Diagnosis and treatment

Critically ill patients often have several different problems, injuries or illnesses. Our team use a wide range of diagnostic, monitoring and treatment techniques to help treat you in the best possible way.

Monitoring

Doctors and nurses will be monitoring your

  • temperature
  • blood pressure
  • heart rate
  • respiratory rate
  • oxygen in your blood
  • levels such as sodium and potassium
  • urine output
  • level of consciousness.

Our doctors and nurses can, and do, monitor more but their main priority is to support organs that may be failing and to try to get them functioning properly again.

There will be lots of tubes, machines and wires around you, and our staff can explain what these all do. Close monitoring may include using machines such as

  • cardiovascular support, to measure your heart's output
  • respiratory ventilator, to help you breathe
  • kidney machine, to provide the kidney function when your organs aren't working properly.

Treatment

Your treatment may include

  • medication to support your heart's function
  • manipulation of your lungs to improving breathing
  • giving antibiotics and additional fluid
  • administration of drugs to improve your general condition
  • providing adequate nutrition, often through a feeding tube
  • infection control, which may include moving you to a secure side room
  • pain control, including giving sedatives or painkillers.

Care

We also work closely with other specialties in the hospital to provide your everyday care, ensuring your comfort, privacy and dignity.

This includes

  • intensive nursing care (normally one-to-one) to ensure hygiene standards are maintained, such as washing and mouth care
  • physiotherapy to help increase your mobility, breathing capability or muscle development
  • dietitians who work to ensure you are properly nourished
  • attending to the psychological aspect of your hospital journey, by linking you with the hospital chaplaincy team or putting you in touch with support groups
  • pharmacy staff who attend regular ward rounds to ensure that your medication is safe and appropriate
  • microbiology staff who deal with infection control.