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Introduction to the Approach to the Critically Ill Patient

By

Cherisse Berry

, MD, New York University School of Medicine

Last full review/revision Nov 2020| Content last modified Nov 2020
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Critical care medicine specializes in caring for the most seriously ill patients. These patients are best treated in an intensive care unit (ICU) staffed by experienced personnel. Some hospitals maintain separate units for special populations (eg, cardiac, trauma, surgical, neurologic, pediatric, or neonatal patients). ICUs have a high nurse:patient ratio to provide the necessary high intensity of service, including treatment and monitoring of physiologic parameters.

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The Heimlich maneuver should be used only when the airway obstruction is severe and life is endangered. Is it important NOT to interfere if the choking person can speak, cough forcefully, or breathe adequately. In addition, this maneuver is an absolute contraindication in which of the following individuals?
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