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Critical Care

We are honored to be trusted with caring for your loved one. Our staff is committed to providing excellent care and service while helping patients and families through this very difficult time. This online guide is designed to answer some of your most common questions. We encourage you to ask questions and please share any information you feel may help us give your loved one the best possible care.

Inpatient Experts - Intensivists Contribute to Quality 24/7

The Critical Care Unit (CCU), also sometimes called the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), is a unit in the Hospital where seriously ill patients are cared for by specially trained staff. These patients often require close observation and monitoring, life support and other specialized equipment that cannot be provided in other units of the Hospital. The CCU staff is large and diverse and includes doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists, dietitians, social workers, case managers and chaplains. Intensivists are doctors who specialize in the care of CCU patients.

Washington Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit accepted its first patient in June 1963. The unit, made possible through a $10,000 donation from the Washington Hospital Service League, was the first such unit west of the Mississippi River that was not associated with a teaching facility. In October 1972, the ICU, renamed the Sangalli Center, expanded to include cardiac care. Our aging population and advances in technology brought about the need for critical care specialists to care for the sickest patients in the Hospital.

In July 2008, Washington Hospital’s ICU became one of the first in the area to be covered 24/7 by ICU specialists called intensivists. This new intensivist model led to a drastic improvement and efficiency in the care of critically ill patients and by 2016 intensivists were involved in the care of every patient admitted to the ICU. With a generous donation from Morris Hyman, the late founder of Fremont Bank, the new Morris Hyman Critical Care Pavilion was built and opened in the fall of 2018. The Pavilion contains a large and brand new state-of-the-art Critical Care and Emergency Department which will allow us to provide the highest quality of critical care possible to our patients.

Visitor Guidelines

Visitors should include immediate family members (parents, siblings, children over the age of 12). Exceptions can be made. Please speak to your nurse about this.

Please choose one person as the family representative who can update the rest of the family and ensure confidentiality. It is important to communicate information about your loved one, but frequent phone calls interrupt patient care.

No children under age 12 without authorized permission.

We request that visitors be limited to two at one time for patients in Critical Care. During your visit, please be respectful of the privacy of other patients and their visitors. You are advised to stay inside your loved one's room during your visit.

Visitors may be asked by Critical Care staff to leave for short periods during certain procedures or emergencies.

This is a healing environment, aggressive behavior toward patients, other visitors, staff or physicians will not be tolerated. Mutual respect is an expectation.

Undisturbed rest is important to healing, so please respect planned rest periods.

Do not visit if you have a cold, flu or cough.

In order to reduce the transmission of infections, please wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before entering and after leaving the patient's room. If there is an isolation sign on the room, please follow nurses' instructions about wearing gowns, gloves, and masks before entering the room and remove before leaving.

No outside food or medications can be brought to the patient without authorized permission.

Balloons (latex free), cards and pictures are welcome. No plants or flowers are allowed.

Washington Pledge

In Washington Hospital's Critical Care, we respect your needs. We pledge to ...

  • Keep you informed
  • Deliver excellent care
  • Allow you to be near your family member
  • Understand that having a loved one in the hospital is stressful for you and your family
  • Create an environment that meets the needs of our patients and their families
  • Explain about the equipment being used and answer your questions
  • Provide a language line for nonEnglish-speaking patients and families
  • Offer special services for patients and family members who are hearing impaired

Talking About Critical Care

About Life Support

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Patient and Family Support Services

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