Medical intensive care in Virginia

At HCA Virginia, we have in-hospital intensive care units (ICUs) and progressive care units (PCUs). These units include critical care nursing staff and advanced patient monitoring equipment, which allows us to provide comprehensive, continuous care for patients with the potential to recover from life-threatening conditions.

Our intensive care medicine specialists are uniquely and continually trained to care for you when you are seriously ill or injured. They are also focused on providing family-centered services so you and your loved ones experience attentive, compassionate and dedicated care around the clock. Additionally, as an intermediate transition between intensive care and traditional inpatient care, many of our specialties offer step-down units of care.

For more information about our intensive care services, call our free, 24/7 Consult-A-Nurse® line.

Reasons you may need intensive care

You may receive care in a ICU/PCU if you are recovering from:

  • Brain injuries, such as bleeding, head trauma, coma or stroke
  • Complex illnesses
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Heart conditions, such as very high or very low blood pressure, abnormal heartbeat or heart attack
  • Kidney diseases, such as acute and chronic kidney failure
  • Respiratory distress from a lung condition such as acute asthma attack, severe pneumonia, pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung) or complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Sepsis
  • Surgical procedures
  • Traumatic injuries

Specialty ICUs

Some intensive care units are designed to provide critical care for specific medical conditions or for patients of a certain age. These specialty ICUs generally have different types of technology and medical staff with extra training for the treatment of particular medical issues.

Cardiovascular intensive care (CVICU)

Our CVICUs, also called coronary intensive care units (CICUs), are dedicated to heart patients recovering from heart events, advanced cardiovascular surgeries and cardiac interventions.

Neonatal intensive care

Premature and critically ill newborns often need extra attention after birth. For our smallest patients, we offer several neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), which are staffed with specially trained teams to help infants in need of intensive care.

Pediatric intensive care

Children's critical care needs differ from those of adults and even from newborns. Our pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) offers the right-sized equipment, pediatric-trained clinicians and a child-friendly environment to help young children, adolescents and teens recover from injuries and illnesses.

Surgical intensive care

A surgical intensive care unit (SICU) is dedicated to the recovery of adult patients after surgery, such as trauma surgery, organ transplant or emergency surgery.

Advanced ICU technologies

Our intensive care services go above and beyond by providing concentrated care and advanced technologies. We use remote monitoring, continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) and a robust transitional care program.

ICU patient safety

At HCA Virginia, we're committed to using advanced technology to improve patient safety and outcomes. When you are in our ICUs, this includes the eICU Wide Area Treatment & Communication Hub (eWATCH). eWATCH doesn't replace our on-site caregivers. Instead, it offers our teams access to real-time vital signs, test results and other important information. eWATCH also uses software that tracks vital-sign trends and provides alerts so caregivers can intervene quickly when necessary.

Transitioning out of the ICU

If you are immobilized, we provide extra assistance via our progressive mobility program. This program helps gradually re-introduce and restore your mobility. Our goal is to help you return to your normal level of function. If this includes physical therapy and rehabilitation, we offer those programs as well.

Visiting the ICU

We understand how important family support is to your recovery, and we encourage families to visit you regularly while you're in the ICU. Check with your ICU nursing staff for specific visiting hours and policies, but, in most cases, visitors will be asked to:

  • Announce your arrival to the ICU/PCU by using the phone/intercom system.
  • Do not bring live flowers or plants into the ICU.
  • Do not eat or drink in the ICU.
  • Do not visit the ICU/PCU if you have a fever or symptoms of a cold or the flu.
  • Exchange visitors and patient information in the waiting area, not at the patient’s bedside or in doorways.
  • Limit cell phone use, and keep conversations in a quiet tone.
  • Limit visitors to two people at the patient’s bedside.
  • Provide direct supervision for children and keep infants and toddlers at home.
  • Set phone ringers on low volume or vibrate.
  • Use hand sanitizer when entering and leaving each room.
  • Use the waiting area when you are not visiting in the patient’s room to help limit foot traffic in the hallways, doorways and the unit itself.

PCU exceptions:

  • Live flowers and plants are allowed.
  • Food and drink are allowed.

Primary contact person

To ease the flow of information, we ask that you designate one person as the primary contact person. This person will be the one with whom our critical care nursing staff communicate, providing updates about your loved one’s condition. The primary contact person will be given a privacy code to provide along with the patient’s name when calling for updates. Any phone inquiries we receive about your loved one’s condition will also be referred to the patient’s designated contact person.

Privacy protection

HCA Virginia takes patient privacy very seriously. We've taken the following measures to ensure the privacy of individuals in the ICU:

  • Access to hospital information is limited to people with hospital authorization.
  • All information is electronically encrypted before it's sent over phone lines.
  • Doctors use a secure identification number as an electronic signature when ordering treatments.
  • Information is not released to anyone other than those providing medical care.
  • No temporary or permanent recording is made from any camera or microphone.
  • Patient information is only transferred to and from the eWATCH center over private phone lines.

Overnight visitors to the ICU

When you are visiting a friend or loved one in the ICU/PCU, we ask that you remember our visitor guidelines are designed to provide patients with the best setting for their recovery and renewal. An important part of that treatment is allowing patients the proper time and environment to rest and promote healing. For this reason, visitors are not allowed to stay overnight in ICU/PCU patient rooms. However, there are a variety of hotel accommodations located near our hospitals for friends and family who wish to stay close by.