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Critical Care Medicine Expert Witnesses

Board-Certified intensivists who are prepared to assist the legal community

Critical-care medicine, also known as intensive-care medicine, focuses on diagnosing and managing life-threatening conditions that require sophisticated organ support and invasive monitoring. Doctors specializing in critical care are often called critical care physicians or intensivists.

In the United States, following medical school, intensivists must complete a two-year residency in internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, or pulmonary medicine, followed by a two-year fellowship in pulmonology, surgery, anesthesiology, cardiovascular diseases, or gastrointestinal diseases. Then, they must complete a one-year fellowship in critical care. Board Certification in critical care is jointly administered by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM).

What intensive care physicians do

Intensive care is typically offered to patients who are critically ill but have a good chance of surviving with intensive care support. Critical care physicians typically work in a specialized unit of a hospital called the intensive care unit (ICU). Some hospitals have specialized ICUs, such as:

  • Coronary intensive care unit (CCU or CICU)
  • Surgical intensive care unit (SICU)
  • Pediatric intensive care unit (PICU)
  • Neuroscience critical care unit (NCCU)
  • Overnight intensive recovery unit (OIR)
  • Shock/Trauma intensive care unit (STICU)
  • Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
  • Burn wound intensive care unit (BWICU)
  • Respiratory intensive care unit (RICU)
  • Geriatric intensive care unit (GICU)
  • Post-anesthesia care unit (PACU)

Intensivists may treat patients who need mechanical ventilation to assist breathing, hemofiltration equipment for renal failure, intravenous (IV) lines for drug infusions or fluids, catheters, and other medical devices to assist with basic bodily functions. They may also administer various medications, including sedatives, analgesics, broad-spectrum antibiotics, and inotropes.

What is critical care malpractice?

Since intensivists, by definition, work with patients with severe and life-threatening medical conditions, failure to meet standards of care can have devastating consequences. Some examples of critical care malpractice include:

  • Failure to properly diagnose a life-threatening medical condition, such as a heart attack.
  • Administering the wrong medication or dosage.
  • Failure to properly monitor a patient’s vital signs.
  • Failure to follow infection control protocols.
  • Discharging patients from the ICU before they are ready for a lower level of care.

The right expert can make all the difference in an intensive care malpractice case

Again, the consequences of intensive care malpractice can be devastating, and the stakes are incredibly high in malpractice litigation. That’s why having a highly qualified, Board-Certified physician who can objectively evaluate the evidence and offer compelling testimony in depositions and at trial is critical. If you are considering a legal case involving critical care malpractice, Rieback Medical-Legal Consultants can help. Contact us right away.

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