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Intensive Care

Why are some patients admitted to Intensive Care with COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory condition, which means that some patients will need specialist support with their breathing e.g. using a tight-fitting face mask (called CPAP) or a ventilator (breathing machine or life support machine). The virus affects many other organs, however, and some patients will need support with their blood pressure (with drugs or specialist equipment) or their kidneys (with a kidney machine). Some patients will be admitted to Intensive Care as a precaution, as we know that some patients can deteriorate quite quickly. The Intensive Care Unit is the safest place to look after these patients, as it has high numbers of highly skilled and staff who are very experienced in the use of this specialist support. 

Visits from family members are not allowed at this time

This is to protect family members from picking up COVID-19. We know that this will be very upsetting to patients and families.The staff will work very hard to make sure that families are kept up to date by phone. Many Intensive Care Units are using online or "virtual" visiting, which means that family members can see their loved ones, using mobile phones or tablets, and speak to them if they are awake. In this section, we’ve provided some general information on common equipment and treatments, including how and why they’re used. We’ve also provided some information on routine care, the staff who work in Intensive Care and the sorts of things they will have done to help you.

 

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Web Link: Children and online visiting (booklet from ICUsteps)

This link will take you to a booklet for children from ICUsteps, the UK's ICU patient and family support group. The booklet is for children who are not able to visit their loved one during the pandemic, and for whom virtual or online visiting (using a mobile phone or tablet) might be appropriate. The booklet includes simple text, drawings and drawing exercises to help children make sense of what is happening while their loved one is in Intensive Care. It deals sensitively with a range...

Web Link: Children and teenagers:where to get support

This weblink takes you to the Winston's wish website; a charity offering advice and support for children and teenagers when someone close is seriously ill or has died. They have produced a number of booklets which can be purchased online. Contact details for a telephone helpline for parents and an email address are also provided.

Web Link: Children: how to tell them that someone is very ill or has died

It can be very difficult to know how to tell children and teenagers that a family member is very ill or has died. This link takes you to Winston's wish, a charity supporting bereaved children, teenagers and their families. They are based in England, but offer a national phoneline for support and resources that you can download (although you may have to pay for some of them).

Document: Confusion (delirium) and Intensive Care

This is a short, easy to read booklet written by ICUSteps.It explains what delirium is, why patients in Intensive Care are often confused, what it feels like for the patient and the things family members can do to help.Some patients continue to be a little confused after they are transferred to the general wards, although this is usually temporary.

Web Link: Coronavirus information (British Sign Language)

It's very, very important that you look after yourself during these worrying times.Please check with the regularly updated guidance on the homepage of this website*If you live with, or have been in close contact with the person admitted to Intensive Care with COVID-19, you'll need to follow current guidance on self-isolation and social distancing, etc.This link will take you to a YouTube video of information on coronavirus, in British Sign Language. It was produced by Public Health...

Web Link: Coronavirus: guidance for households (British Sign Language)

It's very, very important that you look after yourself during these worrying times.If you live with, or have been in close contact with the person admitted to Intensive Care with COVID-19, you'll need to follow current guidance on self-isolation and social distancing, etc. This link with take you to a YouTube video on guidance for households with (potential) coronavirus, in British Sign Language. It was produced by Public Health Wales. *Please remember that the guidance will...

Web Link: Coronavirus: shielding vulnerable people (British Sign Language)

It's very, very important that you look after yourself and your family during these worrying times.If you live with, or have been in close contact with the person admitted to Intensive Care with COVID-19, you'll need to follow current guidance on self-isolation and social distancing, etc. This is especially important if you have an underlying condition, or take care of someone else who has. This link will take you to a YouTube video on shielding vulnerable people from coronavirus,...

Web Link: Coronavirus: social distancing (British Sign Language)

It's very, very important that you look after yourself during these worrying times.If you live with, or have been in close contact with the person admitted to Intensive Care with COVID-19, you'll need to follow current guidance on self-isolation and social distancing, etc.This link will take you to a YouTube video on social distancing (staying away from others) in British Sign Language. It was produced by Public Health Wales. *Please remember that the guidance will change as the...

Web Link: Coronavirus: your mental health & well-being

It's really important that you look after yourself during the coronavirus outbreak. This link will take you to Public Health England's webpage, offering comprehensive, practical advice on looking after your physical and emotional wellbeing, including staying connected with others, staying active, dealing with difficult feelings, money worries, getting medication and practical help, and where to get support from other government bodies.

Article: CPAP

What is CPAP? (pronounced see pap) CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure and is another way in which we can help support patients with their breathing. Many patients with COVID-19 will receive CPAP. It involves putting a tight fitting mask over the patient's nose and mouth. The mask needs to be tight so that we can deliver extra support using air and oxygen at varying pressures.A transparent hood that fits over the head (rather like a large bubble) can also sometimes be...