Levels of Adult Critical Care

Not all patients in intensive care require the same level of care. 

In 2009, we published ‘Levels of Critical Care for Adult Patients’. The document aimed to help identify ward patients who may benefit from higher staffing ratios than were available on wards, immediate access to senior clinical decision-makers and organ support. It described varying levels of such care of hospitalised critically ill patients, and the interventions associated with each.

Since then, intensive care has changed significantly, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and there has been an increased demand for critical care beds. Many patients benefit from being within a critical care environment but do not, in the strictest sense, require organ support.

Our consensus statement for ‘Levels of Adult Critical Care’ outlines the level of care required by particular types of patients.