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Table 1 Admission criteria for the PACU, IMCU and ICU

From: Effects of intensivist coverage in a post-anaesthesia care unit on surgical patients' case mix and characteristics of the intensive care unit

ICU Planned length of stay >24 hours
  Any form of organ dysfunction, which alone or in combination is a vital threat to the patient
     - cerebral impairment (delirium, intoxications, metabolic disorders, trauma, stroke)
     - respiratory insufficiency with or without hypoxia
     - cardiac failure including vital rhythms disorders
     - shock and/or severe sepsis
     - massive blood loss
     - acute renal failure
     - continuous artificial organ support
PACU Planned length of stay <24 hours
     - Same indications as for ICU and IMCU, with an expected length of stay under 24 hours
     - Postoperative ventilation or monitoring for >120 minutes
     - patients with increased monitoring demands or intensive nursing demands
     - therapy of stabile organ dysfunction
     - example: low dose vasopressor therapy, intermittent dialysis treatment, intermittent CPAP-therapy, (no invasive ventilation in IMCU)
Recovery-room patients
Patients with mild organ dysfunction, which are expected to be discharged to a normal ward within two hours