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Intensive Care Unit (ICU)


The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) is equipped to provide advanced and highly specialised care and close monitoring to the state’s most critically ill and injured adult patients.

This includes general medical, general surgical, cardiothoracic, trauma, spinal injury and burns cases, as well as patients with complex multi-system failure who require life support for an extended period.

As well as providing tertiary services for the local population, the Intensive Care Unit at the RAH is the state’s main quaternary referral ICU.

Serving as the major adult trauma referral centre for South Australia, the ICU maintains a close association with the state-wide MedSTAR retrieval service.

The unit handles all major specialty areas with the exception of paediatric and obstetric patients, admitting approximately 3,500 patients per annum.

The RAH ICU is a designated Level 3 Intensive Care Unit, with capacity for up to 60 beds.

It is co-located with the hospital’s Technical Suite (operating theatres, interventional suites and procedural rooms) and SA Medical Imaging services, providing immediate access to these critical services.

The ICU is also located directly above the Emergency Department on level 2, Pathology on level 3 and below the Helipad on level 7. Each of these services are linked by ‘hot lifts’ which enable the direct movement of patients to maximise timely clinical care.

Medical Emergency Response (MER) team

The Intensive Care Unit supports the resourcing and response to medical emergencies within the hospital.

The two tiered system responds to cardiac arrest, a patient’s deterioration or clinical concern based on clinical assessment and criteria.

The teams include postgraduate intensive / critical care qualified nursing staff from ICU and medical teams (including ICU) through the 33# system.

Clinical research

The Royal Adelaide Hospital Intensive Care Research Unit, in partnership with the Discipline of Acute Care, University of Adelaide, School of Medicine, is acknowledged as a world-leader in the fields of nutrition, gastrointestinal function and glucose metabolism in the critically ill. 

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