The Royal Melbourne Hospital’s 42-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is now complete, with the fourth and final Pod officially opened on 18 May.
Pod D, which is made up of 10 beds, will open to patients in a staged process, with the first two beds set to open by mid-2018.
The opening event was attended by Joe and Fiona Riewoldt, parents of Maddie Riewoldt who spent seven months in the old ICU on 2 South before she sadly passed away in 2015 from Bone Marrow Failure.
Joe and Fiona were grateful for the opportunity return to the ICU to visit the staff they came to know so well.
“[The staff] gave it their absolute all, they gave every ounce of courage and support and care that they possibly could,” Joe said in an interview with Channel 10.
Regular ICU patient and ICU consumer representative, Val Simpson, also attended with her husband Peter and was given the official duties to open the unit.
Both Val and Peter were involved in the design of the new ICU, which first opened three pods (32 beds) in 2016 as part of the VCCC project.
Associate Professor Chris MacIsaac, Director ICU, said the opening of Pod D was the final piece to complete the state of the art 42- bed unit. He took the opportunity to thank everyone involved in this key milestone in the life of the RMH ICU, which first opened in 1972.
“I’d like to thank all of our ICU staff who are at the frontline, delivering outstanding patient care in this world-class facility every day, and I’d also like to thank the multiple other teams across the hospital who have been on this journey with us over the last few years.”
In 2017, the ICU received a record number of 2723 patient admissions, which is a 7.7 per cent increase from 2016.
The ICU not only provides critical care to patients from the RMH, but also Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and The Royal Women’s Hospital. The unit can also be modified for pandemics such as influenza, providing care for 22 patients in special negative pressure rooms while still running a normal 20 bed unit.
Pictured: ICU NUM Michelle Spence, Peter Simpson, ICU Director A/Prof Chris MacIsaac and Chief Executive Christine Kilpatrick with regular ICU patient and ICU consumer representative Val Simpson (front) at the official opening of Pod D.