Intensive Care

We treat patients with one or several acute, transient, life-threatening instances of organ failure. The need for intensive care may be due to a severe illness or an accident, for example. Intensive care is also needed after some major surgeries.

During intensive care, the patient's condition is closely monitored with observation monitors, and the body is supported and treated with e.g. medications, treatment devices, such as ventilators, or kidney replacement therapy, as well as different procedures and surgeries.

At Tays, intensive care is allocated to the intensive care unit, except new-borns and patients requiring immediate observation after heart surgery. We treat approximately 2,000 patients every year, half of whom are in intensive care and half in enhanced observation care.

Diseases treated in the intensive care unit include the following, for example:

  • severe infections
  • respiratory insufficiency with various causes
  • blood circulation insufficiency with various causes
  • follow-up care after resuscitation
  • acute kidney dysfunction
  • cerebral haemorrhage and brain injuries.

Intensive care may also be needed in the following cases:

  • during the first few days after certain surgeries
  • in the treatment of strokes
  • poisoning cases
  • treatment of severe fluid balance disorders.

Tests and treatment in the intensive care unit

Critically ill patients require intensive care or enhanced observation. Patients in enhanced observation care usually have, or are in danger of having, a mild disorder of one organ group that requires special monitoring and treatment, procedures and medication.

The goal of intensive care is to win time to allow a severe disease or injury to heal. Patients in intensive care have the opportunity to live a life of good quality after they have recovered from the critical illness.

The patient's condition is monitored and studied by taking different kinds of laboratory tests and imaging studies, such as X-ray, CT and MRI scans, as well as performing other tests, such as neurophysiological studies.

Treatments

  • Respiratory insufficiency is treated with a ventilator by using a face mask or breathing tube.
  • Blood circulation insufficiency is treated with fluids and different medications supporting circulation.
  • Acute kidney failure can be treated with kidney replacement therapy devices.
  • In severe infections, patients need antibiotic treatment, different supportive treatments for organ dysfunctions and surgical removal of the focus of infection when necessary.
  • Neurological and neurosurgical patients need observation and treatment due to their decreased level of consciousness or, for example, increased intracranial pressure.

Rehabilitation

We support the patient's early rehabilitation as soon as possible, taking into account the phase of the illness. Changing the patient's position on the bed regularly prevents body and limb dysfunctions and stretching of tissues, as well as decreases the risk of bed sores, pneumonia, deep vein thromboses and pulmonary embolism. In addition, changing the position promotes lung function and prevents limb swelling.

The spontaneous breathing of a patient in intensive care is improved by changing the position often, by raising the patient's upper body, exercising the upper limbs and providing guidance on inhaling and exhaling. The goal of exercises is to maintain joint mobility and the flexibility of muscles and nervous tissue.

Follow-up care

After intensive care, the patient's treatment is continued in the observation unit, the ward or in another hospital. Patients are rarely discharged directly from intensive care.

Intensive care is provided in collaboration with physicians who treat the patient's primary disease or injury that led to intensive care. The patient is also taken care of after intensive care by follow-up visits to the wards or by inviting the patient for a follow-up check-up.

Follow-up check-up visit

Patients are invited for a follow-up check-up after intensive care when necessary after about three months after discharge from intensive care unit. The goal of the follow-up check-up is to help the patient and his or her family members to form as clear and intact picture of the intensive care as possible. At the follow-up check-up, the patient's recovery and rehabilitation is supported and his or her functional capacity and quality of life after intensive care are evaluated.

All patients who have been intensive care are asked about their quality of life and functional capacity one year after the intensive care period.

Special expertise at Tays

The results of intensive care are closely monitored in our country, and they are excellent at Tays. Over 90% of patients who have been in intensive care or enhanced observation are discharged from the hospital or transferred to follow-up rehabilitation.

Some patients may need breathing support with a device after intensive care or, when a kidney failure is persistent, periodical kidney replacement therapy, i.e., dialysis, is provided. With the help of intensive care, most critically ill patients recover well, nearly or completely to the functional capacity they had before intensive care.

The intensive care unit of Tays conducts research actively in order to improve the treatment of patients. We also take part in worldwide drug and treatment studies, and therefore we have the latest drugs and methods at our disposal.

Persons in charge

Head of Department, Chief Physician Sari Karlsson
Nursing Director Riitta Unkila