Why patients need Critical Care
Patients come to Critical Care for a variety of reasons and all patients are treated as individuals. When your relative or friend is admitted to critical care the bedside nurse and doctor will be able to explain why they have been admitted to critical care. Here are some common reasons why people get admitted to critical care.
Severely poorly patients may need close monitoring of their vital signs; this can be difficult in a ward area where one nurse is looking after several patients. Patients who require close monitoring are brought to critical care where we can use more accurate methods of recording vital signs. Additionally your relative or friend will either have a dedicated nurse or a nurse looking after two patients. This allows us to monitor them and act on any abnormalities faster.
Sepsis is a severe infection where the body starts to attack itself. A consequence of this is organ failure. Our critical care outreach team work on the words preventing and treating sepsis, however, when a patient has severe sepsis with organ failure they will need to come to critical car for close monitoring and support of their failing organs.
Post op care
Your relative or friend may come to intensive care following major surgery. For elective (planned) surgery you may already know that they will be admitted to critical care after their surgery. We also admit patients after emergency surgery to help their recovery. It is now very common to be admitted to critical care following emergency surgery as studies have shown that this benefits patients.
Patients may come to critical care as they are unable to breathe effectively for themselves. We use a combination of high flow oxygen and non-invasive ventilation where we can. However, sometimes we need to send people to sleep and place a breathing tube into their windpipe and put them on a breathing machine.
Patients may have kidney failure whilst in critical care. We are able to support the kidneys with the use of a Heamofiltration machine. This machine dose the work of the kidney whilst it recovers.
As a result of infection or heart attack patients may require cardiac support during their stay. In critical care we are able to give powerful drugs to support the heart and blood pressure whilst the body recovers.
The William Harvey hospital is a trauma centre, hence, its critical care unit looks after trauma patients. These patients generally need close monitoring or high amounts of pain relief that cannot be given on the ward.