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Leibner et al described that in the USA, some intensive care units (ICUs) were set up within the emergency department (ED) and managed by emergency physicians (ED-ICU).1 The implementation of the ED-ICU was associated with improved 30-day survival and reduced inpatient ICU admission.2 Furthermore, some diseases (eg, ketoacidosis) are life-threatening but respond dramatically to rapid intervention and resolve quickly.3
In northeastern Italy, near Udine, there are at least four structures in rural or suburban hospitals that have been performing the function of ED-ICUs for at least 20 years (figure 1). These ‘emergency areas’ (so-called ‘Area di Emergenza’ (ADE)) meet the criteria of the ED-ICU as described …
Contributors All authors contributed equally to both the conception and the writing of the document.
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Competing interests None declared.
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