Expert intensive care services in Portsmouth

Portsmouth Regional Hospital provides compassionate intensive care to patients who need close monitoring and advanced medical treatment. Our intensive care unit (ICU), sometimes known as a critical care unit (CCU), treats medical and surgical patients, including patients recovering from serious illnesses and complex surgeries, such as cardiovascular or neurological procedures.

Our team provides the attentive care you'd want for a friend or family member in greatest need—and we're conveniently located so you can stay close to your loved one.

Our intensive care team includes physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, nutritionists and dietitians, pharmacists, social workers, clergy and physical, occupational and speech therapists.

At Portsmouth Regional Hospital, our ICU provides treatment that goes beyond typical inpatient support in multiple ways:

  • Expert care: Our team has specialized training and certifications in critical care and cardiac surgery.
  • Safety and security: We closely monitor patients around the clock and only admit approved visitors, such as immediate family members, to the units.
  • Advanced technology: We use advanced procedures and equipment to help our patients, often resulting in shorter hospital stays and better outcomes.
    • Remote monitoring: Helps our caregivers deliver a constant, high level of attention and responsiveness
    • Hypothermia therapy: Reduces organ damage following cardiac arrest
    • Continuous renal replacement therapy: Filters blood in acute kidney failure cases
    • Intra-aortic balloon pump: Helps the heart pump blood throughout the body
  • Transitional care program: We coordinate care with a patient's primary care provider and specialists to lessen the chance of being readmitted to the hospital.
  • Progressive mobility program: We coordinate gradual steps to reintroduce activity and restore mobility, with the goal of returning patients to their normal functioning.

Interventional cardiovascular unit

An interventional cardiovascular unit (IVCU) provides care for patients who have undergone an interventional cardiovascular procedure, such as:

  • Percutaneous coronary intervention
  • Pulmonary vein isolation
  • Pacemaker implantation
  • Internal cardiac defibrillator implantation
  • Atrial septal defect correction
  • Patent foramen ovale repair closure

Intermediate care unit

As part of critical care, an intermediate care unit (IMCU) helps patients who require a longer hospital stay due to a dependence on medical technology to support their needs. IMCUs also may be used for patients who are considered "step-down", or patients who no longer require a certain level of care and can be moved.

Visiting patients in the ICU

Visiting hours are flexible based on the patient's need and condition. Please avoid visiting or calling the ICU between 6:30 and 8:00 (both a.m. and p.m.) when our staff changes shifts.

Guidelines for Visiting the Intensive Care Units

Our visitor guidelines are designed to provide critically ill patients with the best possible setting for recovery and renewal. Special accommodations may be possible upon request.

To help us help your loved one, please:

  • Limit ICU visitors to two at the patient's bedside during regular visiting hours
  • Exchange visitors and information in the waiting areas, not at the bedside or in doorways
  • Use the waiting area when not visiting in the patient's room to help limit traffic in hallways, doorways and the unit itself to help us comply with all fire and safety regulations and patient confidentiality rules
  • Use hand sanitizers on the wall near the door of each room when entering and leaving; infection control guidelines are set to help patient recovery – GEL IN and GEL OUT
  • Do not bring flowers, plants or animals into the ICU
  • Do not eat or drink in the ICU
  • Limit cell phone use and keep conversations in a quiet tone; set phone ringers on low volume or vibrate
  • Consider the risk to ICU patients and the need for your visit if you have a fever or symptoms of an infectious illness (cold, flu); if you might be ill, reschedule your visit
  • Provide direct supervision for children; for safety reasons, please keep toddlers and infants at home
  • Rest and take care of yourself so you're in the best possible health to help your loved one's recovery
  • To protect your loved one's health, step out of the ICU when requested while we perform procedures or stabilize a patient

Patients should send clothes and valuables, including money and jewelry, home with a trusted family member as we cannot be responsible for these items.

Your Designated Primary Contact Person

Please designate one person as the primary contact person to receive updates on your loved one's condition from the critical care nursing staff. All phone inquiries about the patient's condition will be referred to the patient's designated contact person.

This primary contact person will receive a privacy code to use with the patient's name when calling for updates. When we have both the patient's name and privacy code, we'll transfer your call to the nurse caring for your loved one. Our nurses will contact this spokesperson if there's any change in your loved one's condition.

Take Care of Yourself

Because the best thing you can do for your loved one is to stay healthy, we encourage you to take breaks and go home to rest. If you leave, we can provide you with a beeper to keep you informed as needed.

Let our staff know if you'd like to visit with a member of the clergy. Clergy members representing all denominations are on call at all times for patients and family.

Take time for reflection in our peaceful chapel, located just outside the doors of the ICU. Our family room, next to the chapel, has a small kitchen, chairs that can be folded out into beds and phones for private conversations. You'll also find a list of local hotels and restaurants.