This article discusses the differences in the use of intensive care units (ICUs) in hospitals across the country. Several factors contribute to whether or not patients receive ICU care. According to Thomas Valley, M.D., Assistant Professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, these factors include the availability of ICU beds, the level of comfort nurses and hospital staff feel with treating such patients, and the proximity of the hospital in relation to other hospitals within the network. The excessive use of ICUs can lead to unnecessary things, including poor patient outcomes and higher healthcare costs.
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