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Medical Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

Why choose Ochsner Health for intensive care?

Some of the most high-stakes care in medicine takes place in the medical intensive care unit, or ICU. In this unit, also known as a critical care unit, physicians, nurses and other specially trained professionals provide around-the-clock care for patients with life-threatening conditions. No one plans to spend time in the medical ICU, but if you need critical care, you and your family want to be confident you’re in good hands. At Ochsner, we provide leading-edge, high-quality critical care in intensive care units throughout Louisiana and Mississippi, helping patients through some of the most serious medical challenges they face.

After admission to the medical ICU, you’ll receive care from a team that specializes in caring for critically ill patients. A physician called a medical intensivist leads the team. Intensivists are trained to treat extremely ill patients. These physicians work closely with critical care nurses, who provide bedside care and communicate with patients’ families.

A variety of other medical professionals may play a role in your care. These include a pharmacist, who ensures you receive the medications you need during your stay. Respiratory therapists may work with you if you have difficulty breathing. Physical therapists and other rehabilitation therapists can help you maintain strength and functional abilities. Additional professionals you may encounter include physician assistants, nurse practitioners and registered dietitians.

Ochsner hospitals provide intensive care in many Louisiana and Mississippi communities, including New Orleans, Lafayette, Slidell and Bay St. Louis. Find a location near you.

A variety of life-threatening conditions may require critical care, from heart attacks and strokes to serious injuries and surgical complications. Our intensivists and critical care nurses treat patients with a wide range of serious illnesses and injuries, including:

  • Extreme bleeding
  • COVID-19
  • Respiratory failure — struggling to breathe independently, sometimes due to another medical condition, such as pneumonia
  • Sepsis — when the body overreacts to an infection, potentially leading to organ damage or failure
  • Serious infections
  • Severe burns
  • Shock — a sudden drop in blood flow throughout the body that reduces oxygen to cells and organs
  • Traumatic injuries

Critical care in the medical ICUs varies widely, depending on patients’ condition and needs. The critical care team uses a variety of monitoring equipment to keep track of patients’ vital signs 24/7. Some ICU patients need life-support equipment, such as feeding tubes for nutritional support or ventilators for breathing. Many receive fluids or medications through intravenous tubes.

Length of stay in the unit varies from patient to patient and depends on response to care and other factors. After leaving the medical ICU, some patients may go to a stepdown unit, a hospital ward where they can continue receiving acute care and monitoring, or a long-term acute care hospital.

FAQs

Yes. The medical ICU isn’t the only hospital ward in which critical care takes place. In the surgical intensive care unit, a specially trained team works with patients recovering from surgery. A specially trained team in the neonatal intensive care unit treats babies born prematurely or with complex medical needs. Some Ochsner hospitals offer specialty units for neurocritical care, cardiovascular intensive care or pediatric intensive care. Critical care capabilities vary from hospital to hospital within the Ochsner system.

A level 1 ICU provides supplemental oxygen and noninvasive monitoring of patients’ vital signs but not life-support services. Basic, short-term life-support services and invasive medical monitoring are available in a level 2 unit. A level 3 ICU provides the highest degree of critical care, including comprehensive monitoring and life-support capabilities. All intensive care units feature high-level nursing.

An advance directive notifies your family and medical team how you’d like your care to proceed if you can’t communicate or make decisions. It’s a good idea to have an advance directive in the event you need critical care and are unconscious or need sedation.

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Map of Ochsner-affiliated facilities that provide services related to Medical Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

Medical Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Locations

Ochsner American Legion Hospital
1634 Elton Road
Jennings, LA 70546
  • : 3:17 p.m.-3:17 p.m.
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner University Hospital & Clinics
2390 West Congress St.
Lafayette, LA 70506
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Acadia General Hospital
1305 Crowley Rayne Highway
Crowley, LA 70526
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center
1214 Coolidge St.
Lafayette, LA 70503
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner St. Mary
1125 Marguerite St.
Morgan City, LA 70380
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Medical Center - Hancock
149 Drinkwater Blvd.
Bay St. Louis, MS 39520
  • Open 24/7
St. Bernard Parish Hospital
8000 W. Judge Perez Drive
Chalmette, LA 70043
  • Open 24/7
St. Charles Parish Hospital
1057 Paul Maillard Road
Luling, LA 70070
  • Open 24/7
Slidell Memorial Hospital East
100 Medical Center Drive
Slidell, LA 70461
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner St. Anne Hospital
4608 Highway 1
Raceland, LA 70394
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Baptist - A Campus of Ochsner Medical Center
2700 Napoleon Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70115
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Medical Center - Kenner
180 West Esplanade Ave.
Kenner, LA 70065
  • Monday – Friday: 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.