For me, the best definition of critical care is still that given by Peter Safar in 1974:
“We have defined “critical care medicine” as the triad of 1) resuscitation, 2) emergency care for life-threatening conditions, and 3) intensive care; including all components of the emergency and critical care medicine delivery system, prehospital and hospital.”
Critical care involves all those who look after the dying and the ‘at-risk-of-dying’ — wherever and whenever.
Yet it is one thing to know what critical care is, knowing what makes it what it is — what is at its core — is another. I asked Scott Weingart of EMCrit.org to tell us just what is the essence of critical care in the opening talk of SMACC.
Here is what he said:
- Safar P. Critical care medicine—quo vadis? Crit Care Med. 1974Jan-Feb;2(1):1-5.