INTENSIVE CARE AT HEYWOOD HOSPITAL
What is an ICU?
The ICU is the area of the hospital where the sickest patients are treated. Patients in the ICU must be cared for and monitored more closely than other patients. Heywood Hospital's ICU is a six-bed unit with a dedicated intensivist, critical care trained nursing and critical care tech staff. The Heywood ICU offers large, private rooms with ample natural light. We also have a negative pressure room that can be utilized to contain and communicable diseases. Our centralized nursing station on the unit allows for our staff to monitor all rooms and patients at all time.
Family members are encouraged to visit often.
Patients might need care in the ICU due to:
- Very high or very low blood pressure
- Problems with heart rhythm
- Heart Attack
- Breathing Issues
- Drug or Alcohol Overdose or Withdrawal
- Recovery from major surgery
Additionally, a doctor may send a patient to the ICU from the Emergency Department. Some patients may be transferred from another part of Heywood Hospital or from another facility such as Athol Hospital.
A multidisciplinary team cares for patients in the ICU, including:
- Doctors who specialize in intensive care medicine
- Nurses who give the specialized care needed
- Respiratory Therapists who help patients with breathing issues
- Consulting physicians who give advice or specialized care
- Care Coordinators and Social Workers who help the family and patient with needed support and care planning
- Pharmacists who ensure medications are given safely
- Dieticians who asses the nutritional needs of the patient and recommend nutrition based on the patient’s condition
- Infection Control specialists and other ancillary services as needed, such as, Physical Therapists and Speech Therapists
The Heywood ICU offers 24/7 Respiratory Therapist and Anesthesia coverage.
Heywood Hospital also partners with UMass Memorial through the EICU program.
How the eICU Works
Using advanced telemedicine technology, a team of specially trained eICU critical care nurses and intensivists – physicians with extra training in critical care medicine – monitors ICU patients 24/7 from a remote support center at UMass Memorial Medical Center. The team uses advanced technology and tools to detect subtle changes in the patients’ vital signs—before they become apparent—and work with the patient’s care team to quickly correct the problem.
- The ICU telemedicine team has secure access to computer terminals displaying each patient’s vital signs as well as the patient’s medical records, laboratory tests and other information.
- With the slightest change in the patient’s condition, an alert is instantly sent over high-speed data lines notifying the remote intensivist to look more closely at the situation.
- The intensivist can then activate a bedside video camera to visually check the patient’s condition and alert the on-site nurse.
- This real-time intensive monitoring enables us to identify subtle changes in a patient’s condition sooner – ensuring that the right care is provided at the right time.