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Counties Manukau Health Intensive Care Unit & High Dependency Unit

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Our aim in the Critical Care Complex (ICU and HDU) is to provide specialised medical and nursing care to patients who are critically ill.
It is not unusual to feel overwhelmed on entering the Unit due to the presence of technical equipment used to look after patients 24 hours a day.
To enable you as visitors to have a better understanding of your surroundings and patient treatment, we encourage you to ask questions.
What is Intensive Care and High Dependency Care?
This is the specialist care given to patients with acute (sudden), potentially reversible, life-threatening diseases. This may include patients who have life-threatening conditions such as a major accident, a severe infection or those recovering from a major operation.
The Units are staffed by a team of highly experienced and professional doctors and nurses who are supported by other allied healthcare professionals. Most patients requiring  ICU treatment have a nurse allocated to look after them individually.  Some patients who are not so critically ill but still too sick for care on a general ward (High Dependency Unit patients) may be cared for by a nurse who is also looking after other patients.  
What You Can Expect
The patient’s initial admission to the Unit is a very busy time because of the need to assess and stabilise the patient.
Many procedures may need to be performed at this time. These procedures may include placing a breathing tube through the patient’s mouth, inserting intravenous lines (drip) and invasive monitoring equipment and performing necessary x-rays and other bedside tests.
During this time you may be asked to wait in the waiting rooms where you will be kept informed and updated on the progress of the patient.  We will let you visit as soon as possible.  Although we give you estimates as to how long a procedure will take, this is approximate and it may take longer.
We won’t forget about you!
Much of the value of the Intensive Care Unit comes from the careful monitoring of the progress of a disease and the body’s response to complex treatments. This allows timely adjustment of such treatments. In order to achieve this, many investigations and monitoring processes will occur. It may be necessary at times to perform complex procedures in the ICU or HDU, which may be time-consuming and require the Unit to be closed to visitors. 


Referral Expectations

Patients are rarely admitted directly to the Intensive Care Unit. Patients presenting to hospital are usually admitted via the Emergency Department or other area where they are first stabilised.  Patients whose condition gets worse on the ward, in the operating theatre or presenting from another hospital may be transferred to ICU.

Procedures / Treatments

  • Blood Tests

    In the ICU blood tests are usually done at least twice a day.… More

  • Cardiovascular Problems

      A patient with critical illness will commonly develop problems with their heart and circulation.… More

  • Respiratory Problems

    Respiratory failure occurs when the respiratory system is no longer able to provide enough oxygen requirements or remove enough carbon dioxide from the body.… More

  • Nasogastric Tube

    A nasogastric tube is often inserted at the same time as the endotracheal tube.… More

  • Kidney Problems

    Kidney (or renal) failure is when a patient’s kidneys are unable to remove wastes and excess fluid from the blood.… More

Visiting Hours

Although visiting in the Intensive Care Unit is quite flexible, to ensure the highest quality of care for the patient, we ask you to please assist us by agreeing to the following:
Visiting every day is permitted and short visits of 10-15 minutes are encouraged. This is to allow time for patient treatment, care and rest periods.
There will be occasions where you will not be able to visit immediately due to patient procedures and there will also be occasions where you will be asked to leave the Unit for the same reasons or in an emergency.
When arriving at the Unit, please use the intercom at the door. Press the button ONCE and wait for staff to answer.  There will be delays at times, please be patient.
  • Visiting between 8:00am-11:00am is not recommended. This is a busy time of day with x-rays and doctors' rounds. 
  • Visiting is restricted after 9:00pm. Our patients are sick and sleep is a vital part of their healing. Exceptions can be made for special circumstances.
  • Please keep visitors to 2 per patient. This is for the privacy of other patients and safety. Exceptions will be made in special circumstances.
  • Children are welcome to visit at the discretion of the parents, but please ensure children are supervised.
  • Please appoint a spokesperson who is responsible for passing on information to family and friends, and please let nurses know who the spokesperson is.

Contact Details

Middlemore Hospital

South Auckland

Patient Enquiries (09) 276 5004

Info/Visiting Hours (09) 270 4799

Outpatient appointments
& surgical booking enquiries;
Ph (09) 277 1660
Fax (09) 277 1600

Emergency Department: Open 24 hours / 7 days, Phone (09) 276 0000

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Middlemore Hospital
Hospital Road

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Street Address

Middlemore Hospital
Hospital Road

Postal Address

Private Bag 93311
Auckland 1640
New Zealand

This page was last updated at 9:45AM on April 18, 2016. This information is reviewed and edited by Counties Manukau Health Intensive Care Unit & High Dependency Unit.