ICU – Intensive Care
A separate, clearly designated service area within a hospital
solely for the care and treatment of patients who are critically
ill. It contains specialized equipment, medical and nursing staff,
and monitoring devices necessary to provide intensive care.
Larger medical centers may have more than one ICU. Other hospitals
may designate their specialized ICUs with different acronyms. These
- CCU – Coronary Care Unit – A unit
dedicated to cardiac care. Sometimes designated as:
- CTU – Cardiothoracic Unit.
- PICU – Pediatric Intensive Care Unit – An
intensive care unit dedicated to and pertaining to Children.
- SICU – Surgical Intensive Care Unit – An
intensive care unit dedicated solely to postoperative patients.
- MICU – Medical Intensive Care Unit – Is
another designation some hospital use to designate an ICU dedicated
to non-postoperative patients.
- NICU – Neonatal Intensive Care Unit – Dedicated
specifically to newborns.
- T-SICU – Thoracic Surgery ICU – Intensive
care for those patients undergoing heart surgery. Also known
- CSRU – Cardiac Surgery Intensive
A step-down unit is an “in between” transitional care
area where patients can rest and recover before discharge with
a lesser degree of monitoring and staff attention then in an ICU. Examples
of these include:
ICCU – Intermediate Cardiac Care Unit – This
unit provides specialized cardiac care to patients who do not require
the intensive level of care, but who do require cardiac monitoring
and a more intensive nursing care than provided in most ward areas.
VICU – Vascular Intermediate Care
Unit – Encompasses a step-down area that provides
care for stable post-operative vascular patients, including those
undergoing carotid endarterectomies and endovascular aortic aneurysm
TCU – Transitional Care Unit – A
place where patients are seen and cared for as they transition
from Hospital Care to Home Care.
ACU – Acute Care Unit – This term
is generally used to designate a non-ICU that provides care to
both children and adults. It is similar, in many cases, to a general
HEM-ONC – Hematology-Oncology – A
unit for the care and treatment of patients with cancers that affect
blood-forming cells (e.g. leukemia, lymphoma) and solid tumors
Telemetry – Similar to a step down unit;
containing beds where patients have continued cardiac monitoring.