Objective: To study differences related to intensive care unit (ICU) structure and patient demography between the various countries of Western Europe. Design: Application of data collected by the European Prevalence of Infection in Intensive Care (EPIC) study, a one-day prevalence study. Setting: Voluntary participation of all Western European ICUs. A total of 1417 ICUs responded. Patients: All patients, older than 10 years of age, occupying a bed in the participating ICUs over a 24-h period. 10038 patient case reports were submitted. Results: The study revealed important differences. In particular, there seems to be a north/south divide with fewer ICU beds and more severely ill patients in the south. The United Kingdom seemed more similar to southern European countries than to the north. Conclusion: While there are similarities between European countries, large differences still remain and are important to identify to enable us to work together to create a more uniform system of intensive care, which will in turn give more effective and efficient patient care.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Bed availability, ICU director, ICU size, ICU structure, Resource allocation
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s001340050479, hdl.handle.net/1765/74368
Journal Intensive Care Medicine
Citation
Vincent, J.-L, Suter, U, Bihari, D, & Bruining, H.A. (1997). Organization of intensive care units in Europe: lessons from the EPIC study. Intensive Care Medicine, 23(11), 1181–1184. doi:10.1007/s001340050479