Virtual 3D Tour of an ICU

Equipment used by the ICU staff

The hospital rooms in the ICU have a number of medical devices that allow the staff to ensure continuous monitoring of the patients.

It can be very daunting to see the number of machines, screens, alarms and to hear their sound…The windows, doors and partitions are made of glass to allow the carers to observe the patients, night and day. Each alarm has a specific use (depending on the patient) and the staff know to recognise them and to determine if urgent intervention is necessary or not. All the equipment is linked to a central control station to allow this monitoring to take place outside the room.


Select a device to know more about its functions

A defibrilator is a device made to analyse hearts activity in the case of a person in cardiorespiratory arrest. If the unit detects a shockable rhythm, it can give an electric shock also called defibrilation.

Many patients need help to breathe during their stay in the ICU. A respirator is a machine which insufflates air inside the lungs of the patient and supports him/her when a respiratory or cardiovascular disease or a coma jeopardises breathing efficiency. It allows maintenance of a stable and sufficient oxygen level in the patients’ blood and helps to eliminate carbon dioxide. Patients are usually anaesthetised and then linked to the respirator through an intubation catheter, which is placed in the trachea.

An infusion pump is a device to inject medicines and fluids into the veins at a constant output, often through a catheter inserted in a big vein.

A monitor permanently records the patients’ cardiac and respiratory rhythms, blood pressure and blood oxygen saturation. The patient is connected to the monitor through many cables. The monitors are configured to alarm the staff if the state of the patient becomes unstable. Those monitors are also connected to central monitoring stations so the state of the patient remains under watch at any moment, even when the nursing staff is outside of the room.

The pump enables the feeding of the patients who can’t swallow the food themselves putting directly the food in the stomach with a constant flow.

The information system is essential in intensive care medicine: it allows quick access to the whole medical record of the patient.


It is a technique utilised to clean toxic waste from the blood when kidneys are dysfunctional or in critical situations.


A storage device in which the nurse can find everything she needs for basic care of the patient.


Patient & Family

President’s Message

What is Intensive Care?

Why is the care different in an ICU?

The ICU, the family & you

What you should know when visiting an ICU


Definitions of the more commonly-used terms in the ICU