After your infusion, your healthcare team will monitor you every day for at least 10 days. You may need to stay at the hospital for longer than 10 days. This is while your healthcare team check for signs and symptoms of possible side effects.
Your healthcare team are well-trained to manage side effects. If your side effects are severe, they may need to move you to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
An ICU is a specialist hospital ward designed to look after patients who require intensive treatment and round-the-clock monitoring. The ICU at your treatment centre contains sophisticated monitoring equipment and is run by healthcare teams and nursing staff who specialise in critical care.
It may help to understand a little more about ICU, so that you know what to expect if you are admitted.
Staying in ICU
An Intensive Care Unit may feel quite different to other hospital wards you’ve spent time in. There is often a lot more activity in an ICU and the noise level may be higher.
You will be connected to special equipment, which means having tubes, wires and cables attached to you. This equipment is used to monitor your body, and also to help it function. Your nurse will be able to explain what each piece of equipment is for.
When you no longer require the monitoring equipment, you may be moved to another part of the ICU or back to your treatment centre ward.
Visiting a loved one in ICU can be upsetting. It’s common to feel a sense of helplessness, especially if a patient is sedated. However, there are some useful things your visitors can do if you are admitted to ICU. These include:
- Choose one visitor to be the main contact for your healthcare team. This makes it easier to pass information on about your condition and recovery.
- Follow visiting rules. Most ICUs don’t have set visiting hours, but there may be times when they don’t permit visitors, such as when they need to perform critical care or when you might need to rest. There may also be a limit on the number of people allowed in your room at one time.
- Follow the hospital’s hygiene guidelines. Infections can be very dangerous to patients who are in ICU, so visitors should always follow the ICU’s instructions and should not visit if they are unwell.
- Ask the nursing staff about ways of helping. Ways of helping could include your visitors bringing in some of your personal belongings to help make you more comfortable. They could also read or talk to you (even if you are sedated) and assist the nurse with simple care routines.
Before your treatment begins you might want to talk to your healthcare team about any concerns you have around the possibility of being admitted to ICU.
Monitoring after you’ve been discharged
Once you are discharged from the treatment centre, you will need to remain close by for several weeks so that you can be monitored closely for side effects.
Your healthcare team will discuss this with you at the start of your treatment. You may live close enough to the treatment centre to go home in this time, or you may need somewhere to stay for a while.
Your doctor or healthcare team will explain how they will continue to monitor for side effects during this time, but it’s also important that you and those helping you are aware of the signs and symptoms of possible side effects so that you can contact your healthcare team straight away should you experience any.Next Step