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Intensive Care

When patients are at their most vulnerable, that's when they need the care and attention provided in the Intensive Care units at Lawrence General Hospital.

There are two units at the Hospital – the actual Intensive Care unit (ICU) and a Coronary Care unit (CCU). Both offer the same nursing expertise and have the same low 2-to-1 patient-to-nurse ratio. Patients who are primarily treated for various heart conditions are transferred to the Cardiac Care unit, typically for overnight recovery, because they need quiet time, and the CCU features 10 all-private rooms.

Post-operative patients may be admitted to the ICU, where their condition can be closely monitored as they recover from surgery. But while some of the patients in the ICU are transferred from a floor of the Hospital, most are admitted through the Emergency Center. They may be suffering from shock, with low blood pressures and compromised heart rates and breathing. They may have bad infections that have made their way into their blood streams. They may be suffering from delirium tremens. They may have come in with a heart attack, abrupt change in their mental status or respiratory difficulties arising from conditions like severe pneumonia.

Regardless of what put them in the ICU, these are patients who require continuous monitoring, frequent nursing interventions and potential access to life-support medications and equipment and systems like ventilators, suction pumps, pacemakers and defibrillators and intravenous lines for drug infusions. The Hospital has made recent investments in advanced equipment to increase quality and improve the overall patient experience. For example, the Philips IntelliVue MP70 and X2 Patient Transport Monitors, a lightweight (3 lb) monitor, allow clinicians to "unplug and go" in a single step, helping to improve patient care. Patient diagnostics are stored in the device, travel with the patient and are then available to download directly to the patient's electronic medical record, reducing the need for duplicative charting.

You can rest assured that all medical personnel in the ICU and CCU know how to deliver the kind of acute care critically ill patients demand. In fact, in 2009, VHA Northeast recognized the ICU/CCU staff for their efforts to improve quality measures by adopting a program that resulted in zero ventilator-associated pneumonias for six months as well as reducing the overall days patients spend on a ventilator. Also, in 2010, graduating residents from the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center recognized staff from the ICU/CCU as being "Most Helpful" during their onsite training at the hospital.

For more information about Intensive Care at Lawrence General Hospital, please call 978-683-4000, Ext. 2420.

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