Sick or unstable patients may be taken to a High Dependency Unit or Intensive Care Unit after an operation for closer monitoring or more invasive treatments which are not available on a normal hospital ward.
This includes patients with a higher mortality risk (risk of death after an operation over 5%) or morbidity risk (to develop a complication after an operation) or after a larger operation with a major blood loss or if the patient needs to be ventilated or has got an arterial line ora central line. The mortality and morbidity risk may be estimated with the P-POSSUM score for some patients.
More invasive treatments include the administration of multiple blood products, infusion of drugs to maintain the blood pressure (e.g. Noradrenaline, Adrenalin, Vasopressin), invasive or non-invasive ventilation (breathing support), dialysis
The Intensive Care team will give advice with regard to the further treatment of patients, the likely outcome, prognosis and oragnisational / logistical aspects (e.g. visting times, discharge)