Interior of the new RMH ICU
18 May 2016
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Victoria’s first comprehensive Intensive Care Unit (ICU) serving three major Melbourne hospitals has opened at The Royal Melbourne Hospital.

The new $33 million facility will care for critically unwell patients from across Victoria and has been specifically equipped for a pandemic.

Mr Robert Doyle, Chairman, Melbourne Health said the new ICU is a world-class facility.

“The new state-of-the-art Intensive Care Unit at The Royal Melbourne provides excellence in care to some of the most critically ill Victorians and brings together leaders in the fields of trauma, cardiology, neurosurgery, cancer and women’s health with one goal – to save lives,” Mr Doyle said.

“The Royal Melbourne ICU is one of only five comprehensive units in the world providing care to patients from more than one hospital across.”

On Wednesday 4 May, ICU staff carried out the complex and delicate task of moving 14 of our sickest patients to the new unit. Within the first two hours of operation, the unit had three new admissions, a total of nine new admissions during the following 12 hours and 70 admissions in the first 7 days of opening.

The ICU is part of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) and will care for some of the sickest patients from The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and The Royal Women’s Hospital.

Associate Professor Chris MacIsaac, Director, Intensive Care Unit at The Royal Melbourne Hospital said, “As one of the state’s two designated adult trauma centres, the new Royal Melbourne ICU will provide critical care to over 3000 patients per year.”

“The design of the new unit is future proof so if Victoria were to suffer an influenza pandemic, we can care for 22 patients in a special negative pressure area, while continuing to run a normal 20 bed Intensive Care Unit,” A/Prof MacIsaac said.

The ICU is split into four pods; three pods of 10 beds and one pod of 12 beds. Each room is a single room with state-of-the-art equipment and switchable glass that changes between clear and opaque at the flick of a switch, allowing privacy to patients and their loved ones.

The new Intensive Care Unit at The Royal Melbourne Hospital opened on Wednesday 4 May 2016.

Make a donation to support the Royal Melbourne Intensive Care Unit.

Royal Melbourne’s ICU at a glance

  • 42-bed capacity unit
  • Split into four pods; Pod A (12 Beds) and Pods B, C and D (10 beds)
  • ‘Pandemic mode’ – 22 beds in a negative pressure area
  • The ICU moved from a 24-bed unit to the 32-bed unit on Wednesday, 4 May 2016. Staff transferred 14 patients in 2.5 hours and had three new admissions in the first two hours.
  • A total of nine new admissions in the next 12 hours and 70 admissions in the first 7 days of opening.
  • The new ICU is 3080 square meters
  • In 2015, 2220 patients were admitted to the RMH ICU
  • A total of 350 staff including Medical, Nurses, Support Staff, Allied Health and Volunteers work in the ICU
  • It takes 72 staff to run a 12 hour shift during the week
  • Average age of patients is 61 years
  • Average length of stay is two days

Media Contact

For more information about this story, contact Communications on (03) 9342 7000 or email mh-communications@mh.org.au