Critical care services
We provide critical care to patients across both the Guy’s Hospital and St Thomas’ Hospital sites. All units across both sites provide patients and their families with the highest level of care in an atmosphere of kindness, dignity and respect. Our co-ordinated approach to patient care ensures that every aspect of treatment is carefully planned within a comfortable and safe environment.
What is Critical Care?
Critical care - also known as Intensive Care (ICU) – is a multi-disciplinary healthcare team looking after people with life-threatening conditions. Critical care units are areas within the hospital which are specially staffed, 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.
The Critical Care Service Includes:
Intensive Care Units:
Patients in intensive care are often very sick and require very close monitoring, with 1:1 nursing. The intensive care service also includes Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) therapy for the most unwell patients.
High Dependency Units:
Patients in high dependency units (HDU) are often not as sick as those in ICU but still need close monitoring, and treatments that cannot be provided on the general ward. Patients are admitted from the ward or ‘stepped down’ from ICU to HDU where they continue their recovery and often stay for a period of time in a more general ward before being discharged home.
Our patients are admitted to ICU/HDU from the emergency department, theatres, wards or other departments in the hospital and sometimes from other hospitals.
Critical Care Outreach:
Both sites also have a critical care outreach team that sits within the critical care team. They provide early, skilled assistance to staff on wards or departments caring for patients who deteriorate, attempting to prevent further deterioration and, when appropriate, arrange for them to be admitted to one of the intensive care units. To assist in continuity in patient care, the outreach teams also review all discharges from the unit on to general wards.
Post Intensive Care Service:
All intensive care patients who are at risk of Post-intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) will be invited to attend an appointment in the post-critical care follow-up clinic around 2-3 months after discharge from hospital.