Table 2

Situation regarding respiratory intensive care units (RICUs) in some European countries

CountryNo. of RICUsNo. of RICU
Monitoring systemsPatientsRT
Nurse: patient ratioLocationGovernment acknowledgement
Spain1 + several NRCU8Invasive and non-invasiveAllNo1:2Inside pn.Yes
Slovenia212Invasive and non-invasiveAll?1:2Inside pn.Yes
Greece215Non-invasiveACRF?1:3Inside pn.Yes
Switzerland4* 20Invasive and non-invasiveAll?1:2Outside pn.No
Turkey853Non-invasiveACRFSome1:2–1:3Inside pn.Yes
Denmark2 10–15Non-invasiveACRFYesInside pn.
UK10 >50Non-invasiveACRFSomeInside pn.
Italy22 143Non-invasiveACRF14 units1:3–1:4Inside pn.Only 2
France16 + several NRCU170Mainly invasiveAllYes1:2Mainly inside pn.Yes
Germany1570Non-invasive or invasive
 (2 units)
ACRF and all in
 2 units
Some1:3–1:4Inside or outside pn.No
Holland6§ 50InvasiveAllSome1:2Inside or outside pn.
  • All = including respiratory patients to be admitted to ICU (table 1); ACRF = including patients to be admitted to NRCU or HDU only (table 1); RT = autonomous respiratory therapist service; inside pn = inside a Pneumology division; outside pn = outside the Pneumology division; * in some university hospitals the ICUs are divided “unofficially” into general and respiratory units;including “multiorgan” high dependency units; §two of six run by pneumologists only.