Intensive Care Unit: What do relatives still want to know?

What do members still want to know?

Ask - the more you know, the less threatening the situation appears! The doctor in charge will tell you more about the condition of the person concerned and may also be able to give a prognosis about the time of transfer to a normal ward. The nurses are in constant contact with the patient, so they can tell you how he is doing and what you can possibly do for him. It is helpful for both you and the staff if you have one main contact person within the family whom the staff can contact, who can also bundle questions (and appointments) and in turn forward information.

Frequently asked questions about the intensive care unit

  • Length of stay: Usually the question is asked how long the person has to stay in intensive care. There is no universal answer. A planned stay after an operation can take only a few hours, but also days; A life-threatening emergency can also have become a stable situation in a short time, but also aggravated by complications.
  • Visit: Whether and how much visit makes sense depends on the condition of the person concerned. The number of visitors is usually limited to 2, whether and from what age children are allowed, must be discussed with the staff. Visiting times are often given, but often deviating visits are allowed, and waiting times have to be accepted (because the patient is being treated).
  • Gifts: Personal things like books, CDs, toiletries etc. are usually not a problem; if the patient can eat by himself, food is also allowed. These are often even sought by the staff specifically to stimulate the appetite of the patient with his favorite food again. Taboo are flowers.
  • Contact: If the person concerned is approachable, follow his wishes. Tell from everyday life, talk about your fears and the situation. If you or the patient feel overwhelmed, you may also ask the staff for a contact person who will mentally guide you through this period. If your relative is unconscious, imagine that he still perceives everything - through hearing, feeling, smelling. Treat him accordingly: caress him or hold his hand, talk to him or read aloud, insert a cassette of his favorite music, explain what you are doing or what is being done.

Staying in an intensive care unit is usually scary and a stressful time for everyone involved. Always keep the goal in mind: avoiding a situation that might otherwise cost your loved one's life. Maybe it'll be easier for you to survive these days.

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