The following information has been prepared to help friends and families of patients in Intensive
Care to understand the types of Medical Services being provided.
An Intensive Care Unit is dedicated to providing intensive observation and monitoring to the
sickest patients in the hospital. When critical care is no longer necessary, patients are transferred
to a regular unit in the hospital. Brookdale's ICUs are as follows:
Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU), for patients requiring critical medical care.
Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU), for patients requiring critical surgical care.
Coronary Care Unit (CCU), for patients requiring critical coronary (heart) care.
The department also has a new remote telemetry monitoring service so that patients requiring
monitoring may stay in a regular room rather than be transferred to another location and
About the Care Team
Each ICU is directed by an attending physician, who in conjunction with the patient's private physicians, supervise all patient care. House staff physicians are available 24 hours a day for patient care, and are in direct communication with the attending physicians.
A nurse manager is responsible for the nurses and patients in each ICU. The manager is available to patients and family if you have any questions or requests. The nursing staff will be glad to help you in any way they can.
Other members of the patient care team include nursing attendants and respiratory therapists. Private duty nurses are not permitted assignment to an ICU.
Visiting a Patient
Nurses and doctors require uninterrupted treatment time, and therefore, schedule most patient care before or after visiting hours. In addition, patients need rest and privacy during non-visiting hours. The Medical & Surgical ICUs and Coronary Care visiting hours are:
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Occasionally, you will be asked to wait because the patient is receiving treatment. If this is the case, we will make every effort to make up the visiting time that was lost.
No more than 2 visitors are permitted at bedside at the same time.
Unless otherwise indicated, each visit is limited to 10 or 15 minutes.
Visiting privileges will not routinely be extended to children below the age of 16.
Visitors may be asked to leave the unit so the staff can provide care from time to time. We ask your cooperation in observing this regulation.
We are sorry, but flowers, fruit or food are not permitted in an ICU because of lack of space and the possibility of infection. We encourage family and friends to send or bring cards, books, magazines and newspapers. However, no plug-in electrical equipment is allowed.
You may call (718) 240-5000 to find out about a patient's general condition. Any changes in the patient's condition will be relayed to the person listed to be notified in case of emergency.
If necessary, you may call the ICU directly for information. Please limit such calls to one or two a day. Incoming calls are not accepted between:
7:00 am - 9:00 am
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
11:00 pm - 1:00 am
The phone numbers for each unit are:
Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU): (718) 240-6161
Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU): (718) 240-6235
Coronary Care Unit (CCU): (718) 240-5724
We suggest that one member of the family be appointed a spokesperson to ask any questions about the patient's condition and relay that information back to other family members and friends. Using a spokesperson enables staff to get information to you quickly and efficiently, allowing them to devote more time to patient care.
There are no patient telephones in the Medical, Surgical or Coronary Care Units. The Intermediate Care Unit has one telephone for patients wishing to make outside phone calls. Please do not call the ICU areas to speak with patients. Public telephones are located inside the ICU Visitors' Lounge.
Because of a lack of storage, we ask that relatives take the patient's personal belongings and valuables home.
Please ask the nurse if eyeglasses, toilet articles such as razors, shaving cream, comb/brush, toothbrush and toothpaste may be left at the hospital.
If a patient is not eating solid food, all dentures and removable bridge work must be sent home. The nurses will tell the family when to bring back dentures.
Patient mealtimes are approximately:
Breakfast: 8:30 - 9:00 am
Lunch: 12 noon
Dinner: 5:00 - 5:30 pm
The ICU Equipment
You may wonder about all the monitors, wires, tubes, beeps and buzzes. Here are some of the most commonly used types of equipment in an ICU:
Heart Monitor: This machine is used for all ICU patients. The heart's electrical activity appears on a screen.
Ventilator: This machine helps patients breathe; it is also called a breathing machine or breathing tube. A plastic tube is inserted into the patient's mouth and windpipe and connected to the ventilator, which provides the necessary oxygen.
Intravenous and Arterial lines, including Swanz-Ganz: If a patient has unstable heart and/or lung function, the blood pressure and pumping ability of the heart must be closely monitored. For arterial lines, a catheter is placed in an artery and for central venous pressure, a catheter is placed in a central vein in the neck or under the collarbone. This produces a wave form on the monitor to indicate heart pressure.
Consent for Special Procedures
The hospital requires consent of the patient for all special procedures, tests and operations. If the patient is incompetent and cannot make his or her own decision, next of kin will be asked to sign the consent form. A doctor will explain the procedures before requesting that the patient or family member sign the consent.
Consent forms are NOT necessary for the following:
Intravenous line in arm, leg, neck
Stomach tube inserted through the nostril
Breathing tube inserted through mouth or nostril
Tube which empties urine from bladder
Most blood tests
Emergency life-saving procedures
Other Services for Families
Social Services Department: If you have any non-medical questions or concerns related to a patient, you may contact a social worker at (718) 240-5255 between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm
Interpreters: The Administrative Office maintains a list of employees who can interpret in most languages. We also have a phone translation service where hospital employees have the ability to immediately access qualified interpreters with a strong knowledge of medical terminology twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Interpretive services are available and can accommodate over 150 languages. If you need an interpreter, call the Administrator on Duty at (718) 240-5631. The office is open 24 hours a day.
Patient Representatives Department: The patient representative acts as an advocate for patients and their families. The patient representative can explain hospital policies and procedures, discuss concerns about treatment, and deal with issues that have not been resolved to your satisfaction by the nurse manager or your physician. If you have a problem or complaint, please call (718) 240-5020.
Family Support Group: Brookdale offers a family support group to help you learn more about your relative's medical problem, and to provide an opportunity for you to share your feelings with other families. If you are interested in this group, please call (718) 240-6235.
Palliative Care: The Palliative Care program is established to improve the quality of life for patients/families facing the problems associated with life-defining, life threatening, or life limiting illnesses. The Palliative Care team adapts a patient centered approach and holistic care method to serve as a bridge between the patient/family and the multidisciplinary team.
Pastoral Care: Clergy of all denominations visit the hospital regularly and on request. If you wish to see a rabbi, priest or minister, please tell your nurse. If a patient or family member has a request for a specific chaplain, the hospital will extend visiting privileges to that person.
Hospice: The Hospice unit offers an alternative care option for patients with life-limiting illnesses and when a decision has been made not to pursue aggressive or curative options.
Restrooms: Restrooms for visitors are located in the ICU Visitor's Lounge, and in the main lobby around the corner from the Coffee Shop.
A Personal Message
The Critical Care Staff is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care with sensitivity and understanding. Please do not hesitate to ask us any questions that have not been answered on this page.