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Intensive care schematic for relatives

Doctors draw picture of intensive care

Visitors to intensive care can get a better understanding of the unit’s work with the installation of large-scale schematics and a patient information guide illustrating how equipment is used to help patients in one of the most technologically advanced areas of a hospital.

Floor to ceiling illustrations are now on display at Ealing and Northwick Park intensive care units (ICUs) and Central Middlesex Hospital’s  Enhanced Care Unit.

They were prompted by the return of visitors following the  second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent need to reassure and inform them about the equipment and people who were helping to make their loved ones better.

Intensive Care consultant Mike O’Connor said: “ICUs can look like something out of a science fiction film to first-time visitors. It can be a daunting environment for people especially when their loved one is critically unwell. Hopefully by demystifying some of the lines, tubes, monitors and kit relatives can focus on their loved one at the centre of it.

“Everyone visiting a relative or friend on the ICU receives a guide based on the mural illustrating a bedspace in the unit. It describes the roles of various professionals involved in the care of patients along with advice for relatives. The feedback from patients, relatives and friends has been really positive.”

Emergency Medicine Registrar Callum Kirk, who was the driving force behind the project, added: “ICUs are very dramatic and fast paced on TV shows but, in reality, it is often a slower more measured environment where small adjustments are made to patients’ conditions. They are generally calm places.

“There is a lot machinery around but it is important to remember there is a person in the middle of it all and it is the humans caring for them that helps them recover. ICU is much more than the machines.”


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