Critical Care Center News

On October 28, 2011 Mass General will celebrate the 50th anniversary of intensive care.

Golden Anniversary of Intensive Care


Golden Anniversary


The Respiratory Intensive Care Unit (RICU) was established at Massachusetts General Hospital in October 1961 by Dr. Henning Pontoppidan, exactly 50 years ago. Noting an unacceptable variance in patient care and the challenges of managing patients scattered throughout the Hospital, Dr. Pontoppidan requested and received approval to create a specialized unit for patients with respiratory failure. When established, the RICU was a 5-bed multidisciplinary ICU on the second floor of the Phillips House (now the Founders Building). The RICU moved to Jackson 4 eight years later and then in 1999 to its current location on Ellison 4, reincarnated as the Surgical ICU (Ellison 4 SICU). On October 28th, staff both old and new from the RICU/SICU will gather to celebrate 50 years at Mass General. A brief presentation in the Ether Dome will review highlights from the first 50 years, followed by a reception in the Pontoppidan Conference Room of the SICU on Ellison 4.


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