The exciting adventure of Intensive Care Medicine Where did we begin, where are we now, where are we heading?
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Professor of Critical Care Medicine, Democritus University of Thrace
Pulmonologist/Intensivist, Department of Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital of Alexandroupolis
Ioannis Pneumatikos   

Critical Care Medicine, Director of Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital of Alexandroupolis, Greece
Pneumon 2016;29(3):211–215
The origins of Intensive Care Medicine can be traced back to Copenhagen, Denmark in 1952 during a poliomyelitis epidemic. During the next 40 years, there was a remarkable advance in Intensive Care Medicine which led it to be widely established as a new medical specialty. Nowadays, Intensive Care Units (ICUs) are independent departments with advanced technological equipment that provide continuous monitoring and support of vital signs for all critically ill patients. There is a global trend for an increase in the number of ICU beds, while at the same time Intensive Care Units already carry a huge economic burden. At the beginning of the new millennium, Intensive Care Medicine has to face new challenges. There is a need for new therapeutic criteria and improvement of the quality of care for the rapidly eldering population of advanced countries and a growing need to address the moral dilemmas regarding end-of-life decisions.
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