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Our New ICU On Sunday, June 29, the first patients were moved into Middlemore Hospital’s new $6.38 million intensive care unit.

Hon. Helen Clark cuts the ribbon with Prof. Gregor Coster and Dr Catherine Simpson looking on.

Piripono Kapa Haka Group.

Dr Richard Wong She (Clinical Leader, National Burns Centre) and ICU Intensivist Dr Dave Galler.

The unit was officially opened by Prime Minister Helen Clark on Thursday, June 25. The occasion was particularly special for many of CMDHB staff, as it marks a new era in caring for critically ill patients. In the foyer of KidzFirst the Kaumatua opened the ceremony with a prayer and welcome. TVNZ’s Mark Sainsbury introduced the guest speakers which included Geraint Martin (CMDHB CEO), Gregor Coster (CMDHB Chairman), Catherine Simpson (Clinical Leader ICU), Gary Troupe (acting Mayor of Counties) and Hon. Helen Clark. There was also a very special talk given by a past Middlemore ICU patient, Diane McEntee. Diane gave a first-hand insight into what it was like being cared for in Middlemore’s ICU. She talked about the devotion of the staff and how much their support meant to her. The new ICU unit offers many improvements for patients, visitors and staff which will ultimately lead to better health outcomes and a significant drop in psychological trauma. The old unit, built in 1991, was cramped, lacked modern equipment, offered too little privacy for grieving families and did not allow child patients to be separated from adults. Children have their own

wing in the new ICU, saving them from the traumatic sounds and sights of critically ill adults and their families Extra space and reclining chairs in the families. child-focused bed spaces will allow family members to stay at their children’s bedsides. A new shower room will allow long-stay ICU patients to be gently showered while still in their beds with their ventilators. Before, they were turned over and wiped down with a warm cloth. The two pressure rooms - critically important for patients with, or vulnerable to, infections offer huge improvements. Storage space has dramatically increased, allowing clutter-free corridors and rooms. The new equipment is the most advanced in the country and the new unit’s location - next to theatre, the burns unit and directly above the emergency department is far better for staff and patients. Due to the unstable and critical status of patients admitted to the ICU approximately 10% of patients each year die in the ICU. For this reason there is a strong commitment by the ICU team to communicate appropriately with families and provide a culturally competent service to reduce patient and family anxiety. This has been a significant consideration in the planned development of the spaces. Clinical and non-clinical support and staff areas include teaching and research areas, individual and open offices, seminar room, staff room and toilet/shower facilities.

ICU staff and Hon. Helen Clark.

2008 July Connect+  

Counties Manukau Health staff publication

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