Cost of care in critical illness
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Intensive care units (ICUs) are an expensive [1-4] and growing [4,5] part of health care in developed nations. Greater consumer expectations, ageing populations [6, 7], demand for sophisticated technologies , and, in the United States (US), defensive medicine  are increasing demand for intensive care. Intensive care is increasingly being provided to older and sicker patients, many of whom would not have been referred for intensive care in the past . The proportion of health care resources needed may be seen as disproportionate [2, 11-23] but intensive care requires many highly skilled staff in a complex, expensive, technology-driven environment . © 2005 Springer-Verlag Italia.
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