Caring for the Critical Patient

Care in the Intensive Care Unit is provided by a multidisciplinary team, which is composed of specially trained physicians, nurses, and other professionals. Each professional brings his or her particular expertise to the team, collaborating on a plan of care and treatment for each patient, based upon his or her individual needs and conditions.

Family of Critical Patients

The Intensive Care Unit Care Team also provides support for families of critically ill patients. We know that being in the Intensive Care Unit, or having a relative in critical condition is a frightening and sometimes overwhelming emotional experience. You want to know what is happening, and what to expect. As an important part of our care, we try to make ourselves as accessible to you as possible, listen to your concerns and answer your questions. We consider you a team partner and will communicate with you on your relative’s condition, changes and ongoing plans.

Family Spokesperson

A family spokesperson is an immediate or close family member who is elected by the family to relay the information between the Intensive Care Unit Care Team and the entire family. This person should be someone who listens well, speaks well, tends to remain calm in a crisis and is respected by other family members. A spokesperson benefits the family by relaying updates and status reports on the patient’s condition to family and friends. A spokesperson benefits the patient and Intensive Care Unit Team by eliminating the time spent with telephone calls from multiple family members and leaving more time to spend with the patient. Once a spokesperson is selected by the family, the spokesperson’s name and telephone number(s) should be given to the Critical Care Unit nurse.

Visiting Your Loved One

The Intensive Care Unit strictly enforces Sault Area Hospital visiting hours. This allows our health providers the necessary time to care for the patient. It also gives the patient the necessary time to rest and heal.

Organ Donation

Did you know that less than 25% of Ontarians are registered as organ and tissue donors? For more information, visit