Recommendations on the structure, personal, and organization of intensive care units

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Christian Waydhas - , University Hospital Essen (Author)
  • Reimer Riessen - , University Hospital Tübingen (Author)
  • Andreas Markewitz - , Medizinische Geschäftsführung (Author)
  • Florian Hoffmann - , Innsbruck Medical University, Dr. von Haunersches Kinderspital, München, Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich (Author)
  • Lorenz Frey - , Munich Medical International (Author)
  • Bernd W Böttiger - , Bethanien Hospital (Author)
  • Sebastian Brenner - , Department of Paediatrics (Author)
  • Thorsten Brenner - , University Hospital Essen (Author)
  • Teresa Deffner - , Jena University Hospital (Author)
  • Matthias M Deininger - , University Hospital Aachen (Author)
  • Uwe Janssens - , St. Antonius Hospital (Author)
  • Stefan Kluge - , University Hospital Hamburg Eppendorf (Author)
  • Gernot Marx - , University Hospital Aachen (Author)
  • Stefan Schwab - , State Vocational Colleges at the University Hospital Erlangen (Author)
  • Andreas W Unterberg - , National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg (Author)
  • Felix Walcher - , Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg (Author)
  • Thomas van den Hooven - , University Hospital Münster (Author)


BACKGROUND: Intensive care units (ICU) are central facilities of medical care in hospitals world-wide and pose a significant financial burden on the health care system.

OBJECTIVES: To provide guidance and recommendations for the requirements of (infra)structure, personal, and organization of intensive care units.

DESIGN AND SETTING: Development of recommendations based on a systematic literature search and a formal consensus process from a group of multidisciplinary and multiprofessional specialists from the German Interdisciplinary Association of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI). The grading of the recommendation follows the report from an American College of Chest Physicians Task Force.

RESULTS: The recommendations cover the fields of a 3-staged level of intensive care units, a 3-staged level of care with respect to severity of illness, qualitative and quantitative requirements of physicians and nurses as well as staffing with physiotherapists, pharmacists, psychologists, palliative medicine and other specialists, all adapted to the 3 levels of ICUs. Furthermore, proposals concerning the equipment and the construction of ICUs are supplied.

CONCLUSION: This document provides a detailed framework for organizing and planning the operation and construction/renovation of ICUs.


Original languageEnglish
Article number1196060
Pages (from-to)1196060
JournalFrontiers in medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2023

External IDs

PubMedCentral PMC10325721
Scopus 85163362190
ORCID /0000-0002-3666-7128/work/147143665