ICU had its beginnings in South Africa in 1970 when Alan White and Professor of Anaesthesia, Tony Coleman, opened the first multidisciplinary unit at Addington Hospital. Dr Neil Goodwin, who was brought out from Sweden to be the first full-time intensivist not only in South Africa, but on the African continent, ran the unit together with a team of dedicated anaesthetic registrars.

During the mid-1970's units were opened throughout the Republic and in a still segregated South Africa, the first ICU for people then classified as ‘non-white’ was opened at King Edward VIII in November 1974, firmly establishing Natal (later renamed Kwa-Zulu Natal) as the leader in the field of intensive medicine.

CCSA’s role in the establishment of the World Federation of Societies of Intensive and Critical Care Medicine was pivotal, with Dr Goodwin playing a key role in the drafting or the original constitution and later being elected to the first World Council in Washington in 1981.
The origins of the logo are quite interesting (and symbolic)! The outer "C" of the logo represents the chest wall. The inner "C" and "S" together represent the heart within the chest cavity. The lungs are represented as are the ventricles and aorta by the spaces within the letters.