Medical Intensive Care Unit (ICU)


BIDMC is a primary care and tertiary referral center with a full range of critical care services. The Medical Intensive Care Service provides care to all patients with non-surgical or neurological critical illness. The doctors and nurses who staff our Medical Intensive Care Units (MICUs) have particular expertise in sepsis and septic shock, adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), respiratory failure, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal and hepatic emergencies, and diabetic emergencies. BIDMC staff also have unique expertise in the management of complex airways through the Center for the Management of the Complex Airway. In addition to the Medical Intensive Care Service, BIDMC is a level-1 trauma center with an Emergency Department that evaluates and treats over 50,000 patients annually. The medical center has 60 beds dedicated to intensive care.

The Medical Intensive Care Service is directed by faculty from the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine with special certification in critical care. The BIDMC MICU uses a multidisciplinary approach drawing on the skills of ICU physicians, critical care fellows, medical residents, critical care nurses, respiratory therapists, nutritionists and social workers. Senior faculty direct medical teams made up of internal medicine residents and critical care fellows from the combined Harvard Medical School Training Program for Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Unique among Boston teaching hospitals, senior intensivists provide direct supervision of care at all times, with coverage in-hospital 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.

Patients are admitted to the MICU Service through the BIDMC Emergency Department, in direct transfer from all of New England, and from BIDMC medical and surgical inpatient areas. Providing the entire range of critical care services, our MICU staff physicians are primarily responsible for MICU patients during their ICU stay. Because of the importance of continuity of care, the ICU team maintains regular contact with referring physicians and holds regular meetings with families.

Our staff also partner with a range of specialty consultation services across BIDMC, including:  

  • Interventional Pulmonary and Bronchoscopy service
  • interventional Radiology
  • Interventional Gastroenterology
  • Thoracic Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Transplantation Surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Renal Dialysis Service
  • Interventional Cardiology
  • Hepatology
  • Biliary & Pancreatic Disease
  • HIV Service

The availability of these services allows BIDMC MICU staff to evaluate and treat a wide variety of complex medical and medical-surgical diseases with state-of-the-art protocols. Furthermore, the availability of subspecialty consultants at BIDMC allows expertise in the care of MICU patients with complex co-existing medical conditions including pregnancy, diabetes mellitus, HIV infection, chronic liver disease, hematological and solid organ malignancies, and organ transplantation.

In addition to providing state-of-the art care, our MICU staff are involved in the development and implementation of protocols to define the next generation of practice through evidence-based research. In addition, members of the BIDMC MICU staff facilitate clinical research performed by may of the subspecialty services. 

For physicians: For physicians interested in transferring patients to our MICU, please contact the Bed Facilitator who will identify the ICU attending and make a bed available for the patient.