Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is a specialty area of the hospital. The unit has advanced equipment, nurses who are trained in providing critical care to all age groups, and a controlled environment to provide the aggressive care that critical patients need. The ICU is designed to meet the needs of trauma victims (e.g. motor vehicle accidents), people experiencing life-threatening medical problems (e.g. heart attacks or strokes), and post-operative patients experiencing problems. The unique needs of premature infants are provided in the ICU as well. Special procedures that require critical care monitoring may also take place in the ICU. Each patient has a private room with glass doors, allowing the nursing staff to observe each critical patient closely. Every patient is placed on a heart monitor, which allows the nurse to closely observe the patient’s heart rate and rhythm both in the room and at the nurse’s desk.

Telephone calls to the ICU should be limited to immediate family members. Please designate one member of the family to phone the ICU to inquire about the patient’s condition, and have that person convey this information to all concerned. Patient condition reports will not be given to friends; please discourage friends from calling and inquiring about the patient. Telephone calls remove the ICU nurse from his/her chief responsibility -- the care of the patient.

Visitation to the ICU at any one time is limited to two immediate family members who are over 12 years of age. Please check with the nurse at the nurse’s desk before entering a patient room, as procedures may be occurring, the patient may be asleep, or the patient may have requested “No Visitors” at that time. Exceptions to this rule are at the discretion of the nurse on duty. Again, the ICU nurse’s primary concern is the patient, and he/she will make all decisions with this in mind.

Silk flowers and mylar ballons are permitted in the ICU; fresh, dried or live plants, flowers and latex balloons are not permitted. Latex balloons are a potential source for allergies and are not allowed anywhere in the hospital. Real flowers are a potential source of allergens, dirt and insects, all of which may be harmful to a seriously ill patient. Please inform family and friends of this when possible. ICU patients receiving real flowers/plants will be allowed to see the item, then a family member will be asked to take them home.