chapter  1
Epidemiology of critical care
ByDavid Sperry
Pages 12

Critical care is a growing specialty offering increasingly

complex care for both surgical and medical patients.

Identification of patient groups requiring critical care, and

the current pattern of use, is a key requirement for our

understanding of the function of a modern intensive care

unit. Outcome analysis in intensive care is more advanced

than in any other specialty, led by the desire to identify

patients in whom the extreme cost of critical care will not be

justified by results. Recent changes to the requirements for

critical care services set out by the UK government have

broadened the scope of input for the intensivist beyond the

doors of the intensive care unit to a wider view of critical ill-

ness throughout the hospital.