History of British Intensive Care, c. 1950–c. 2000
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Intensive care developed in the UK as a medical specialty as the result of some extraordinary circumstances and the involvement of some extraordinary people. In 1952, the polio epidemic in Copenhagen demonstrated that tracheostomy with intermittent positive pressure ventilation saved lives and those infected with tetanus (common in agricultural areas) soon benefited. War-time developments such as triage, monitoring, transfusion and teamwork, and different specialists such as respiratory physiologists, anaesthetists and manufacturers of respiratory equipment all improved emergency treatment. These advances were rapidly extended to the care of post-operative patients, particularly with developments in cardiac surgery. Dedicated units appeared in the early 1960s in Cambridge, London and Liverpool, and later specialist care units were created for prenatal, cardiac and dialysis patients. The importance of specialist nursing care led to the development of nurse training, education and the eventual appointment of nurse consultants in the NHS in 1999. The specialty of intensive care was granted Faculty status by the GMC in 2010. Introduced by Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, this transcript includes, inter alia, the development of cardiac catheters, monitoring equipment, data collection techniques and the rise of multidisciplinarity, national audit, and scoring systems.