Skip to content


Critical Care

Open Access

World Resources in Critical Care Study: a survey of critical care research and resources in eight countries

  • H Wunsch1,
  • D Harrison2,
  • O Collange3,
  • N de Keizer4,
  • R Fowler5,
  • E Hoste6,
  • A Kersten7,
  • W Linde-Zwirble8,
  • A Sandiumenge9,
  • D Angus8 and
  • K Rowan2
Critical Care200711(Suppl 2):P506

Published: 22 March 2007


Critical CareImpact FactorAcute CareOriginal ResearchAcute Care Hospital


Critical care research involves data from many countries, but critical care resources in these countries are unknown. We hypothesized that there are large differences in critical care resources between countries.


We identified original research articles on critical care in three high impact factor journals (N Engl J Med, JAMA and The Lancet) published from 2001 to 2005. A list of the countries where data collection occurred was extracted. Eight countries contributed to ≥10 studies. A collaborator in each country was asked to provide baseline critical care information for their country from 2005, or as close to that date as possible.


Sixty-two studies involving data from 51 countries were identified. Eight countries contributed data to ≥10 studies during this time period: the USA (26 studies), France (18), the United Kingdom (14), Canada (13), Belgium (12), Germany (10), The Netherlands (10) and Spain (10). Relevant data on baseline hospital and critical care resources for the eight countries identified are presented in Figure 1 (data from Canada not available). Adult ICU beds ranged from 3.3/100,000 population in the United Kingdom to 24.6 in Germany, and represented a range of 1.4% of all acute care hospital beds in the United Kingdom to 11.0% of all beds in the USA.
Figure 1

Baseline critical care resources in eight countries. *Extrapolated from survey data, not full national data


Many countries contribute substantially to critical care research. However, the underlying critical care resources vary dramatically among these countries.

Authors’ Affiliations

Columbia University, New York, USA
ICNARC, London, UK
Strasbourg University Hospital, Strasbourg, France
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, Toronto, Canada
Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium
University Hospital Aachen, Germany
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA
University Hospital Joan XXIII, Tarragona, Spain


© BioMed Central Ltd. 2007