Location and architectural structure of IICU

C. Fracchia, N. Ambrosino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When an Intermediate Intensive Care Unit (IICU) is planned, three groups of professionals are usually involved: the managers of the hospital, the architects and the staff. Although several aspects and problems related with the building of IICUs are considered in the specialized literature, lack of communication and discussion of the appropriate issues at the appropriate time is the origin of several errors during the planning and building of IICUs. Standards of IICU for respiratory departments have been proposed by the Working Group 'Rehabilitation and Intensive Care' of the Italian Hospital Pneumologist Society. An ideal IICU should include 4-6 beds for a hospital with more than 500 patients. Alternatively, an IICU should have 1-2 beds per 100,000 inhabitants. IICU should be located in the hospital, integrated with, but well distinguished from, the respiratory department, and with easy accessibility to surgery, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), laboratory, radiodiagnostics, cardiology, etc. No more than two beds should be included per room, and isolation should be necessary only for those patients suffering from communicable or infectious diseases, and also for those patients requiring protective isolation or suffering from disorientation or severe emotional disturbance. Limitation of single roam usage is due also to economic considerations; isolation requiring 50-100% more personnel per bed than an open ward. Individual continuous monitoring should be allowed. Visits and nursing by relatives and/or care-givers should be encouraged, with appropriate spare and facilities. Specific equipment for the IICU (drugs, linen, nursing articles) should be stored in the unit, and a small kitchen and washing room for cleaning and disinfecting certain articles should be considered. It must be remembered that some equipment offers particular storage difficulties, such as mechanical ventilators, mobile X-ray, echography apparatus, defibrillators, infusion pumps, monitors, television sets, etc. To treat the patients effectively, it is necessary to utilize sophisticated equipment, requiring a large amount of energy and other supplies. When planning the IICU one should remember that establishing technical limitations will make conversion to a higher level of care impossible. The purpose of this paper is to report architectural standards for Intermediate Intensive Care Units (IICU) especially aimed at the monitoring and treatment of patients with acute respiratory failure and its sequelae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-498
Number of pages3
JournalMonaldi Archives for Chest Disease - Cardiac Series
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • Accommodation
  • Equipment
  • Intermediate respiratory care unit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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