EIRMC is ready to debut the new renovations of our Intensive Care Unit. You may be asking "What types of conditions get treated in the ICU?" We've compiled a list of common scenarios that might constitute the need for a high level of care, and the specific state-of-the-art equipment used to help patients recover.

Scenario #1 - Neuro Trauma, also known as a brain injury. These injuries consist of strokes, aneurysms, brain tumors, and head accidents.

What types of equipment is used in the ICU for a brain injury?

  • EEG - Measures brain activity
  • Intracranial Pressure (ICP)
  • Ventriculostomy ICP - A draining tube that is placed in the brain to measure pressure and drain fluid off the brain.
  • Fiberoptic ICP - A fiber-optic tube that is placed in the brain to measure pressure.
  • LICOX- A tube placed inside brain tissue to measure oxygen levels.

Scenario #2 - Cardiac, or heart, problems. Cardiac problems can include: angina (chest pain), heart attacks, heart valve defects, irregular heartbeats, or heart failure.

What types of equipment will be used in the ICU for cardiac complications?

  • Vigilance - A machine that attaches to a catheter placed in the heart, and measures how well the heart is functioning.
  • IABP Balloon Pump - A catheter with a balloon on the end placed near the heart, helping the heart work better.
  • "Impella" Ventricular Assist Device - A catheter placed inside the heart to help it pump better.
  • ThermoGuard - A catheter placed inside the blood vessels to cool the body temperature to 32 degrees Celsius. This is used after cardiac arrest.
  • Defibrillator - Used to "shock" the heart when it stops beating.

Scenario #3 - Respiratory and Dialysis issues, also known as lung and kidney problems.

Respiratory issues can include - pneumonia, COPD / emphysema, asthma, collapsed lung, trauma to chest, sepsis infection, or pulmonary embolus (blood clot in the lung).

What types of equipment will be used in the ICU for cardiac problems?

  • Ventilator: A breathing tube and machine that breathes for the patient or helps them breathe.
  • There are different kinds of machines, and ways to use them, to help patients breathe. They have special computer algorithms that decide how to breathe best for the patient.

Dialysis issues can include: kidney failure, diabetes, electrolyte problems, or poisoning.

What types of equipment will be used in the ICU for dialysis problems?

  • The Dialysis Machine, also called Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT)
  • ICU nurses are trained, after several years as a nurse, to operate this high-tech machine that acts like a kidney outside of the body. It is programmed to run just like a normal kidney. It takes blood from the patient, runs it through this machine, and then sends the "clean" blood back to the patient.

EIRMC is a Level 1 Intensive Care Unit, a designation that means we provide the highest level of intensive care for all cardiology, neurology, and trauma patients. Our Critical Care services are led by physicians who have the experience, expertise, and commitment necessary to oversee critically ill patients.

October 28, 2017
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