Assessing ICU referrals on the ward
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Assessing ICU referrals on the ward book
Intensive care unit (ICU) referrals on the ward can be anything, from a young patient with sepsis, to an elderly patient with an exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the assessment for any of these patients remains the same, and is best approached systematically to ensure a thorough assessment. Following the assessment, an appropriate management plan can be made and communicated to the ward staff. The simplest method for assessment is to follow 'ABCDE'. This ensures that nothing is missed, and may be more appropriate in emergency referrals to ensure that any urgent issues, such as airway compromise, are dealt with first. An alternative approach involves the conventional medical assessment of presenting complaint, history of presenting complaint, and past medical history. The chapter shows that clear communication is vital, including with the referring health professional, the ward team, the patient and their family, and the ICU consultant.