Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
If you have a loved one who needs the specialized attention that only a qualified Intensive Care Unit (ICU) can provide, we are for you. At St. Francis Medical Center, our specially trained ICU physicians and nurses provide expert, compassionate care to critically ill patients. Our goal is to help patients recover as quickly as possible with 24/7 monitoring and advanced, effective treatments.
The St. Francis ICU is a 36-bed unit that delivers advanced care and monitoring services to patients with life-threatening illnesses and injuries. We also help patients recover from major surgeries, such as heart surgery.
Features of Our ICU
- We are one of few programs in southeast Los Angeles where ICU patients receive care from intensivists, physicians who specialize in caring for critically ill patients. Our team also includes critical care nurses with advanced training in meeting the unique needs of patients in the ICU.
- Round-the-clock care
- Intensivists and critical care nurses deliver care 24/7. Through regular bedside visits and continuous monitoring, we are always supervising the health of patients in the ICU. Our attention to detail helps us detect and treat any changes in condition at the earliest possible stage.
- Multi-specialty approach
- The ICU team works with other St. Francis physician experts, including cardiologists and wound care experts, to deliver seamless, personalized care. Every day, we meet at your family member’s bedside to discuss treatment progress and make any necessary adjustments to care plans.
- Family-centered care
- Your family’s opinions and preferences matter to us, which is why we take the time to explain all the monitoring and treatments your loved one is receiving. We have a deep respect for your peace of mind as well as your cultural and spiritual values. If you have any questions or a recommendation on how we can better serve your loved one, we are always happy to listen to you.
- Excellent outcomes
- Our intensivists follow all the latest critical care practices. This means your loved one receives care that experts across the country believe is safer, better and more effective. For example, we take extra steps to help stroke and heart care patients get off breathing machines (ventilators) as soon as it is medically safe to do so. This practice helps patients feel more comfortable and reduces the risk of complications such as infections.
- Support services
- Having a loved one in the ICU can be stressful for your entire family. We offer a range of helpful services including spiritual care and medical interpreters to make your loved one’s stay at St. Francis a little easier. Read more about special services for patients and visitors.
- If you are facing a potential life-or-death care decision, our bioethics experts help us apply important values such as dignity, personal autonomy and quality of life. This expertise allows us to make personalized recommendations considering your loved one’s best interests. Ultimately, the family will make the critical care decisions, such as how long to continue treatment and whether to pursue organ donation. Learn more about our bioethics program.
Expert Care for Critically Ill Patients
Our ICU delivers an array of intensive care and monitoring services with a compassionate touch. Your loved one may need more than one type of care or monitoring. We use a personalized approach, based on medical needs and personal preferences, to tailor treatments and make adjustments whenever necessary.
- Pulmonary artery pressure monitoring
- The pulmonary artery carries blood between the heart and lungs. Sudden changes in pulmonary artery pressure can be an early sign of a heart complication. Monitoring your loved one’s pulmonary artery pressure at all times helps us catch possible complications, including shock, in the earliest detectable stages.
- Breathing (respiratory) support
- Breathing machines take over the work of the lungs if your loved one is having trouble breathing or the lungs just need time to rest and heal. Patients may be able to get the support they need without a machine by receiving extra oxygen through a mask or special tube under their nose.
- Acute hemodialysis
- The kidneys filter toxins and waste from the blood and play an important role in our health. When the kidneys suddenly stop working, due to either illness or injury, your loved one may need acute hemodialysis. This treatment uses a machine and special filters to take over the job of the kidneys.
- Intravenous (IV) fluids and medication
- An IV line uses a needle and hollow tubes to deliver fluids and medication directly into the bloodstream. If your loved one is not able to eat or drink, we give them fluids and nutrition through an IV.
- Wound care
- We deliver expert care for complex wounds to ease discomfort and prevent complications. We also help your loved one avoid wounds that come from being in bed for a long time (pressure ulcers). Find out more about our wound care center.
- Therapeutic cooling (hypothermia)
- If your loved one has suffered a heart attack or stroke, therapeutic cooling can help protect and preserve brain functioning. This treatment works by rapidly cooling the body, which slows down or prevents chemical changes that can lead to brain injury.
Heart Monitoring (Telemetry)
With the help of advanced technologies, the Telemetry Unit provides medical pre and post-surgical care to the acutely ill patient requiring continuous cardiac monitoring. In addition to inpatient care, the staff also monitors and cares for patients requiring continuous cardiac monitoring who have been placed in an observation status.
Contact us at (310) 900-7380 to learn more about the services we offer or to make an appointment.
Visiting the ICU at St. Francis
We make every effort to help you stay connected to your loved one during an ICU stay.
Our goal is to ensure the health and safety of your loved one at all times, which is why we have guidelines in place to maintain a safe and clean environment.
- Allowing visitors who are 18 years of age or older. Unfortunately, children cannot visit patients in the ICU. Children are welcome to stay in the ICU waiting area, but must be with an adult at all times.
- Closing the ICU to visitors during nursing shift changes.Nursing shift changes occur from 6 AM to 8 AM and 6 PM to 8 PM During this time, one team of nurses is ending their shift while another is beginning. The teams use this time to share important information about your loved one’s care, including any recent changes to care plans.
- Confirming patients are medically stable before allowing visitors. You can confirm your loved one is stable enough for visitors by calling the ICU directly at (310) 900-8817 or asking the security guard at the front desk.
Visiting the Telemetry Unit at St. Francis
The Telemetry Unit is available and staffed 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and 365 days per year.
- Patient visiting hours are from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
- Visitors may be asked to step out of the room in order for the nurse to care for your loved one.
- A waiting area is located next to the elevators for your convenience.