Anticipating the role of the intensive care unit in healthcare and life trajectories
Many people think that the intensive care unit is reserved for patients with extreme and life-threatening disease, and as such, it remains hypothetical in the collective conscience, and not something that can be predicted or anticipated. Yet, intensive care can be required in a number of situations, and raises many questions depending on whether the illness is chronic, or of sudden onset. It is essential, in this context, to ask whether, and how potential patients are informed, and prepared for the eventuality of intensive care unit (ICU) care. In this view, anticipating ICU admission is a key, yet new issue, and it raises questions about the place of the ICU physician and ICU teams in the healthcare pathway, and in life trajectories overall.