When patients are critically ill, one or more organs may not function optimally or even fail, so organ support is an important component of ICU management.
However, organ support can be associated with complications such as infections, bleeding, and damage to surrounding tissue or organs. These complications can alter the patient's condition, leading to additional interventions or treatments. Critical care teams need to manage these challenges. Other factors also need to be considered, for example, the financial burden on patients, families and healthcare systems, limited availability of the necessary equipment or trained personnel, patient comfort when using the interventions and the ethical considerations when organ support can only prolong the dying process or result in a very poor quality of life.
Addressing these challenges requires a multidisciplinary approach. Clear communication, shared decision-making, and ongoing assessment and monitoring of the patient's condition are essential to providing effective and appropriate organ support to critically ill patients.
In this issue, our contributors discuss progress in the management of multiorgan failure and different forms of organ support and treatment strategies for acute kidney injury, respiratory failure, cardiac failure and liver failure. As always, if you would like to get in touch, please email [email protected].