The type of medical equipment and tools that we have access to can make a significant difference to the outcome of a patient. This is particularly true when it comes to critical care. Patients admitted to an intensive care ward are often suffering from life-threatening conditions. Without innovative equipment and technology, they face an uphill battle to return to good health.
As a healthcare manager, one of your top priorities will be outfitting your facilities with the best equipment possible (that fits within your budget!). Whether you are faced with the challenge of equipping a unit from scratch or are simply looking to upgrade on a few pieces of equipment, reading on to discover what critical care products your clinicians and patients can both benefit from.
Critical Care Explained
We don’t need to tell you that there are a range of reasons someone might be admitted to a hospital. Some are of a routine nature (tests or scheduled treatment) whilst others are considered life-threatening and an emergency. Oftentimes, patients who fall into the latter category are admitted to the critical care unit — also known as the intensive care unit (ICU).
A patient receiving critical care may be suffering from significant injuries (such as severe burns or spinal damage), serious disease (including kidney failure or stroke) or are perhaps recovering from major surgery.
In the critical care ward, patients receive around-the-clock monitoring. Clinicians rely on a variety of capital equipment and consumable products to ensure patients are ventilated, hydrated, and comfortable. Without these devices, many patients would face a grim prognosis.
Critical Care Product Portfolio
What critical care products and equipment you choose to include in your ICU ward will depend on the size of your facility and the nature of treatment that you commonly provide. All of the below mentioned devices and consumables should certainly be considered.
Oftentimes, a patient admitted to a critical care unit may be suffering from internal injuries. These are not always difficult to detect, but if left untreated, can have life-threatening consequences.
An ultrasound uses high-frequency waves to create images of internal structures, such as the heart, lungs, and other organs. From here, a clinician can make an informed decision about treatment options. An ultrasound crucial in any critical care setting. Consider, too, purchasing a point-of-care ultrasound. This means that you will be able to screen patients at their bedside, reducing the risk that they will sustain further injury from moving between wards.
Infection Control Products
There is a reasonably high risk of infection in a critical care environment. This is for a range of reasons, primarily that patients receiving invasive treatment are often already suffering from a weakened immune system.
This is why infection control is so important in this setting. Your critical care unit needs to have on hand a range of consumable products and capital equipment (including UV-C disinfecting technology) to protect both patients and clinicians.
Pain Management Consumables
It goes without saying that a patient suffering from a stroke or a critical injury is likely to be in significant pain. As such, pain management is a crucial part of providing critical care.
As a healthcare manager, you will need to consider sourcing both anaesthesia and pain management delivery systems, to ensure patients are treated in a safe and hygienic manner.
Patients in intensive care often lack the means to receive treatment or hydrating fluids orally. Alternatively, the medication they are being treated with may be more effective when delivered straight to the bloodstream.
Infusion therapy is a common intervention in critically ill patients, helping them get on the road to recovery sooner.
Temperature Management Tools
Body temperature is a great indicator of overall well being. Whilst we commonly associate a high temperature with infection, exceedingly low temperatures also come with inherent risks.
If a patient sits for too long outside the optimum internal body temperature (around 37 ℃), they risk damage to organs and tissue. As such, clinicians rely on a range of tools to help patients maintain internal temperature. These are often used in a surgical setting or when waiting in the recovery room.
Enteral Feeding Products
Enteral feeding is closely related to infusion therapy. The main difference between the two is that patients being treated with enteral feeding possess a working gastrointestinal tract. A tube is inserted down their throat, connecting the mouth to the lower intestines.
There are a range of reasons someone might need assisted feeding. Perhaps their throat has been damaged through an injury. Maybe they have suffered a stroke and cannot control their facial muscles. Whatever the reason, enteral feeding is an excellent alternative that can help patients receive the nutrients they need to recover.
As you can see, outfitting an intensive care ward comes with a range of considerations. If you have never been a part of this process before, it’s important that you do a lot of research and find a supplier of critical care products you can trust. Such a supplier will be able to answer all of your questions and provide advice tailored to your unique circumstances.