Patients and Families

Patients and Families

It can be a frightening and difficult experience when a family member or friend is admitted to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

The aim of this section of the website is to provide easy-to-understand information for family and friends with a loved one in an ICU.

The following information will help you understand what is going on in ICU, including common conditions, equipment, treatment, investigations and monitoring.

Intensive Care Units (ICUs) are special areas of the hospital where the sickest of patients are cared for. We understand that visiting a family member or friend in an ICU can be overwhelming.

A significant part of this is that you do not understand whats going on. The patient may be attached to a lot of noisy equipment, there is a lot of noise and activity and there is a lot of new information to understand. The ICU team is here to help you understand what is going on.

The information on these webpages has been developed to help you understand what is going on in ICU. These pages will provide an overview of common conditions, equipment, treatment, investigations and monitoring. They can be used to help you remember what the ICU team may have explained to you.

The information is general in nature and therefore cannot reflect individual patient variation. In addition it reflects Australian intensive care practice which may differ from other countries. It is meant as a back up to specific information which will be discussed with you by the doctors and nurses caring for your family member or friend. ICNSW attests to the accuracy of the information contained here BUT takes no responsibility for how it may apply to an individual patient. Please refer to the full disclaimer.