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Resource type: Article

Visiting the ICU

 When can I visit?

Different Units have different arrangements about visiting times.Ask the staff about any restrictions. They can usually be flexible,especially if your family member has just been admitted, is extremely well or is dying.

 Who can visit?

Again,different Units have different rules about who can visit, although this is usually restricted to close family and friends. Different Units may have different rules about how many visitors the patient can have,whether children can visit, and how old they have to be.Ask the staff about any restrictions.

How many people can visit?

Different Units may have different rules about how many visitors the patient can have (at a time). Many Units limit the number of visitors in order to reduce the risk of infection to our highly vulnerable patients.

When is the best time to visit?

Mornings can be particularly busy, as this is the time when patients tend to be reviewed by the Intensive Care team, visiting specialists, physiotherapists, etc.Many medical and nursing procedures are also carried out at this time, so you may have to wait.

Why was I sent out to the waiting room?

We will do our best not to interrupt or cut short your visit, but there may be times when we have to ask you to wait in the visitors' room so that we can do what we need to do for your family member. Being asked to wait does not necessarily mean that something is wrong.We will do our best to let you back in as soon as is possible.

Unfortunately, there may be times that you are asked to wait outside because something is wrong.We do understand that time can seem to stand still while you're waiting to find out what's happening with your loved one and while you're worrying about how they are.We will do our very best to come and talk to you as soon as we are able to.