MidCentral DHB’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is a specially staffed and equipped department that provides care and treatment for patients.
Patients who are currently experiencing severe or life threatening medical problems, or who have suffered severe trauma or had certain major operations are admitted to the ICU.
The Intensive Care Unit has five beds with, in most cases, one nurse per patient. Medical staff are in the ICU and immediately available 24-hours a day. The unit is located on the fifth floor of Palmerston North Hospital.
ICU has more than 300 admissions a year with most patients needing to stay no more than two days but some patients will have much longer stays in the unit. At times the Intensive Care Unit will be asked to provide beds for other Intensive Care Units, such as Wellington, Whanganui and Masterton, when they may have reached their capacity.
Visiting patients in ICU
The ICU endeavours to keep family members fully informed about their loved ones – if you are unsure about anything, please ask a staff member.
- The ICU staff are happy for family and friends to visit at any time, but the unit has a policy of only two visitors at the bedside at any one time.
- From time-to-time during the course of the day, visitors may be asked to step outside to allow staff to attend to their family member (or other patients within the ICU). Please respect these requests and vacate when asked.
- Visitors are asked to avoid visiting between 8am and 11am, so as to allow the doctors’ ward round to be completed, along with nursing patient cares.
- There is a policy of no fresh flowers in the ICU because of the risk of organisms that may be on the flowers or that would grow in the water. While staff are happy to have flowers sent to ICU patients they must remain outside unit.
Patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit who may require neurosurgery (brain surgery) or cardiac surgery (open heart surgery) will be stabilised before being transferred to a tertiary centre, which is generally Wellington Hospital. For critically ill paediatric patients requiring more specialised care than can be provided at Palmerston North Hospital, transfer is to Starship Hospital in Auckland.