Critical Care Medicine

What is Critical Care Anesthesia?

Critical care is most commonly known as intensive care, which often requires pain medication, called analgesia, to help minimize discomfort in critically ill patients. Anesthesia for the critically ill is often used in treatment for emergency conditions, such as:

  • Organ failure (heart, liver, or kidney)
  • Respiratory failure or pneumonia
  • Traumatic injury

In MedStar Health’s Intensive Care Units (ICUs), our anesthesia teams are specially trained to support resuscitation, continuous monitoring, and pain management for critically ill patients.

Our Critical Care Anesthesia Providers

Our critical care providers work together to design a pain management plan that will help your loved one be as comfortable as possible in a critical care situation. Your critical care team may include:

  • Anesthesiologists
  • Certified anesthesiology assistants (CAAs)
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs)
  • Intensivists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Transplant surgeons
  • Trauma surgeons

Our team-based approach ensures everyone involved in their care understands their needs so we can work towards their best possible outcome together.

What to Expect

Depending on your loved one’s condition, they may need continuous pain medication or sedation in order to stay comfortable and safe. They may also need respiratory support to help regulate their breathing.

Critical care anesthesia services may include:

  • Advanced life support
  • Airway management
  • CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)
  • Blood transfusions
  • Pain management

Whether the patient has experienced a traumatic injury or severe burn, or need emergency surgery, our anesthesia team uses state-of-the-art techniques to closely monitor and improve changes in:

  • Medical and surgical condition
  • Pain levels
  • Vital signs

If your loved one’s condition requires emergency surgery, our anesthesiologists, residents, and nurse anesthetists are there to minimize their pain and discomfort. We use a multimodal approach to pain management, limiting the use of opioid medicines to help ensure a safe, smooth recovery.

Our surgical specialties include: