SURGICAL CRITICAL CARE (SCC) specialists provide direct nonoperative care for patients with acute, severe conditions related to surgery. Surgical Critical Care specialists practice in critical care and surgical critical care units at major medical centers where they utilize a special set of skills and knowledge unique to the care of critically ill pediatric and adult surgical patients. Surgical Critical Care and Medical Critical Care specialists share many common skills, but the focus of SCC relates to complications and consequences of surgery as well as complex surgical conditions such as burns, trauma, postoperative infections, compartment syndrome, and multisystem organ failure. Specialists in Surgical Critical Care may be actively practicing surgeons, though they may also come from nonoperative fields such as Emergency Medicine.
Litigation in Surgical Critical Care is uncommon, though when it occurs the allegations typically stem from management issues related to complex postoperative conditions such as shock or infection, or delays in returning to the operating room to address complications.