unit is also often referred to as a critical care unit. Usually, people who are treated in the Intensive Care Unit will move to the usual treatment room when they are in a stable condition.

Maybe all this time you also know the existence of the ICU room at the hospital but don’t really know the ins and outs of the Intensive Care Unit room. In fact, there are many important things that we must know about a hospital’s Intensive Care Unit room.

So, so that you also understand more about the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit room. Of course, the reviews in this article related to the hospital ICU room can help you understand more.

Definition of ICU Room in Hospital


The first thing we will learn together is the meaning of ICU in a hospital. ICU or Intensive Care Unite is a room within a hospital area equipped with special staff and equipment to help manage patients with illnesses such as trauma or life-threatening complications due to failure of one or more organ dysfunction due to several factors. Starting from illness, disaster and complications which of course still have hope to live.

In managing the ICU, special ICU doctors are needed who already have the ability to understand medical technology, physiology, pharmacology and also conventional medicine who will also collaborate with educated and trained nurses for critical care.

This makes the ICU a high dependency unit. Where you can carry out a strict observation process with an EKG monitor and also fast resuscitation, but a ventilator is only given for less than 24 hours.

There are several types of ICU, but basically the goal of all types of ICU is the same, namely to manage seriously ill patients who are already in a life-threatening condition.

There are several indications that a patient enters a hospital ICU room. For example, such as a patient who is in a life-threatening condition at any time due to failure or dysfunction of one or multiple organs or systems and there is still a possibility of being cured again with intensive care, monitoring and treatment procedures.

Medical Equipment in the ICU Room


Some people think that the ICU room in a hospital is scary because usually in that room there is a lot of medical equipment related to patients with serious conditions. Even so, the existence of various kinds of medical equipment combined with the ability of doctors and nurses can support the process of stabilizing the patient’s condition.

Some people who are not in the medical field may only know the exterior and main functions of a hospital ICU room without knowing what equipment actually is that can help treat patients in it.

So, for those of you who really don’t know anything about some of the medical equipment in the hospital ICU, you don’t need to be confused anymore, because this article has provided some medical equipment in the hospital’s ICU room.

1. Monitors

The existence of a monitor in the hospital ICU room is used to monitor the performance of the patient’s organs. For example, such as heart rate, oxygen levels in the blood and blood pressure.

2. Ventilators

Next, there is a ventilator which is in the ICU room of the hospital and is used to help patients who are being treated breathe. This tool will be connected to a tube which will later be inserted into the nose, mouth and throat.

3. Defibrillators

A defibrillator or commonly known as a cardiac shock device is used as a tool to restore a normal heartbeat if the heartbeat suddenly stops. Basically, the way a defibrillator works is by sending an electric shock to the patient’s heart so that it can function again.

4. Feeding Hose

The feeding tube will be used to enter the nutrients needed by the patient’s body as long as he is in a critical condition and cannot eat independently. Usually, a feeding tube will be inserted through the nose which is directed towards the stomach.

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5. Infusion

Furthermore, there is an infusion which has the function of injecting fluids, nutrients and also drugs through the veins.

6. Catheters

Most of the patients who are in the hospital ICU are unable to urinate independently. In some patients, the amount of fluid that comes out of the body, including urine, must be counted as an important part of monitoring the patient’s condition.

In this case, we need a tool that is often referred to as a catheter. The catheter itself is an elastic tube that can be inserted through the urethra for the process of removing urine from the patient’s body.

So, those are some of the medical equipment in the ICU that can indeed be a support so that patients can survive and recover soon. Even though the equipment looks terrible and is risky, the process of installing the tool will be carried out based on considerations so that it can ultimately benefit patients.

In addition, later the patients will always be under surveillance for 24 hours while in the ICU. Patients will also be given painkillers and sedatives to stay asleep.

This is done so that patients are not disturbed by sound and also the presence of medical devices in the hospital ICU room.


Types of ICU Rooms in Hospitals

The existence of the ICU room is indeed used for special treatment processes for patients with serious illnesses and does require close monitoring. Where the ICU room in general will also be equipped with various kinds of equipment as previously described and the support of health workers in particular.

Even so, there are several types of ICU rooms. Where each type of ICU has a different function. For example, there are intensive rooms that are used specifically for heart disease, specifically for children and even for babies.

So, for more details, here are several types of intensive care units used for the treatment of special patients in hospitals.

1. Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

The ICU or intensive care unit is a special room used for intensive care of critical patients and continuous monitoring. The hospital ICU room will provide critical medical procedures that also have a system of organ function support or life support for every patient who is acutely ill or seriously injured.

Some of the conditions of patients who will receive treatment in the ICU room of the hospital are patients with major injuries or major trauma, severe burns, respiratory failure, patients after organ transplants, cardiothoracic surgery, and complex spines.

Meanwhile, patients who are not in an acute condition, if they really want to be sent to the ICU room, still need approval from the doctor concerned.


2. High Care Unit (HCU)

HCU or high care unit is a room under the ICU before the patient is returned to the inpatient room. HCU is specifically for patients who have started to show better conditions and do not need further treatment in the ICU room, but close supervision is still needed by medical personnel.

In Indonesia, there are regulations related to HCU services, namely in the Decree of the Minister of Health number 834 of 2010. The existence of HCU is expected to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of services in the ICU room for patients. It was explained that the condition of HCU patients was usually in a stable state of respiration, hemodynamics, and consciousness.

3. Intensive Coronary Care Unit (ICCU)

The ICCU is actually parallel to the ICU room, but especially for patients who experience heart problems. Some of the conditions that are usually treated in the ICCU room are coronary heart disease, heart attack, severe heart rhythm disturbances, and heart failure.

The existence of the ICCU is one part of the heart and blood vessel service center in several hospitals. As a facility that is prioritized for the treatment of patients with complications of cardiovascular disease, ICCU patients will usually be in an unstable condition and require extra care and attention from medical personnel.

4. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Then, there is the NICU which can also provide special services for babies who have just been born or who really have difficulties. NICU patients are usually premature babies aged 23 or 24 weeks to 40 weeks who also have normal digestive system conditions.

In some cases, babies usually will not be accepted into the NICU room if they are sick after being discharged from a health care facility. The hospital has concerns that the baby who is not doing well will infect other existing patients.

Under these conditions, babies who need emergency care will usually be sent to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) room.

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5. Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

The existence of the PICU is usually reserved for babies who are not taken by the NICU and for children aged around 18 years or it could also depend on the applicable hospital policy.

In general, the PICU is a transitional service room from childhood to adulthood. Several cases of blurred age boundaries for patients with special needs or chronic illnesses require treatment in the pediatrics department even though they are 20 years old.

An example is a patient with a congenital heart condition but can only be operated on when he is an adult. Some doctors don’t mind if the patient is sent to the PICU room after the operation. Even so, there are also those who choose to put these patients into the intensive care unit for adults.

Conditions of Patients Requiring Treatment in the ICU Room

The fact is that most doctors find it difficult to make a decision on who should be treated in the ICU. Even so, a study explained that almost 13 percent of patients who were hospitalized had pneumonia and most of them were treated in the ICU.

However, many patients who enter the ICU have a low risk of emergency or death. The patient’s need for the equipment in the ICU is also not that urgent.

In addition, there are around 6 percent who have the potential to recover faster than patients who are treated in ordinary wards. Therefore it can be concluded that there are some patients who are not supposed to be in ICU care but are still placed in that room.

Now, to better understand it, there are several criteria for patients who should be able to get help in the ICU room, as follows.

1. Patients With Close Monitoring Requirement

Basically, there are some patients who really need care and monitoring under strict conditions from medical personnel. Starting from patients who have just had surgery, accidents or injuries to the head.

Where those who must get close monitoring can be placed in the ICU room. This is done so that when something very critical happens, the ICU room with the support of medical equipment and personnel can be more alert and able to act more quickly.

On the other hand, several factors such as hemodynamic conditions or the patient’s blood flow system, room temperature, ventilation and nutrition must also be monitored routinely in the ICU. This is done in order to increase the chances of survival of patients who are still alive.

2. Patients Who Have Problems In The Lungs

It’s not only patients who have to get close monitoring. This is because patients with lung problems are also often treated in the ICU. For example, their lung conditions are inflamed due to an injury or infection so that it can make it difficult for them to breathe.

These conditions sometimes also make the patient need assistive devices such as a ventilator so they can breathe easily. Therefore, the equipment in the ICU room must be complete because there are always patients who must be given help quickly and professionally.

3. Patients With Heart Problems

Unstable blood pressure and the presence of heart attacks are conditions that are often found in patients who are in the ICU. Therefore, a more complete observation is needed to be able to find out the cause and provide an appropriate treatment.

In addition, people who have just had heart surgery are also susceptible to infectious diseases. This makes them have to be monitored in the ICU room.

This problem is also quite serious, especially in the first 24 to 48 hours that the patient has passed. Therefore, the ICU room is often used to treat patients with heart problems.

4. Patients With Serious Infectious Conditions

The last is for patients with severe and serious infectious conditions who will need intensive care from doctors and will be placed in the ICU room. For example, patients who suffer from severe infections, causing sepsis, are highly recommended for treatment in the ICU.

For those who have an infection will get top priority from the ICU so they can get treatment more quickly. This is intended to prevent the infection from spreading to other organs of the body such as the organs of the respiratory system or the central nervous system.

So, that’s a summary of the reviews related to the hospital ICU room. Starting from the definition of the ICU in a hospital to the criteria for patients who must be treated in the ICU room, the explanation is available. Hopefully, all the discussion above can be useful as well as add to your insight.

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Author: Hendrik Nuryanto