Difference Between ICU and CCU (with Table)

Hospitals around the world are required to have special wards for those in need of intensive or personal care. There are many wards and rooms for those patients who cannot be taken care of in general wards.

Two such rooms are ICU and CCU. While everyone is familiar with ICU, not many know that CCU is different from it. This also owes to the fact that not all hospitals are facilitated with CCU whereas all are required to have one ICU ward.

ICU stands for Intensive Care Unit that specializes in the care of patients with fatal or life-threatening conditions like multiple organ failure or such. They are completely equipped and ready to handle any intense conditions.

CCU stands for Cardiac Care Unit or Critical Care Unit. This unit is only for the patients suffering from a cardiac attack, unstable angina or any type of cardiac conditions that requires immediate medical attention. They are usually non-surgical.

The difference between ICU and CCU is that ICU specializes in the intense care of patients with multiple organ failure or those with major conditions that affect organs of their body whereas CCU specializes in the intensive care of patients with cardiac conditions.

Comparison Table between ICU and CCU

Parameters of ComparisonICUCCU
Abbreviation forIntensive Care UnitCritical Care Unit or Cardiac Care Unit
StaffVarious teams of doctors and nurses who specialize in different parts of the intensive care of patients with conditions that affect major organs of their body.Teams of doctors, staffs and nurses who specialize in the care of cardiac patients.
EquipmentContains various types of equipment ranging from heart monitors to ventilators.Contains the equipment that is specific for the care of heart patients
SubsetsCCU, NICU, PACU, PICU, NeuroICUIs itself a subset of ICU
SpecializationSpecialized in the care of patients with multiple organ failure, or similar life-threatening diseases or condition.Specialized in the care of patients with cardiac conditions, unstable angina, cardiac arrest etc.
NatureSurgicalNon-surgical

What is ICU?

ICU stands for Intensive Care Unit. This houses the patients who have multiple organ failure or similar life-threatening conditions that require one-on-one care.

They usually are equipped with a range of medical equipment, ready to face any type of condition head-on. The equipment ranges from heart monitor, respirators, ventilators etc. They are also facilitated to hold surgeries if necessary.

There are several teams having doctors, nurses and medical help that each specialize in each system or organ of the body for the patients’ aid. They deal with patients who have complex situations.

All hospitals must have at least one ICU ward and are quite large compared to any other individual ward. They do not entertain patients other than the visitors hour.

ICU

What is CCU?

CCU stands for Cardiac Care Unit or Critical Care Unit. As their name suggests, they are the specialized ward that houses the patients suffering from cardiac arrest, unstable angina or other cardiac conditions who require immediate medical attention.

They are usually equipped with all the required equipment for cardiac patients like heart monitors, electrocardiogram, mechanical ventilators, pulse monitors etc. They are not facilitated to hold surgeries of all kinds.

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There is one team of doctors, nurses and medical help that are specialized in treating patients with cardiac conditions that usually require immediate attention. They give titrated drips to the patients to achieve hemodynamic stability.

Not all hospitals have the facility to have different CCU. They take the patients to the ICU instead. CCU also have smaller rooms than ICU since they have only the equipment related to cardiac conditions.

CCU 1

Main Differences Between ICU and CCU

  1. ICU stands for Intensive Care Unit whereas CCU stands for Critical Care Unit or Cardiac Care Unit as it specializes in the care of cardiac patients.
  2. The staffs of ICU include various teams of doctors and nurses specializing in the intensive care of patients with conditions that affect major systems/ parts of their body and could be life-threatening. Whereas, the CCU has staffs or teams that specialize only in the intensive care of patients suffering from cardiac conditions.
  3. Since ICU is specialization unit for various treatments, it has much equipment that ranges from heart monitors to ventilators. Whereas CCU has only cardiac special equipment like heart monitors, electrocardiograms etc., but doesn’t have general ventilators.
  4. An ICU has many subset critical units for patients like CCU(Cardiac Care), NICU(Neonatal Care), PACU(post-anaesthesia care), PICU(pediatric intensive care), NeuroICU( neurology care). But as seen above, CCU itself is a subset of ICU so it doesn’t have any other subset.
  5. ICU is specialized in the intensive care of patients suffering from multiple organ failure or similar life-threatening conditions or diseases. CCU, as the name suggests is specialized in the care of patients with cardiac arrest, unstable angina or other cardiac conditions.
  6. ICU wards are also prepared for surgeries whereas surgeries cannot be held in CCU wards.

Conclusion

Hospitals have many levels of care units and wards. They have specialized room for the ones who require special attention as well as a general ward for the ones who can be taken care of even with a group. Two such rooms are ICU and CCU.

ICU stands for Intensive Care Unit. It is for those patients who are suffering from a terminal illness or have particular organ failure that can affect a system or a part of their body. They are usually equipped with a lot of required machines from heart monitor to ventilators.

CCU stands for Cardiac Care Unit or Critical Care Unit. As the name suggests, it is for those patients suffering from cardiac arrests or related conditions. They are equipped with all the necessary equipment for the treatment for cardiac patients like heart monitor, electrocardiograms etc.

The difference between CCU and ICU is that ICU has different teams of staffs who specialize in different systems or organs whereas the CCU has only one team of doctors and nurses who specialize in cardiac conditions.

Reference

  1. https://europepmc.org/article/med/15118240
  2. http://journal.qums.ac.ir/files/site1/user_files_cc066c/admin-A-10-1-260-9030510.pdf