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Critical care medicine deals with life support or organ support for patients who are critically ill. A critical care physician diagnoses, treats, and supports patients who may be in an intensive care unit, or who may have multiple organ dysfunction. Patients who receive intensive care treatment are usually critically ill patients who are treated after major surgery and require intensive monitoring. The critical care or intensive care physician may also communicate with the patientís primary physician, other specialists, and the critical care staff to coordinate treatment and care. Physicians in this specialty treat patients suffering from numerous diseases and illnesses, but some of the most common are Trauma, cystic fibrosis, renal failure, Liver Failure, Post-operative Care, Serious Infections, Acute Lung Injury, hemodynamic instability, Hypoxic Injury, Reversible heart & lung dysfunction, Multi-organ Dysfunction, airway & respiratory compromise, Cardiopulmonary Failure, and Circulatory Failure. Once properly diagnosed, practitioners can perform numerous procedures on patients including endotracheal tube, mechanical ventilation, tracheotomy, ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation), establishing central venous access, adial arterial catheterization, and passage of pulmonary arterial balloon flotation catheters. To diagnose patients with possible illnesses and diseases, specialists will often perform one of many tests including Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computed Axial Tomography (CT or CAT Scan), Blood Test, and Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs).
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