It's a scary time for family members when a loved one gets hospitalized with COVID-19, especially when that patient requires intensive care unit or ICU level care. Most hospitals are limiting visitors to decrease community spread of COVID-19. Not being able to see loved ones while they are hospitalized heightens a sense of stress and anxiety for family members. This video will focus on ICU care and respiratory failure in COVID-19 patients. Knowing what your family member is going through while they are hospitalized will hopefully reduce anxiety levels and facilitate communications with the healthcare team. So what is the ICU? The ICU is a hospital unit reserved for the sickest patients. ICU care includes one-to-one nursing care, respiratory therapy support and medical management directed by specialty trained critical care physicians. Interventions that can be performed in the ICU include mechanical ventilator support for the lungs, continuous dialysis, hemodynamic monitoring, administration of vasopressor medications to boost up a patient's blood pressure and mechanical cardiac support, just to name a few.
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