Intensive Care Unit

Contact information

Director: Dr. Lindi Snyman
Clinical Nurse Manager 3: Ms Lisa Dunne

Admission to the Intensive Care Unit

ICU First Patient in August 2022
We understand that having a relative in ICU can be a very emotional and stressful time. Your relative may be connected to various machines and drips and may look very different from usual. ICU can be a frightening and noisy environment for the patient and relatives. We understand this and the importance of communication and we will try to update you regularly.

Every patient is different, so the length of time patients spend in ICU can vary from days to weeks, the length of stay depends on how ill they are.

When a patient is first admitted to the ICU, it may take some time for the doctors and nurses to assess and treat your relative. You will be asked to wait in the waiting room during this important time. We will do our best to keep you updated about your relative’s condition. We appreciate this can add to feelings of anxiety, worry and frustration. However, we ask for your patience, as soon as we have your loved one settled you will be able to visit.

On every visit to the ICU, you will need to ring the intercom where you will be let into the reception and the receptionist will tell the patient’s nurse. The nurse will then come and bring you down to the patients’ room. If the receptionist is not there please ring the either nurse’s station on the intercom outside the unit.  A member of staff will come to the reception to collect you when they are ready. We appreciate you are anxious to visit but the patients in our care in ICU are our most vulnerable patients, it is essential that all visitors wear a surgical mask and do not enter the Unit unaccompanied by a member of staff. 
ICU Homepage Images

After discharge from ICU

Once your relative’s condition has improved, the doctor will decide when they can leave the ICU and go to the high dependency unit (HDU) or to a ward in the Hospital.

The nurses and physiotherapists will help your relative to get back their independence and strength as much as possible.


It is well known that an admission to intensive care can be very stressful for both patients and their loved ones. The role of the Psychologist in the ICU is to provide professional psychological support to both patients and families, as they navigate this journey. If you feel that you, or your loved one, would benefit from psychological support during the admission, please talk to the nursing staff who can arrange for a referral to be made.

Pastoral Care

The Hospital chapel is located on the ground floor near the reception area. Pastoral care and support are available to patients and their relatives regardless of their religious beliefs. If you need the Chaplain, please let the nurse at the bedside know.

Facilities on the Unit

There is the large waiting room with a toilet and a water station. The family room is through the double doors of reception, this room is used by the medical teams for meetings with a patient’s family members.

We ask that you do not bring any food into the visitor’s room and not to leave any valuables unattended.

ICU Waiting Room

Inside ICU

The team at TUH Intensive Care Unit have collaborated with a graphic design company, along with generous support from the Adelaide Health Foundation, to develop this simple and colourful graphic in order to help visitors to our ICU become more familiar with the ICU environment. The graphic shows and explains many of the devices you may come across while visiting your loved one in ICU. We know that visiting the ICU can be a daunting experience and our team are dedicated to supporting families and friends, along with our patients, through their ICU journey.

ICU CARE Equipment

One of our isolation rooms

ICU Isolation Room
Our Intensive Care Unit is a 21 bedded unit where 15 of the beds are isolation rooms. Each room is fitted with the latest technology and equipment needed for patients requiring intensive care.

To care for a patient in Intensive Care they are attached to monitors that tell the team caring for your loved one what their heart rate is, their blood pressure, temperature and oxygen levels are.

All monitors and other equipment have visual and audible alarms. The alarm is designed to attract the attention of the nurse for a variety of reasons and does not necessarily mean there is a problem.

Many patients, especially if they have had major surgery, may need to use a ventilator (breathing machine) to help with their breathing. The patient is attached to the ventilator via a tube in the mouth, nose or throat. Patients are not able to speak while the tube is in place but speech should return to normal once the tube is removed. Patients on ventilators receive sedative and pain control drugs to make sure they are as comfortable as possible.

Patients that are sedated can look like they are asleep, but many at some level can still hear and relatives are encouraged to speak to the patient as reassurance and encouragement are proven to help with their recovery.

ICU Maria at work