Basics of Intensive Care Medicine


This ICU book (1458 pages; e-book) is designed to make you fit for the management of critically ill patients (especially of COVID-19 patients) in the intensive care unit. It contains all the basics of Critical Care Medicine (airway management, ventilation principles and ventilation techniques, weaning, tracheotomy, chest tube [thoracic drainage], analgosedation, catecholamine therapy, hemodynamic monitoring, shock, nutrition, resuscitation, sepsis, ECMO, acute kidney injury, renal replacement therapy, acute coronary syndrome, cardiogenic shock, extracorporeal circulatory support, cardiac arrhythmias, inflammatory heart diseases [endocarditis, myocarditis, pericarditis], hypertensive crisis, pulmonary embolism, acute aortic syndrom, ARDS, pulmonary hypertension, acute right heart failure, obstructive lung diseases [status asthmaticus, exacerbated COPD], interstitial lung diseases, bronchial hemorrhage), gastrointestinal bleeding, acute pancreatitis, gastrointestinal atony, complications of liver cirrhosis, acute liver failure, acute mesenteric ischemia, pneumonia, multi-drug-resistant organisms, skin and soft tissue infections, fungal infections (mycoses), malaria, endocrinological emergencies, disorders of the electrolytes, disorders of the acid-base balance, blood products, DIC, hyperfibrinolysis, HIT, ITP, thrombotic microangiopathies, oncological emergencies, toxicology and also a separate detailed chapter on COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2).

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The Author

The critical care medicine e-book is written by senior physician Dr. med. Volker Herold, who already published the German version of this textbook, which became a bestseller and is regarded as a must-read in many intensive care units.

Dr. med. Volker Herold

Training as an internist and cardiologist
Additional designation: Emergency Medicine
Senior emergency physician in the emergency medical service (specialist certificate)
Senior physician of Clinic for Internal Medicine, St. Jo­seph Hospital Regensburg / Germany
Head of the compact course in Intensive Care Medicine

Table of Contents

General Part

  • Accesses
    • Venous Accesses
    • Arterial Accesses
  • Airway Management
  • Mechanical Ventilation (basics, types)
  • Non-invasive ventilation (NIV)
  • Weaning
  • Tracheotomy
  • Analgosedation
  • Hemodynamic monitoring
  • Circulatory therapy
    • Volume therapy
    • Catecholamine therapy
  • Shock
  • Nutrition of critically ill patients
  • Resuscitation
    • Resuscitation of children
    • Resuscitation of adults

Special Part


  • Acute coronary syndrome (ACS)
  • Cardiogenic shock
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Inflammatory heart diseases (endocarditis, myocarditis, pericarditis [i.a. pericardial effusion, pericardial puncture])
  • Hypertensive crisis


  • Acute pulmonary embolism
  • Acute aortic syndrome


  • ARDS
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Acute right heart failure
  • Obstructive lung diseases
    • Status asthmaticus
    • Exacerbated COPD
  • Interstitial lung diseases
  • Bronchial hemorrhage


  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
    • Upper gastrointestinal bleeding
    • Lower gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Gastrointestinal atony
  • Complications of liver cirrhosis
    • Portal hypertension
    • Ascites
    • Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis
    • Cirrhotic cardiomyopathy
    • Hepatorenal syndrome
    • Hepatic encephalopathy
    • Hepatopulmonal syndrome
    • Hepatic hydrothorax
    • Spontaneous bacterial empyema
  • Acute liver failure
  • Acute mesenteric ischemia


  • Endocrinological emergencies
    • Diabetic coma (diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome)
    • Thyreotoxic crisis
    • Myxedema coma
    • Addison crisis (acute adrenocortical insufficiency)
    • Hypopituitarism (i.a. pituitary coma)
    • Acute intermittent porphyria
  • Disorders of electrolytes
    • Disorders of sodium
    • Disorders of potassium
    • Disorders of calcium
    • Disorders of magnesium
    • Disorders of phosphate
  • Disorders of acid-base balance
    • Acidoses
    • Alkaloses


  • Acute kidney injury
  • Renal replacement therapy


  • Sepsis
  • COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2)
  • Pneumonia
    • Community-aquired pneumonia
    • Hospital-aquired pneumonia
  • Multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO)
  • Skin and soft tissue infections
  • Fungal infections (Mycoses)
  • Malaria


  • Blood products (i.a. red cell concentrates, platelet concetrates, FFP, PCC, antithrombin, fibrinogen, faktor VII, factor XIII)
  • DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation)
  • Hyperfibrinolysis
  • AHA (aquired hemophilia)
  • von Willebrand disease
  • ITP (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura)
  • HIT (heparin-induced thrombocytopenia)
  • APS (antiphospholipid syndrome)
  • TMA (thrombotic microangiopathies)
    • TTP (thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura)
    • HUS (hemolytic uremic syndrome)
    • HELLP syndrome


  • Upper venous congestion (Superior vena cava syndrome)
  • Spinal compression syndrome
  • Brain metastases
  • Tumor lysis syndrome
  • Hyperleukocytosis (Leukostasis syndrome)
  • GvHD (graft versus host disease)
  • Neutropenic fever
  • Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia
  • Side effects of immunological therapies (immun checkpoint inhibitors, CAR-T-cell therapy)


  • General toxicology
  • Special toxicology
    • Intoxications with medicaments
    • Intoxications with drug
    • Intoxications with alcohols
    • Intoxications with chemicals
    • Intoxications with metals
    • Intoxications with gases
    • Intoxications with mushrooms
    • Intoxications with plants
    • Intoxications with fish
    • Intoxications with snakes


Compact Course

Check out the accompanying German compact course in Intensive Care Medicine