Critical care is the specialist care given to patients with sudden and potentially reversible life-threatening diseases or injuries. This can include following accidents, operations, severe infections or a coma. Critical care is divided into two areas; intensive care, where the sickest patients are cared for, and high dependency, where patients who are not well enough to return to general wards are cared for.
We are open 24/7 365 days a year but closed to visiting between:
You may be asked to leave briefly during these times.
Visiting between 10pm and 8.30am is by arrangement only.
Visiting is generally limited to next-of-kin or close friends and no more than two visitors may be with the patient at a time. Patient care takes priority and visiting may not be possible when some procedures are being undertaken.
Waiting rooms are provided in the Level 8 gallery nearby. Overnight accommodation is not permitted in this area, but limited accommodation is available on-site at the Te Whare Awhina (Ph. 09 307 4949 ext 25830) or nearby off-site at Domain Lodge (Ph. 09 308 0161).
Children are permitted to visit but as there are hazards present please supervise children at all times to ensure their safety.
To reduce the risk of infection, please clean your hands with alcohol gel before and after visiting the patient area. Flowers are not permitted in the patient area as they may be an infection risk.
Refreshment vending machines are available in the Level 8 gallery, and there are food and beverage outlets on Level 5 open 8am to 8pm daily.()
Patients transferred out of DCCM are followed up by registered nurses working as part of the follow-up service.
A follow-up coordinator liaises with the DCCM nurse consultant. The service is overseen by the DCCM Quality Group.
Patients who are discharged or transferred from the DCCM are contacted within six months. Nurses document if patients are contacted after six months.
The objectives of the patient follow-up clinic are to:
DCCM provides a nurse-led Bereavement Follow-up clinic to the next-of-kin and their families/whanau of patients who have died following a critical illness in the DCCM.
The Bereavement Follow-up Clinic's objectives are to:
Next-of-kin are informed of the Bereavement follow-up service by a posted information sheet 7 – 14 days after the death and then contacted by telephone four to twelve weeks after the death and consent for an interview is obtained. A structured telephone interview is undertaken on how the next-of-kin are coping, and about the experience, they had during end-of-life care for their relative. As appropriate, referrals are written, issues addressed and further family meetings arranged with intensivists when required.
The interview is entered into a database for analysis and continuous quality improvement initiatives.
More information can be found in our bereavement information pamphlet
If you need to get in touch with us before this time, please telephone DCCM on 09 307 4949 ext 24800. Ask to speak with the Clinical Charge Nurse. They will ensure your contact details are referred to a member of the Bereavement Team, who will make contact with you as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can email us and the Bereavement Team will contact you.
The Department of Critical Care Medicine (DCCM) is one of the leading critical care units in New Zealand, located on the 8th floor of Auckland City Hospital. We provide intensive and high-dependency care for patients over the age of 15 for all conditions except heart, lung and blood vessel surgery. Our specialist areas of intensive care include liver, kidney and pancreas transplantation and neurological conditions. Intensive care for heart, lung and vascular surgery is provided by the Cardiothoracic and Vascular Intensive Care Unit.
The unit is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is staffed by a large team of experienced doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. We have 24 beds in total - 18 are open bed spaces, and the remaining 6 are isolation side rooms.
We have over 1400 admissions per year of which 75% are emergency and 25% elective. The median length of stay in DCCM is 1.5 days, however, patients may require a prolonged stay.
Patients may be admitted to Critical Care from the emergency department, hospital wards, operating theatre or following transfer from another hospital or intensive care unit.
DCCM is staffed by a team of highly experienced and professional doctors and nurses who are supported by other healthcare professionals including physiotherapists, dietitians, pharmacists, radiographers and biomedical technicians.
Medical care is provided by specialist doctors trained to look after very ill patients (intensivists), and supported by doctors training to be specialists in intensive care, anaesthesia, emergency medicine, internal medicine and surgery.
Many nurses are specialised through post-graduate training and qualifications in intensive care. Patients requiring intensive care treatment have individual nurses caring for them. High-dependency patients are cared for by nurses who are also looking after other patients
interested in joining our team? Visit careers.adhb.govt.nz for more information.
Organ Donation NZ has information on deceased organ and tissue donation and support for families going through the decision-making process of donation.
Modern intensive care medicine began with the use of prolonged artificial ventilation during the poliomyelitis epidemics of the 1950s and the recognition that the intensive nursing care necessary to treat these patients successfully was best provided in a separate area of the hospital with its own staff, equipment, and organisation.
Intensive care began early in New Zealand – it seems likely that Dr Matthew Spence began the first intensive care unit in the southern hemisphere in 1958 at Auckland Hospital. The Department of Critical Care Medicine (DCCM) is the descendant of that first ICU. The special requirements of the work and attributes of its practitioners led to the founding of the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) by Dr Spence and Dr Wright from Sydney in 1975.