Critical Care

Ward 38 – RVI (Critical Care Unit)

Ward 38 is an Adult Critical Care Unit specialising in care for patients after complex surgery and with medical problems. Here, patients receive maximum support for their illness or surgery.

Many of our patients have had operations on their oesophagus or gastric system (gullet, stomach or bowel); or are here for burns or plastic surgery/treatments as well gynaecology or pregnancy problems. We also care for many patients with medical problems who need support for their breathing.

How to find us

Directions to the wardShow [+] Hide [-]

Ward 38 (Critical Care Unit) is located on level five of the Leazes Wing at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. To find us:

Come through the main entrance of Leazes Wing which can be entered off Richardson Road. Take the lift or stairs up to level five and follow the signs for Ward 38 Critical Care Unit.

Car parking is available on-site.

If you come by car and have parked in the multi-storey car park, follow the signs taking you to the main atrium of New Victoria Wing and again, take the stairs or lift up to level five of the hospital and follow the signs for Ward 38 (Critical Care Unit).


How to get to the hospital

What to expect on the ward

To help closely observe and care for patients, our critical care areas accommodate male and female patients in open-plan areas and cubicles. Sometimes we use cubicles to control infection, and to ensure the privacy and dignity of our patients all bed areas are fitted with curtains.

All patients are connected to a monitor showing their heart rhythm, pulse and blood pressure. They may receive oxygen from a facemask or a ventilator (breathing machine). Other special equipment may be used to support the heart, lungs or kidneys – the nurse at the bedside can explain all the equipment to you.

The Critical Care Unit is a very busy area and can be noisy. You will often hear the sounds of equipment alarms, but this doesn’t mean that anything is wrong – the alarms are usually reminding the nurse to do something, such as change a drip. 

Staff you are likely to meet

All members of the team can be identified by their badges and will introduce themselves when they meet you.

On this unit it is normal for one nurse to care for one or two patients.

A doctor is available most of the time, but if they aren’t available when you visit, you can make an appointment to meet a doctor to discuss any concerns.

A physiotherapist also visits regularly to help patients clear their chests to prevent infection, and help with exercise.

Things visitors need to know

  • On arrival please press the door entrance button and wait for a member of staff to speak to you. The doors will open automatically and you can enter the ward.
  • Our visiting times are 2.00pm to 7.00pm - please speak to the nurse in charge if you need to visit at other times. Mornings are often very busy and critical care units encourage quiet periods where patients are allowed to rest without interruption to aid their recovery. Please also speak to the nurse if you want to bring children to visit.
  • Due to limited space only two visitors are allowed at the bedside at any time.
  • When you come onto the unit, please remove your coat and leave it on the hooks provided. Remember to take any valuables with you.
  • Please clean your hands with the alcohol gel provided on entry to and exit from the ward.
  • You should wear the plastic apron provided, and wash and dry your hands at the sink when entering and leaving the unit to help reduce the spread of infection within the unit.
  • Visitors may be asked to wait while we carry out treatments and procedures, this is unavoidable.
  • A translation service is available for people who cannot speak English.
  • Fresh flowers are not allowed into the unit to help us control infection. If you have a cold, an infection or diarrhoea, please do not visit the unit. Contact the nurse in charge who will advise you further.
  • Mobile phones must be switched off before entering the unit - their signals can interfere with electronic equipment which could endanger the patient.
  • Within the Trust’s hospitals there is a strict no smoking policy

Contact us

Enquiries are welcome at any time of day or night. In the case of large families, we would ask that only one family member contacts us to find out about the patient. He or she can then pass this information onto the rest of the family. Please contact us on:

  • ITU- tel: 0191 282 4616
  • HDU-tel: 0191 282 0579
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