Routine care

In this section, we've provided some information about everyday patient care, including how we wean patients off the ventilator or breathing machine and how we make sure that they are as comfortable as possible (sedation).

 

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Article: Diaries in Intensive Care (family information)

What is a diary? A diary is a booklet written for patients about their time in Intensive Care. Some Intensive Care Units use patient diaries and some don’t. They’ve been used for a number of years in other countries, but are only just beginning to be used in the UK. More research is needed to find out if and how they help. Why might (some) patients find a diary helpful? Patients often can’t remember how they ended up in Intensive Care, or what happened...

Article: Diaries in Intensive Care (patient information)

What is a diary? A diary is a booklet written for patients about their time in Intensive Care. Some Intensive Care Units use patient diaries and some don’t. They’ve been used for a number of years in other countries, but are only just beginning to be used in the UK. More research is needed to find out if and how they help. Why might (some) patients find a diary helpful? You might not be able to remember what happened to you in Intensive Care, or have strange...

Article: ICU ward rounds

Patients in Intensive Care are reviewed many times a day by the various different staff involved in their care, and continuously by the nurse at the bedside providing one to one care. Medical assessment The medical staff will usually do a full patient assessment at the start of every shift (both day and night shift). This will include things like the patient's vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, etc), their blood results, X rays, medications and medical...

Article: Infection control

Why is infection control so important in Intensive Care? Patients who are in Intensive Care are more at risk of getting infections. This is mainly due to patients being so unwell, and because some of the equipment we use can increase the risk of infection.The breathing (or endotracheal) tube, for example, provides essential support, but can increase the risk of lung infection. The lines and drips we use to monitor the patient or give fluids and medications can also increase the...

External Video: Insight into ICU: Royal Berkshire Hospital

This links to a 20 minute webcast by staff and former patients from the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.It provides some interesting and useful insights into what happens in Intensive Care. Several patients share their experiences of their time there.While we are not currently able to offer some of the services provided in this webcast, we hope you find it useful.

Web Link: Medical records: how to access them

Some people want to see their medical notes, so that they can make sense of their care or treatment, and why they needed it.This link will take you to the NHS Choices website. It gives you information on how to get permission to look at your medical notes (including the forms you will need to fill in and whether you might have to pay a small fee).

Web Link: Muscle wasting in Intensive Care

This link will take you to the ICUSteps website and a to a short video by Dr Zudin Puthucheary on muscle wasting in Intensive Care patients.

Web Link: NHS Choices: what is Intensive Care?

This link will take you to the NHS Choices website, and their pages on Intensive Care.There is some easily understandable information on what Intensive Care is all about, and what to expect in terms of visiting, treatment and recovery.

Article: Nutritional support

Why is nutrition so important in Intensive Care? Being very ill can increase the rate at which the body uses up energy, which means that patients can lose a lot of weight while they're in Intensive Care.Another common effect of very severe illness is muscle wasting,which can affect things like mobility and result in patients becoming tired very easily. Putting weight back on and regaining muscle can often take some time. It is therefore very important that patients are well fed...

Article: Physiotherapy in Intensive Care

What do physiotherapists do in Intensive Care? Physiotherapy has a very important role in the care and treatment of patients in Intensive Care. There are two main things that the physiotherapist can help with; breathing and exercises. Help with breathing Many patients in Intensive Care need help with their breathing, even if they're not connected to a ventilator or breathing machine. Patients who are not connected to a ventilator or breathing machine may struggle to...