Intensive care refers to specialized medical treatment that is provided to patients who are suffering from acute illnesses and need critical medical care. An intensive care unit (ICU) offers critical care and life support to those patients who:-
Depending on the speciality of a particular healthcare centre, the equipment of ICU may be designed to provide care to patients with various conditions or to offer specialized care to patients with specific conditions. Following are some of the basic types of equipment present in an ICU:-
ICU administrators have laid down special guidelines for visitors. Usually, visitors are not allowed to meet patients in the ICU in order to prevent the chances of an external infection. Even when visitors are allowed in some circumstances, they must comply with the safety, hygiene, and security protocols of the hospital.
Visiting a patient in the ICU, especially for the first time can be intimidating. The patients might be connected to a number of machines and drips. Additionally, they may also appear different from what they normally look, as the fluid given to the patients in order to keep them hydrated might make them bloating, and there might be bruising due to the injections and tubes.
It is normal for visitors to feel helpless when visiting patients for the first time and they may want to gather every information regarding the patient’s condition and recovery, as soon as possible. In such a case, they can direct their queries to the ICU staff and get their questions answered. While there is not much that visitors can do for the patient admitted in an ICU, their understanding of the situation and support can have a positive impact. In fact studies have revealed that patients show signs of stability like reduced blood pressure, heart rate, etc. when visited by their loved ones.
It is a common myth amongst people that patients admitted into the intensive care unit are on the verge of dying. An ICU is designed to provide critical care to patients who require external aid to support various functions of the body. Not everyone in ICU ends up losing their lives. In fact according to research, over half of the patients in ICU have an increasingly lower risk of dying during their stay at the hospital.
ICU is one of the most critically operating areas of a hospital. Every ICU has a different environment that reflects the special medical and surgical procedure that it caters to. While shifting a patient to an ICU is imperative in a life-threatening situation, it also makes them vulnerable to infections and other health conditions. Therefore, healthcare practitioners toil to ensure that their patients stay at the ICU is kept at minimal possibility and they are discharged at the earliest possible.