Intensive Care Medicine

Valais Hospital has two intensive care units, one at the Sion site and the other at the Visp site. Each one is equipped according to the location as well as in respect of medical and surgical treatment.
In cases of severe failure of vital organs such as the brain, the heart, the lungs, the kidneys, the intestine or the liver, patients are cared for in the intensive care department of Valais Hospital.

There is a particularly high quota of highly specialised medical and nursing staff here, and the department is equipped with complex technological equipment (vital functions monitor, mechanical ventilation device, device for extracorporeal renal dialysis and for cardio-circulatory support, multiple intravenous infusion sets, among other things).

Due to the complexity of the care and of the extent of the knowledge required to practise intensive care medicine, many other professionals such as surgeons, specialist doctors, pharmacists, physiotherapists, radiologists, chaplains and psychiatrists work with the intensive care team to provide for patients’ day-to-day care needs.

Most patients come from Accident & Emergency and from the operating block, but some are referred by other departments of Valais Hospital.

The main reasons for being admitted to the intensive care unit in Valais Hospital are:
cardio-respiratory arrest, respiratory distress, serious infection with multiple organ dysfunction, cardiac arrest complicated by cardiac failure or malign arrhythmias, serious brain impairment/coma, serious accident (multiple trauma) or monitoring following a major operation (heart surgery, neurosurgery, thoracic surgery, hepatic surgery, aortic surgery, ENT surgery).
These patients are only admitted to the intensive care unit if there is hope of recovery.

Technology isn’t everything. Since contact with patients is inevitably limited, being in contact with the family is all the more important. Sometimes, decisions can be hard to take, and pose ethical problems. In such cases, maintaining relations with hospital specialists, but also with general practitioners and with the family are essential.