1970s NEWS

Small Intensive Care Ward Opened at Divine Savior

Sister Virginia, director of nursing at Divine Savior Hospital, announced the opening today of a specially-equipped four-bed intensive care ward.

"The unit was developed to provide a facility for the acutely ill medical or surgical patient who requires constant observation and individualized medical and nursing care," she said.

"A core module at the head of each bed is equipped with special monitors and alarm systems to follow the performance of the heart more closely."

Supervised by Wanda Chappell, head surgical nurse, the intensive care section will be staffed by some 12 surgical ward nurses who, during the past two years, have undergone a course of special instruction under the tutelage of the medical staff and Mrs. Patricia Green as primary instructor, Sister Virginia said.

The core module at the head of each of the four beds is a compact console with outlets for intravenous feeding, oxygen respirators, a defibrillator designed to stimulate the heart through electrical impulse and a heart monitoring unit. Each, according to Hospital Administrator Kenneth Van Bree, had a base cost of $600 with attendant equipment valued at approximately $9,000. The defibrillator intended for intensive care ward use, Van Bree pointed out, was a recent gift from the Divine Savior Hospital Volunteers.

Sister Virginia called particular attention to special grounding devices incorporated in the core modules.

"No outside electrical equipment such as radios, television or shavers can be allowed in the unit because of the possibility of interference with the monitoring equipment," she said.

"Razors and transistor radios will be available for patient use."

Mrs. Chappell said the average patient time in the unit would fall between 48 and 72 hours.

"The facility is designed for constant supervision of patients during a period of crisis," she explained.


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