From Mechanical Ventilation to Intensive Care Medicine: A Challenge for Bosnia and Herzegovina
Intensive care medicine is a relatively new specialty, which was created in the 1950's, after invent of mechanical ventilation, which allowed caring for critically ill patients who otherwise would have died. First created for treating mechanically ventilated patients, ICUs extended their scope and care to all patients with life threatening conditions. Over the years, intensive care medicine developed further and became a truly multidisciplinary speciality, encompassing patients from various fields of medicine and involving specialists from a range of base specialties, with additional (subspecialty) training in intensive care medicine. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the founding of the society of intensive care medicine in 2006, the introduction of non invasive ventilation in 2007, and opening of a multidisciplinary ICUs in Banja Luka and Sarajevo heralded a new age of intensive care medicine. The number of admissions, high severity scores and needs for mechanical ventilation during the first several months in the medical ICU in Banja Luka confirmed the need of these kinds of units in the country. In spite of still suboptimal personnel training, creation of ICUs in Bosnia and Herzegovina may serve as example for other developing countries in the region. However, in order to achieve modern ICU standards and follow European trends toward harmonisation of medicine, Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to take up this challenge by recognizing intensive care medicine as a distinctive specialty, by implementing a specific training program and by setting up multidisciplinary ICUs in acute care hospitals.