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Korean J Crit Care Med > Volume 16(2); 2001 > Article
Korean Journal of Critical Care Medicine 2001;16(2): 138-143.
The Distribution of Medical Personnel and Medical Equipments in the Intensive Care Units in Korea
Shin Ok Koh, Pyung Hwan Park, Myoung Hoon Kong, Yong Lak Kim
1Department of Anesthesiology and CCM, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Korea. sokoh@yumc.yonsei.ac.kr
2Department of Anesthesiology, Ulsan University College of Medicine, Korea.
3Department of Anesthesiology, Korea University College of Medicine, Korea.
4Department of Anesthesiology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea.
BACKGROUND: Not much of the fund is invested in the intensive care unit (ICU) in Korean hospitals since the cost of ICU care is set too low compared to the other medical fields as well as to the other part of the world. This study is designed to support the base of an ICU standard guideline in Korea. METHODS: The questionnaire were sent to 73 ICUs and 24 neonatal ICUs (NICU) of 30 hospitals. Twenty-two of them were teaching hospitals and 8 of them were general hospitals. RESULTS: The ratios of ICU bed number to total bed number were 5.0% and 6.0% in teaching hospital and general hospital respectively. The ratios of NICU bed to total bed were 3.4% and 2.0% in teaching hospital and general hospital respectively. Intensivists were kept in 24.6% of ICU and 36.4% of NICU. Residents were kept in 43.1% of ICU and 45.5% of NICU. The utilization of ICU service was 90% for teaching hospital and 86% for general hospital. The utilization of NICU was 89% for teaching hospital and 3% of general hospital. Nurse to patient ratios varied widely. Most ICUs in teaching hospital showed the nurse to patients ratio of 1 : 4 which was about 32% of total ICU. Most NICUs in teaching hospital showed the nurse to patients ratio of 1 : 5 which was around 20% of total NICU. Most of the ICUs were equipped with central piping system for oxygen and compressed air supply, vacuum system and all the necessary medical gadgets such as mechanical ventilators, ECG monitors, defibrillators, pulse oximeters and infusion pumps. CONCLUSIONS: The distribution of medical personnel as well as medical equipments were varied widely. The variation existed between teaching hospital and general hospital as well as within the teaching hospitals. We need to establish a standard, which grades the level of ICU according to the number of keeping physician, nurse-patients ratio, and the types of medical equipments they have.
Key Words: ICU standard of Korea; Nurse-patient ratio; Intensivist; Intensive care unit; Medical equipment
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