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Title: Section 712-1.15 - Intensive care units

Effective Date


712-1.15 Intensive care units.

Where provided, and depending upon the number of inpatient beds and its specialty services, a hospital's intensive care unit may be multipurpose, for intensive treatment of critically ill patients with a wide variety of diagnoses; or special purpose, for the continuous care of patients in special diagnostic categories, which may include, but not be limited to: burns, coronary care, pulmonary care, and surgical (including trauma) intensive care units.

(a) Intensive care units, where provided shall be equivalent to a closed nursing unit, with no traffic to any other hospital department or to any required exit. All nursing service areas shall be contained within the unit, so that nursing personnel will not be required to leave the unit for functional needs.

(b) Any room used for intensive care may be subdivided with properly rated noncombustible partitions, provided that the arrangement allows for direct supervision by nursing personnel. Rooms that are so subdivided shall not exceed five thousand square feet.

(c) Enough space shall be provided around each bed to make it easily accessible for routine and emergency care of patients and to accommodate bulky equipment that may be needed.

(d) Direct observation of all patients shall be possible from a central observation or monitoring station.

(e) Patients shall be sheltered as much as possible from the activity and noise of the unit and adjacent beds by the use of partitions, flame resistant drapes over glass areas between beds, and/or flame resistant cubicle curtains.

(f) Oxygen and suction shall be available to each bed.

(g) A handwashing facility with other than hand controls should be provided adjacent to each bed cubicle. In any event there shall be a minimum of one lavatory for every four or less beds provided adjacent to each area with four or more beds.

(h) A soiled utility room or rooms shall be located in close proximity to bed cubicles to provide a minimum of cross traffic with soiled containers. Toilets with bedpan flushing devices may function as sub-soiled rooms.

(i) Nursing services areas shall include, but not be limited to the following:

(1) A nursing observation station, adequate in size for nurse's charting, doctor's charting, monitoring equipment, and alarm system to summon additional personnel for special emergency use.

(2) A clean workroom, which may be combined with nursing station.

(3) A nourishment station.

(4) A medication room with a locked cabinet, which may be located in a clean utility room.

(5) Clean linen storage, which may be part of clean utility room.

(6) A soiled holding room, which may be combined with soiled utility room.

(7) Storage space for special equipment, including crash carts, and all diagnostic monitoring and resuscitative equipment.

(8) A nurse's toilet room.

(9) A nurse's office and/or conference room shall be provided, as required by workload.

(j) A waiting area for visitors shall be located outside, but close by the intensive care unit. A public telephone and drinking fountain shall be available for use by visitors, in close proximity to the waiting area.


VOLUME D (Title 10)