Seeing your loved one in an ICU bed can be confronting, particularly if you don't know what all the machines do.
ICU critical care room
Take a look around a critical care room in ICU using our interactive 360 degree photo. Click or touch the information icons to find out about each item in the room.
Other things you may see
ICU beds allow patients to be cared for in a variety of positions and are designed to prevent injury to skin.
Patients are fed through a feeding tube, which is placed through the nose or mouth into the stomach
Ventilators can assist or fully take over a patient's breathing. When patients are ventilated through a breathing tube, they are often, at least in the early phases of the ventilation treatment, in an induced coma.
ECMO is a heart and/or lung bypass machine that helps perform the role of those organs while they recover. Blood is drained from and returned to the patient via large tubes, usually placed in the patient's groin or neck.
Find out more about our ECMO service.
Drains are placed after trauma or operations and allow for drainage of body fluids. Common placements for drains are in the chest or the abdomen.
The IABP machine supports the patient's heart function with a balloon placed in the patient's main artery (the aorta) and continuously inflates and deflates.
Urine is drained into a collection bag via a bladder catheter. This allows for a precise assessment of the patient's urine production.
Some patients require assistance for their breathing, which can be provided using a tight-fitting mask, connected to an ICU ventilator.
Some patients can't tolerate feeds through the stomach and have to be fed by administering nutrition via infusion into their bloodstream.
A CVC is a venous line, placed either in the neck or the groin and allows for administration of fluids and medication.
An arterial line is placed in an artery, usually in the patient's wrist or groin and allows for precise continuous measurement of the blood pressure and for blood sampling.
These catheters and drains are placed in the patient’s brain after brain trauma or brain surgery and allow for close monitoring of the brain pressure in the skull.
Calf compressors are applied to a patient’s legs and squeeze the leg muscles to improve blood drainage and reduce risk of blood clots (deep vein thrombosis).
A flexible camera placed down into the lungs to view and clear sputum and check on the airways. This procedure helps collect samples and diagnose lung conditions.
Specialised blankets that make the patient cooler or warmer to correct temperatures related to infection, illness or injury
A haemofilter takes over the kidney function (cleaning the blood from kidney toxins and removing fluid) when the patient's kidneys are unable to do so due to kidney failure.
A tube placed into the patient’s trachea (windpipe), which allows a machine to assist them to breathe while they are sedated.
A surgical opening in the neck to access the windpipe. A tracheostomy tube is placed through the opening and can then be connected to a ventilator.
A tracheostomy can either be placed by a surgeon in the operating room or by an intensive care specialist in the ICU.