acute | MEDICINE 

BHH

What is Acute Medicine?

Acute Medicine refers to the immediate and early management of adults in hospital who require urgent or emergency care. Although it is closely linked to Emergency Medicine and Critical Care, it is firmly rooted in the principles of General Internal Medicine (GiM). 

Consultants in Acute Medicine work primarily in the Acute Medical Unit (AMU) of a hospital, but may also lend support in the Emergency Department (ED). They review patients who have been admitted, and make immediate decisions on their care pathway - which specialist they should be referred to, or whether they can be discharged. Conditions commonly encountered in this setting include ischaemic heart disease, venous thromboembolism, diabetic complications, cerebrovascular disease, exacerbations of chronic respiratory disease, acute infections and sepsis, complications of drug and alcohol misuse, and cardiac arrhythmias. 

Acute Medicine has recently been reinstated as a specialty in its own right, having previously been included as part of General Internal Medicine (GiM). Because Consultants in Acute Medicine assess patients with a wide variety conditions, interactions with any number of other specialties are possible. Specialists also work with other medical professionals, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers.