Successful implementation of modern critical care in the low-resources country Bosnia and Herzegovina: Single-center experience

P. Kovacevic, F. J. Meyer, O. Gajic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Critical care medicine is a relatively young discipline, developed in the mid-1950s in response to the outbreak of poliomyelitis. The mass application of mechanical ventilation and its subsequent technical advancement helped manage large numbers of patients with respiratory failure. This branch of medicine evolved much faster in high-income (HIC) than low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Seventy years later, mankind’s encounter with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) represents another major challenge for critical care medicine especially in LMIC countries where over two thirds of the world population live. Methods: Systematic analysis of written documents related to the establishment of the first multidisciplinary medical intensive care unit (MICU) in Bosnia and Herzegovina and its development to the present day. Results: We describe the experience of setting up a modern critical care program under LMIC constraints as a promising way forward to meet the increased worldwide demand for critical care. Successful development is contingent on formal education and continued mentorship from HIC, establishment of a multidisciplinary team, the support from local health care authorities, development of a formal subspecialty training, academic faculty development, and research. Novel technologies including tele-education provide additional opportunities for rapid development and dissemination of critical care medicine programs in LMIC. Conclusion: Critical care medicine is a critical public health need in HIC and LMIC alike. The challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic should serve as a wakeup call for rapid development of critical care programs around the world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-275
Number of pages7
JournalMedizinische Klinik - Intensivmedizin und Notfallmedizin
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Critical care medicine
  • Development
  • Intensive care medicine
  • Low-middle-income countries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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