The level of life support required will determine the placement of the patient after a cardiac arrest. A classification of critical care patients has been published by the Department of Health (DoH 2000) as part of a review of critical care services (see Table 12.5).
Rarely will post-arrest patients be anything other than level 2 or 3 unless they either have a 'do not attempt resuscitation' (DNAR) order made or have active treatment withdrawn. Patients who have cardiac disease will usually be cared for in a coronary care unit (CCU) even if they require complex management. As stated in the classification, intensive therapy units (ITU) are for those who need ventilation and/or have multisystem failure.
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