When the first cases of COVID-19 were admitted to hospitals it was clear that this new virus needed to be taken seriously. It could affect the lungs, heart, liver and kidneys – which meant patients needed the specialized expertise and technology of an intensive care unit.
Intensive care is often a hidden world. Due to the severity of the illnesses and heavy sedation, patients are unlikely to remember the experience. As the coronavirus has spread around the world, intensive care has come to the forefront of the medical response to the pandemic.
‘At present intensive care is at the frontline of dealing with this pandemic,’ said Sandy Mather, chief executive of the Intensive Care Society. ‘Although it has been a terrible time, it has been an exciting one too which has brought the international intensive care community together.’