Intensive Care Unit (Adult) & High Dependency Unit

How we can help you 

Our Adult Intensive Care Unit includes our High Dependency Unit. Here we are able to provide intensive medical treatment if you are critically unwell. You may have had a severe injury like a spinal cord injury, major surgery including heart surgery or you need specialty care including hyperbaric oxygen treatment.

You may need to use machines to support your lungs, heart and kidneys, as well as many different medications and very close, continuous monitoring.

Our team includes medical, nursing and allied health staff who have specialised in intensive care. We also have administration staff who support our clinical team.

We work closely with the other health teams from across Prince of Wales Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Women.

We understand that visiting someone in the AICU can be a very stressful. We are here to support you. If you would like to talk to someone please speak with the nurse who is caring for your relative/friend.  If you need support they can organise a meeting with our social worker. If you have been visiting for an extended period of time we encourage you to look after yourself and take time out of the unit to rest. More information on intensive care services can be found online at www.aci.health.nsw.gov.au/networks/intensive-care/patients-and-families

When can I visit? 

We welcome family and close friends to visit patients. There are no restrictions on when you can visit, however, we ask only two people visit at a time. This allows our nursing staff to have access to your family member so that we can provide safe care.

The main hospital doors are open between 6.00am and 10.00pm. Outside of these hours, entry to the hospital is through the Emergency Department which is at the Barker Street entrance.

Please press the doorbell when you arrive at the AICU. Usually you will be met by either the ward clerk or clinical support officer. We ask that you respect the privacy of others and do not enter unless one of our staff is with you. Sometimes if we are busy or dealing with an emergency you may find you need to wait. You will need to clean your hands with an alcohol hand rub which can be found at the entrance of the AICU. 

At the bedside you will meet the nurse looking after your relative/friend. You may also meet some of our specialist medical and allied health professionals including dieticians, pharmacists, physiotherapists, social workers and speech pathologists.

We ask that families and friends do not bring bouquets of flowers as they can increase the spread of infections.

Are children allowed to visit?

Yes, children are allowed to visit.  However, we recommend that you speak with the nurse caring for your relative/friend before doing so. They can help you to explain what is happening for your relative/friend. 

There is very little space for personal items in the AICU. If your admission to the AICU is a planned operation please only bring a small bag with some toiletries. If your admission to AICU is unexpected the nursing staff will ask families and friends to take your belongings home. Expensive personal items, like watches should not be brought to the AICU.

In the visitors waiting room outside the AICU there is a feedback box where you can either fill in a feedback form or nominate a staff member for Staff Member of the month. Complaints may also be made to the patient liaison officer. All feedback is then reviewed by our Nurse Manager.

All referrals should be directed to the AICU fellow or the on-call specialist. They can be contacted through the hospital switchboard on 9382 2222.

If English is not your first language please ask the nurse caring for your relative/friend to organise an interpreter if you or your relative/friend need one.

We provide clinical training opportunities for doctors and nurses. Our trainee doctors are learning the complexities of managing critically ill patients. Every specialist nurse and doctor has undergone similar training. The AICU also participates in research. Almost all the diagnostic and treatment techniques we use in the AICU have been shown by research to be the best way of caring for someone who is critically unwell. Research allows us to continue to find out more about what works best. You may be asked by one of our staff in AICU to participate in one of our research projects. If the research project includes using an experimental drug, we can only do so if the you or your next of kin provides consent to do so.