What To Expect In Intensive Care Unit (ICU)?

What To Expect In Intensive Care Unit (ICU)?
May 27, 2024 by admin

The intensive care unit, or ICU, is a separate department in many healthcare facilities or hospitals where critically ill patients are treated. ICUs provide intensive treatment to those with severe or life-threatening conditions, injuries, or illnesses with constant monitoring and close supervision to maintain their normal body functions. This is because many patients in the ICU will often have to be administered medications on time and placed on life-support equipment.

Highly trained physicians, respiratory therapists, and nurses who specialize in providing intense treatment offer great care for people who are critically ill. The major differences between ICUs and other wards are:

  • ICUs will have a higher staff-to-patient ratio compared to other wards.
  • ICU patients will have access to advanced medical equipment and other resources that are not generally available in wards

Some of the common medical conditions that are treated in ICUs include septic shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and several other life-threatening conditions. If you have been diagnosed with cancer and you need intensive care, the doctor at the best cancer hospital in Chennai that you consult with, will give you a fair idea of what to expect when you are admitted in the ICU for specific treatment.

Patients may either be referred to the ICU from the casualty department or the ward if their health condition rapidly deteriorates while undergoing treatment or immediately after a highly invasive surgery wherein the patient is at the risk of developing complications.

When Does A Patient Need Intensive Care?

Individuals who are seriously ill need intensive care. They need to be provided with intensive treatment and their condition has to be closely monitored. Besides, intensive care helps patients who have undergone serious surgeries and need a special environment for their health.

Most patients who are treated in ICUs often have problems that cannot be treated under normal conditions and require some advanced methods to improve their condition. For instance, the individuals who find it difficult to breathe on their own because of their health condition are kept on a ventilator to maintain the oxygen level in their blood.

There are several different illnesses and health conditions that call for intensive care. Some of the common ones include:

  • A serious accident caused by a fall or collision which results in severe head injury or severe burns
  • A serious short-term condition, such as a stroke or heart attack
  • A serious infection, such as severe pneumonia or sepsis
  • A major surgery, which is either a planned one as part of your recovery programme or an emergency requirement because of some complications

What Does Intensive Care Involve?

A team of medical professionals and nurses will closely monitor the health condition of patients undergoing treatment in a hospital’s ICU. This is because the patients are often connected to various monitoring devices through tubes, wires, and cables. These devices monitor patients’ vital parameters and provide support to their bodily functions until they start recovering from their conditions or illnesses. Furthermore, normally there will be one nurse for one to two patients.

If you have serious kidney problems and you are consulting with the best nephrologist in Chennai, you can speak to him and find out what kind of ICU treatment you will need if your condition worsens.

Some of the devices that are commonly used in ICUs to monitor patients’ health parameters and provide support for bodily functions include:


A machine that supports breathing. It involves inserting a tube into the nose, mouth, or via a small cut made in the throat (tracheostomy).

Monitoring equipment: 

This device is used to measure and monitor important bodily parameters, such as blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen level in the blood.

IV lines with pumps: 

These are used to intravenously supply fluids, medicines, and nutrition.

Feeding tubes: 

These are tubes that are used to provide food to a patient in the ICU who cannot eat normally. A patient may be fed through a tube placed in his/her nose or tummy after making a small incision, or into a vein directly.

Drains and catheters: 

Drains are tubes that are used to prevent the build-up of blood or fluids. They drain off the blood or fluids that collect in the area of the body where surgery has been performed. Catheters are also thin tubes that are inserted into the patient’s bladder to drain urine.

Patients in the ICU will often be put on painkiller medications and sedatives (medicines that make them drowsy) as some of the devices used for supporting bodily functions or monitoring vital parameters can make them feel uncomfortable.

ICU Treatment And Recovery:

Consider that you have chronic kidney stone issues and have been advised to undergo intensive care for specialized treatment. The leading kidney stone specialist in Chennai whom you are consulting will answer all your queries, including the duration of your stay in the ICU.

Once a patient does not need intensive care any longer, he/she will be shifted to the normal ward to continue treatment. When the patient has completely recovered, he/she will be discharged from the hospital or health care facility. Some patients may stay in the ICU for a couple of days, weeks or months, as per their body condition. Many patients who undergo intensive care recover well and lead a reasonably healthy life. However, some patients experience lingering problems like:

  • Stiffness and weakness
  • Fatigue, or extreme tiredness and a severe lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleep problems
  • Anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Problems with mental capabilities (for example, inability to think clearly or being forgetful)

If these problems last for several months, it is important to seek medical attention if they affect your normal life. Some patients may require ongoing support and rehabilitation to enable them to recover completely.

Visiting an ICU:

A patient who has been admitted to an ICU often feels overwhelmed. The same is the case with the patient’s loved ones. It does not matter whether you have undergone laparoscopic surgery in Chennai or open surgery, you may experience some amount of anxiety. However, it pays to know a little bit about what you can expect when visiting an ICU.

  • The hospital will clearly specify the visiting hours.
  • Visitors may have to wash their hands when entering an ICU to reduce the risk of infection
  • The patient may be drowsy and confused
  • Several tubes, cables, and wires will be attached to the patient’s body
  • You can hear beeps and alarms from the devices attached to the patient’s body

Sugam Hospital:

Sugam Hospital offers state-of-the-art facilities for treating various medical conditions, including intensive and critical care units. Specialists who provide intensive care services to patients take advantage of advanced technology to ensure better treatment and outcomes. When it comes to intensive care at Sugam, we integrate various specialties and different technologies across departments. The multi-specialty approach we follow offers several benefits to patients who are critically ill. When it comes to caring at our ICU, the focus is on providing high-quality care to the critically ill by working closely with their primary consultant. Intensive care facilities at Sugam are well-equipped to treat patients with all kinds of serious medical conditions.