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Intensive Care

Critical care, also known as intensive care, is needed if someone is seriously ill with life-threatening conditions and requires intensive treatment and close monitoring. This is carried out in a ward called the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). These wards within the hospital are staffed with a multi-disciplinary healthcare team equipped and designed to closely monitor and treat patients with life-threatening conditions. Patients may need specialist treatment because one or more of their body systems, such as their heart, lung, or kidneys, are not working properly.

Because our patients are often very unwell, they will have much greater care needs than those patients being cared for on more general wards within the hospital. For this reason, each nurse will care for one patient only at a time and patients will be reviewed by different teams regularly.


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Article: “I had these strange dreams.”

What kinds of memories or dreams do people have? It is very common for patients to have strange memories, dreams or hallucinations. They can seem very real...so real, that no matter how strange they are, patients are often unsure whether they happened or not. They can often be remembered in detail for some time afterwards. The dreams that people have can sometimes be very frightening, but sometimes pleasant or funny. Here are some examples of other people's dreams.We hope they...

External Article: About End of Life in Intensive Care information sheet: ICU Steps

The story behind ICUsteps' newest information sheet - Catherine White

External Video: Acute kidney injury - Think Kidneys NHS UK - Video

Think Kidneys is the NHS’s campaign programme for tackling acute kidney injury. The aims are to reduce avoidable harm and death for people with acute kidney injury, and to improve care for patients whether in hospital or at home.

Article: Advanced Critical Care Practitioners (ACCPs)

Advanced Critical Care Practitioners (ACCPs) are clinical professionals responsible for patients' care during their ICU admission. They are highly experienced and educated practitioners who have developed their skills and theoretical knowledge to a very high standard.

Web Link: After having ECMO

This weblink provides information on what to expect when recovering from an ECMO stay.

Web Link: A-Z of health conditions

Many people who come into Intensive Care have pre-existing health conditions. Part of your recovery will likely include understanding and dealing with those conditions too. This link will take you to an NHS page with information on 100's of conditions, symptoms and treatments. It's not exhaustive, but we hope you find it helpful.

Web Link: Being in Intensive Care _ Intensive Care Society

The Intensive Care Society website provides some useful information for patients and families on being in intensive care.

Form: Bereavement support

Bereavement is the experience of losing someone important to us and grief is the process and range of emotions felt as someone comes to terms with the death of a loved one. Bereavement, grief and loss can cause many different symptoms and affects people in different ways. Experts generally accept that we go through 5 stages of bereavement or grief: Denial – feelings of shock, disbelief, panic or confusion Anger – feelings and behaviours such as blaming yourself or...

Document: Bereavement support at Guy's and St Thomas's Hospital

This leaflet is about some of the emotions you may feel when someone close to you has died. It also has details of other organisations that offer support.