Intensive care units (ICUs)are specialist hospital wards that provide treatment and monitoring for people who are very ill.

They're staffed with specially-trained healthcare professionals and contain sophisticated monitoring equipment.

ICUs are also sometimes called critical care units (CCUs) or intensive therapy units (ITUs).

This page covers:

When intensive care is needed

What it involves


Recovery and discharge

Making decisions about care

Links to more information

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 16 Sep 2016