Al-Amiri Hospital

Al-Amiri Hospital was the first established governmental hospital in Kuwait, and open its doors on 18th of October 1949. The services in the hospital were expanding and required establishments of anesthesiology, and this was started with Dr James Forbes in 1953 and Dr E Drippes in 1955. Subsequently the department expanded to include Dr David Belly, Drs Kamal Saeid (1956), Karya (1957), Mahmoud Bazzari (1958) who later became the head of the department, Deeba and Tayseer Saeid (1964), Akram Al-Almai and Hayat Awad (1965) for which running the operating and recovery rooms was the primary goal. Not until the early 1970’s, critical care unit was established with 4 monitored beds shared between ICU and CCU and run by Department of Internal Medicine. When the Al-Amiri building was opened in 1984, a new ICU was established with 9 beds and the team included Dr Faroq, Suodod, Taysser and Eveleen (1983 – 1990) and Dr Sway, Nser, Osama, Ayman Al-Quadri, Miro, Lubica and Rajo (1991 – 2000). During this period the ICU remained an open ICU with the support of the aforementioned anesthesiologists and the treating teams from Internal Medicine, Surgery and Pediatrics. Until 2000, with the arrival of the first Kuwaiti Trained Intensivist Dr Kefaya Abdulmalek and the support of the Head of Department at that time Dr Mohammad Al-Khashti, she was able to establish the first closed system ICU over 2 years by 2002. The ICU was a beacon for starting critical care in Kuwait as we know it now, with beds expanding to 15 beds and establishing standards and policies for operating 1:1 nursing care and appropriate continuous and thorough management and support of patients. Furthermore, several training programs in Kuwait were eager for their residents to train in critical care and Al-Amiri ICU was the only available site for these rotations until other hospitals were available.

The unit have evolved over the years, Dr Anwar Murad became the second intensivist to join the Al-Amiri ICU in 2013. This marked the continuing initiative to implement more policies, treatment modalities and practices that would meet the worldwide standards of a tertiary care ICU. Dr Murad introduced critical care ultrasound as both a diagnostic and therapeutic tool to be used for patients and it has become indispensable in their management. The ICU was able to also adopt more advanced treatments; In 2014, several milestones were achieved such as the first patient to undergo prone position ventilation, the first patient to receive extracorporeal CO2 removal, as well as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The critical care team became a multidisciplinary unit, composed of physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, and clinical pharmacists. This multidisciplinary team would round together on the patients in order to agree on the goals of patient treatment. Collaboration became the key factor in the daily assessment and management of the critically ill patient. Throughout the years, several trained intensivists have joined the department over the years:

  • Dr Bader Al-Bader 2014
  • Dr Asma Al-Rashed 2015
  • Dr Abdulaziz Al-Mutawa 2017
  • Dr Sara Buabbas 2018
  • Dr Abdulrahman Al-Fares 2020

During the COVID pandemic, the ICU expanded to accommodate 49 operational beds with a capacity to increase to 99 critical care beds. The current functioning medical surgical intensive care unit has an active capacity of 24 beds. In the recent years, Al-Amiri Center for Advanced Respiratory and Cardiac Failure was established to encompass the Kuwait Extracorporeal Life Support program which was the leading ECLS center during the COVID pandemic joint with Jaber Al-Ahmed Hospital. Furthermore, research and international networking was vitally important for the success of the unit and since the year 2020, the unit have been activity participating in global research with practice changing findings. This included major observational studies like the Critical Care COVID consortium, the VIRUS collaboration and many other. The unit was also involved in major Randomized Clinical trials, including:

  • COVI-PRONE Trial
  • MegaROX Trial
  • Replenish Trial
  • Revise Trial

With major publication in high impact journals and collaboration with international research groups. The unit also established the first Post Intensive Care Clinic in the region, with the aim to study post intensive care patient in the physical, psychological, social, quality of life, and cognitive effects of critical care on survivors of critical care. The unit looks forward to the future with aim for full implementation of digital health and transform the unit into the future.

Critical Care Units in Ministry of Health Hospitals