Thanks for giving me the go-ahead on this.
As I mentioned above, there are a number of sources of information
regarding ICUs and NICUs in the US. I have presented these below.
I trust these sources of information fully answer your question.
However, please don't rate this answer until you have everything you
need. If there's anything more I can do for you, just post a Request
for Clarification, and I'm happy to assist you further.
First, for a bit of context, there is a good overview of the numbers
of hospitals in the US in a "2005 Fast Facts" sheet prepared by the
American Hospital Association:
which states that there are 5,764 hospitals across the country.
Apparently, there are about an equal number of ICU's, as several
sources cite the number of ICU's in the country as 6,000, caring for
55,000 patients on any given day. For instance, here's a typical
There are almost 6,000 intensive care units in the United States
caring for about 55,000 patients on any given day. ICUs account
for 10 percent of inpatient acute care beds and this number is projected
to increase with the overall aging of the population. With more than 5 million
patients being admitted to these units annually, at a cost of approximately
$180 billion or 30 percent of acute care costs, patient care safety
and quality must continue to be our highest priority.
A very similar quote appears in this article from the Journal of the
American Medical Association (JAMA):
Delirium as a Predictor of Mortality in Mechanically Ventilated
Patients in the Intensive Care Unit
IN THE UNITED STATES, 55,000 patients
are cared for daily in more than
6000 intensive care units (ICUs)...
As far as I can tell, the statistics on the ICU's do not include the
the neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) which are tallied
separately. This brief Google search result highlights an article
from the American Journal of Nursing:
AJN - Fulltext: Volume 102(4) April 2002 p 18-21 News. - 2 visits - 12:38pm
... diaper-clad preterm infants skin to skin and chest to chest by parents-was
sent to all 1133 neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in the United States. ...
As you can see, the article mentions a figure of 1,133 NICu's in the
US. Unfortunately, I do not have access to the full text of the
article in order to explore the source of this figure in more detail.
The combined number of ICUs and NICUs, then, appears to be in the
vicinity of 6,000 + 1,133, or somewhat over 7,000 total units. This
number is apparently what is being referred to in this citation, which
puts the total at 7,500:
The Daily Record
May 5, 2003
Visicu offers hospitals technology where personnel fall short
In the country's 7,500 intensive care units, it is estimated there are
about 6,000 physicians, leaving state health care systems pushing to
find viable alternatives to ensure patient care...
The most thorough report on ICU's in the US -- and one that helps
confirm the 6,000 ICUs figure -- is a 1998 study by Abt Associates
which can be accessed in full here:
Future Needs in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
This is a lengthy report, with a lot of detail to wade through.
However, the main statistics on ICU's are presented about half-way
through the report, in the following table:
Table 3.21, "ICU Directors Survey: The Universe of Critical Care Units".
This table breaks-out the universe of 5,979 ICUs as follows:
General (medical/surgical) 3,920 (66%)
Medical 713 (12%)
Surgical 698 (12%)
Burn 175 (3%)
Neurological 127 (2%)
Respiratory 56 (1%)
Cardiothoracic 137 (2%)
Transplant 24 (0.4%)
Trauma 130 (2%)
[NOTE that NICU's are not included in this break-out]
There are a lot of other stats in the report that you might want to
explore, such as this section on overall Hospital Statistics:
Overall, 48 percent of the ICUs were located in private community
hospitals, while 15 percent were university hospitals, and 17 percent
from city/county hospitals (Table 3.23). More than 40 percent of the
ICUs were in medium sized hospitals (between 100 and 300 beds). Nearly
20 percent of the ICU units were in hospitals with 301-500 beds, 17
percent were in hospitals with more than 500 beds, and the remaining
ICUs (21 percent) were in small hospitals with 100 beds or fewer.
About 43 percent of the ICUs were part of hospitals that were
associated with a medical school, and 21 percent were both associated
with a medical school and a member of the Council of Teaching
Hospitals (COTH). More than 50 percent of ICUs were neither associated
with a medical school nor members of COTH.
Again, I trust this information meets your needs, but if there's
anything else I can help you with, just holler.
search strategy -- Google searches on:
[ "500..50000 icu OR ICUs OR "intensive care units" ]
[ "500..50000 icu OR ICUs OR "intensive care" "in the us OR united-states" ]
[ "500..50000 nicu OR NICUs OR "neonatal intensive care" ]