Intensive Care Unit
The intensive care unit (ICU) is a specialist unit in our hospital with four isolated, fully equipped rooms. It is managed by specially trained healthcare professionals and contains life-saving monitoring equipment.
Since the hospital is mainly a surgical facility, our ICU is primarily used to manage major post-operative surgical cases like knee transplants in a patient who has other comorbidities or major abdominal surgeries like radical cystectomy. With the addition of in-house cardiology service, it is also being utilised as coronary care unit for critically ill cardiac patients. (ITU).
When intensive care is needed
Other than major surgical procedures, Intensive care is needed if someone is seriously ill and requires intensive treatment and close monitoring.
Most people in an ICU have multiple problems. Primarily patients who need respiratory support with ventilators are in ICU. Other than that, patients with significant co-morbidities or those who need close monitoring are taken care of in ICU.
Some common reasons include:
Recovering from intensive care
After the patients are stabilised, they do not need any respiratory support or intensive monitoring. They are transferred to the floor before being discharged to home. Patients who need to stay in ICU for a longer period may develop ICU psychosis.
Many people after leaving ICU make a good recovery, but sometimes there can be lingering problems, such as:
These problems can last several months. Some people may require ongoing support and treatment to help them recover.
Making decisions about care
When the patients are admitted to ICU, mostly they are unable to give consent for any interventions. Usually, it is the loved ones who have to make decisions on behalf of the patient.
In case no caretaker is available to make a timely decision making, ICU staff, treating doctor, and his team have to make a decision for any emergency measure and later discuss it with the patients family.
What intensive care involves
Patients in an ICU will be looked after closely by a team of ICU staff and will be connected to equipment by a number of tubes, wires and cables.
There will normally be 1 nurse for every 1 or 2 patients.
This equipment is used to monitor their health and support their bodily functions until they recover.
Equipment that may be used on an ICU includes:
oxygen in the blood.
In the ICU, visitors access is usually restricted, particularly when the patient is sick. Only one visitor is allowed at one time. Visitors may be asked to change their shoes and sanitize their hands before entering ICU. Visitors are regularly counselled either by the consultant or by the nurse in charge as to the condition of the patient. It is also important as it may be difficult for the near relatives to see their loved one with multiple lines and monitoring gadgets. Visitors are advised to spend little time so that the patient can be looked after by the medical staff.