Medical Staff Holding Patient's Hand

Intensive Care

Critical care for seriously ill patients

The intensive care units at Adventist Health are where patients with serious injuries and illnesses receive round-the-clock care from specially trained staff. Unlike other hospital departments, the ICU monitors patients 24/7 so our medical staff can quickly respond to any changes in their condition.

These units are outfitted with state-of-the-art monitoring devices that measure heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and other critical life-functions. They also contain ventilators and other assistance devices.

Patients are often admitted to the ICU for:

  • Monitoring after an intensive surgery
  • Treatment for a serious head injury
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Serious heart health risks
  • Poisoning
  • Dehydration
  • Serious infections

Visiting ICU patients

Visiting patients in the ICU is usually permitted. Visits are usually only limited when a patient has a dangerous and contagious infection. Remember: ICU patients need plenty of rest, and there will be times when the staff asks you to leave so they can treat the patient privately. Patients have the right to private medical care even if they are not conscious or able to communicate.

Rest assured we will keep family members updated on their loved one’s condition. At Adventist Health, we believe in providing honest, regular and compassionate information to patients’ loved ones. Being in the ICU means a patient is in need of serious care, but it also means they have constant access to doctors and medical professionals who can provide them with the best possible care.

Advance directives

One of the most difficult aspects of medical care is deciding on a course of action when a patient is unable to respond or make their own decisions. These important decisions need to be made with respect to each patient’s wishes. This is why we recommended you create advance directives in the event that you ever become incapacitated.

Advance directives provide instructions for how medical professionals should proceed with treatment if you are not able to direct them yourself. For instance, if you do not wish to receive a blood transfusion for religious reasons, the doctor will have to respect this decision even if you are incapacitated if it was stated in an advance directive. You can also name a trusted friend or family member to make these decisions on your behalf.

You do not need an attorney to create advance directives. Contact us if you would like to learn more about advance directives or the ICU.

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