Intensive care unit (ICU) in east San Jose
When a loved one requires critical care in the ICU, it can be a stressful time for you and your family. At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, our ICU provides the highly monitored care patients need to heal. In addition to our primary 34-bed ICU, we also have a dedicated neurological ICU.
For more information about our hospital's intensive care services, please call our Consult-A-Nurse® team at (888) 762-8881.
Features of our ICU
Our ICU works closely with the emergency room (ER) to quickly transfer patients so they can begin treatment. We also coordinate with surgeons in our operating rooms for patients who require intensive care after surgery. The ICU is divided into different sections, each with specially trained staff and advanced equipment.
Patients are closely monitored by our board-certified intensivists (doctors who specialize in critical care medicine). We have intensivists on-site 24/7. We also provide palliative care to help relieve physical symptoms, pain and stress that patients may experience during their ICU stay.
Common conditions treated in the ICU
We provide intensive care for patients with a variety of conditions and ailments, including:
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Heart disease
- Hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke
- Kidney problems
- Lung complications
- Traumatic injury
Neurological intensive care unit (neuro-ICU)
Our hospital provides specialized critical care for patients following neurological conditions, such as a stroke or traumatic brain injury. We also provide comprehensive care in our neuro-ICU for patients recovering from neurosurgery. The team in the neuro-ICU uses advanced technology and close monitoring to make sure every patient receives the top-quality care they need to get better.
Our neuro-ICU is staffed 24/7 by our neurological intensivists (physicians with extensive training in neurocritical care). Patients in the neuro-ICU typically require a one to two week stay, depending on their condition. When needed, a patient is assigned a dedicated nurse for one-on-one care.
Our staff also practices early mobility by helping patients assess their range of motion and ability to walk independently, depending on the patient's condition. Early mobility helps patients recover faster and improve functional outcomes. A nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist or physician will provide early mobility in the neuro-ICU.
The neuro-ICU provides continuing care for patients following hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes. These patients have immediate access to advanced stroke treatments and neurological experts. Fast access to this level of care helps us improve survival rates for patients after a stroke.
Advanced technology in neuro-ICU
Our doctors use a variety of advanced equipment and monitoring technologies in the neuro-ICU, including:
- Brain tissue oxygen tension monitoring—This type of monitoring helps us assess oxygen delivery to the brain.
- Cerebral blood flow monitoring—We monitor the blood flow through the brain to ensure that it remains regulated following a brain injury or stroke.
- Cerebral perfusion measuring—Our team can monitor the amount of pressure the brain requires to maintain proper blood flow.
- Continuous electroencephalogram (EEG)—This type of imaging shows electrical activity in the brain which is translated onto a graph. Continuous monitoring allows us to identify disturbances, such as seizures, as they occur so we can provide immediate treatment.
- Intracranial pressure monitoring—This type of monitoring allows our doctors to measure levels of cerebrospinal fluid pressure in the brain.
- Neurological imaging—In addition to our traditional imaging services, we perform specialized imaging procedures, such as EEG, to visualize the brain and monitor activity.
- Transcranial doppler ultrasonography—This type of specialized ultrasound measures the speed of blood flow through blood vessels in the brain.
The neuro-ICU is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including:
- Physical therapists
- Social workers
- Specially trained nurses
- Trauma surgeons
The body responds to an infection by releasing chemicals into the bloodstream to fight it off. Sepsis occurs when the body improperly responds to the chemicals released, normally caused by some sort of imbalance. This response can damage other organs and systems in the body.
Ultimately, sepsis can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and even death. When sepsis becomes severe enough, septic shock occurs. This means the blood pressure in the body drops and the organs are unable to receive enough oxygen to function.
Patients with septic shock will be immediately admitted to our ICU for around-the-clock care. We treat sepsis through antibiotics, intravenous (IV) fluids and oxygen administration to maintain a patient's blood pressure and support the body.
Regional Medical Center of San Jose is certified by The Joint Commission for our treatment of sepsis. This recognition shows that we follow evidence-based guidelines that help reduce sepsis mortality rates through early detection and rapid treatment.
Early signs of sepsis
Identifying sepsis early allows our doctors to begin treatment before septic shock occurs. Early symptoms of sepsis may include:
- Altered mental status, such as confusion and difficulty waking up
- Fever, shivering or feeling very cold
- Heart rate higher than 90 beats per minute (BPM)
- High blood glucose level without diabetes
- Pale or discolored skin
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling (edema)
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) services
ECMO is a portable heart-lung support system that is designed to help patients whose heart and/or lungs are failing. Patients in need of this type of cardiac and/or pulmonary support are typically critically ill with severe but reversible respiratory failure or heart disease. ECMO is an option when other intensive care therapies have not been effective.
ECMO can replace the function of the lungs following a traumatic injury or severe infection. It will temporarily take over the work of the lungs and sometimes the heart. ECMO is most commonly used for patients in our ICU following surgery. Patients may remain on ECMO anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
Once a patient is placed on ECMO, blood flow is rerouted outside of the body to the machine's tubing where it receives oxygen and removes carbon dioxide. This happens until a patient's heart and/or lungs are able to work on their own.
Our team of doctors and nurses make their rounds daily from 10:30am to noon to coordinate patient care with all members of the treatment team.
Medication quiet hours take place daily from 8:30am to 9:30am and 9:30pm to 10:30pm. During this time, our nurses deliver patient medication. We ask that you do not disturb our nurses during these times unless it is urgent.
Family and other visitors are allowed in the ICU during most hours of the day. We encourage loved ones to plan their visits between these times:
- 7:30am to 2:30pm
- 3:30pm to 10:30pm
- 11:30pm to 6:30am
Comfortable waiting areas are available for visitors when not in the ICU. Our staff works with family and other loved ones to provide updates on medical status and discuss discharge plans.
To help protect our patients from infection, we ask that children 12 years old and younger do not visit the ICU, except under special circumstances. Additionally, flowers and plants are not permitted.
Spiritual services are available by request in the ICU. Patients' personal spiritual leaders are welcome to visit. For more information, please ask one of our staff members.