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Nova Scotia hospital opens new ICU


Nova Scotia’s Dartmouth General Hospital has just opened a new intensive care unit.

The Lorraine Elizabeth Brownrigg ICU is situation strategically between the hospital’s operating rooms and emergency department, and just across from diagnostic imaging.

"This will be invaluable for timely access to care and eliminate the need to use the elevator to transport patients to access care," said ICU health services manager, Holly Henry, in a press release. "This makes it much more dignified for the patients and much easier for health care providers."

Read: ICU survivors at higher risk of suicide, research finds; implications for COVID

The new ICU is bigger than the one it replaced, allowing more room for family members there to support patients.

"Our new ICU allows us to optimally care for our critically ill patients, adapting to their needs," said Dartmouth General medical lead, Dr. Natalie Cheng. "There is significantly improved functionality and flexibility, a dedicated negative pressure room [isolation room] with a separate antechamber for safer gowning and removal of personal protective equipment, and a separate consultation room for important family discussions. These, along with the other improvements, will have an enormous impact on patients and the health care team."

The ICU’s new features, including 12-foor ceiling and a skylight amid large windows, are aimed to counter “ICU deliriums” for patients and improve the work environment for staff.

New equipment features include booms and patient lift.

"With booms and lift, we can mobilize the patient earlier in their critical care stay, which is known to increase positive patient outcomes and shorten length of stays, and the without head walls we can function more efficiently in invasive interventions."

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