The Intermediate Intensive Care Unit (IICU) at HSC began operations in March 1998 and celebrated its official opening on 6 October 1998 on GB5. The six bed unit was constructed to accommodate patients from any Intensive Care Unit in Winnipeg who have stabilized, but still require extended ventilator or hemodynamic support. Patients typically stay in the IICU from two up to ten months. The Intermediate ICU was designed to relieve some of the pressure and congestion from the ICU, which since 1990 in HSC had seen an annual increase in occupancy by 5 – 10%. The IICU is now located on the third floor of the Ann Thomas building.
Patients are admitted to IICU after consultation to determine whether the patient would benefit from the kind of care offered at IICU. The types of patients typically admitted include:
- patients that are difficult to wean
- patients who have been accepted into the Long Term Mechanical Ventilation program
- patients who are extubated but require additional care and/or physiotherapy before they can be transferred to a ward
- patients with realistic long-term achievable health goals
IICU staff and a social worker work closely with patients and their families to make sure they are comfortable during their recovery process and know what to expect from the unit and the staff. The IICU team is made up of nurses, doctors, respiratory therapist, physiotherapists, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, nursing assistants, social workers, pharmacists, and dieticians.
In 2015/2016, the IICU launched the My Story project, which encourages staff to get to know their patients on a more personal level. You can watch the video here. One of the patients featured in this video, David, graduated from high school this year (2016). IICU staff collaborated with Business & Corporate Services to provide a tablet and a Skype link so that David could participate in his graduation ceremony in St. Theresa Point in northern Manitoba.
In the 18 years since its opening, the IICU has treated 872 patients.