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Emergency and Critical Care

Ambulance for our critical care patientsUniversity Hospital Southampton is a designated major trauma centre, and is one of only two places in the south of England to offer adults and children full onsite major trauma care provision.

Major trauma is used to describe multiple serious injuries that could result in significant physical harm or death. These might include serious head, chest, abdominal and skeletal injuries sustained as a result of accidents, sport or violence. Major trauma is the main cause of death for people under the age of 45 and is a major cause of debilitating long term injuries. More than half of major trauma is caused by road traffic accidents and it is twice as common in urban areas as in rural areas.

Adults and children suffering major trauma in Southampton, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight or Portsmouth are assessed by the ambulance crew. They are taken directly to the major trauma centre at Southampton General Hospital if it is safe to do so, rather than the local emergency department. 


Emergency and Trauma Department

The emergency department assesses and treats people with serious injuries and those in need of emergency treatment. It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. The department provides essential initial treatment, including a full resuscitation service for patients of all ages with a broad spectrum of illnesses and injuries, many of which may be life threatening. We provide a full range of general and specialist trauma and orthopaedic services including hip, knee, ankle, hand, shoulder and spinal.


Intensive care with major trauma

General Intensive Care Unit

The General Intensive Care Unit looks after people who are seriously ill. It normally takes patients who have just come out from the operating theatre, or people who have been admitted as emergency cases. The 21-bed unit at University Hospital Southampton looks after around 1,800 people every year, and patients have one-to-one or one-to-two care from a nurse. New for 2018: Our general intensive care unit will see an expansion in 2018 to cope with the increased numbers of patients who come into our major trauma unit.

Cardiac Intensive Care Unit

The Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) looks after people who are seriously ill with heart or lung problems. The CICU looks after people who are seriously ill with heart or lung problems. It normally takes patients who have just come out from the operating theatre – up to eight a day.

Critical Care Unit

The Critical Care Unit provides support for patients whose conditions are potentially life-threatening. These patients need constant and close monitoring, support for their organ systems from specific equipment and medication to keep the body functioning normally while they recover. The Trust also has two high dependency wards, for less seriously ill patients than intensive care: Surgical High Dependency Unit and Medical High Dependency Unit.

Neurosciences Intensive Care

The Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit is one of 27 units in the UK providing provides specialised intensive care services for patients who have severe illnesses affecting their brain, spinal cord or peripheral nerves. The regional unit serves a population of approximately three million covering Hampshire, parts of West Sussex, Wiltshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight, as well as the Channel Island. Some patients are admitted from further afield for specialised care if it is unavailable in their area.

Paediatric Intensive Care Unit

Father with baby in our neonatal unit

The Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) provides specialist care to children aged 0-18 years. Southampton is the lead centre for paediatric intensive care in south central England, with a catchment area that includes Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Surrey, Isle of Wight, and the Channel Islands. In addition, we often accept referrals from further afield if no PICU bed is available in that region. We treat over 700 patients per year, and admit children with both medical and surgical problems ranging in age from birth to 18 years. 

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit based at the Princess Anne Hospital, provides specialist care to sick term and pre-term (premature) newborn babies. The unit is a combined medical and surgical unit, which provides a wide range of paediatric services. The neonatal unit is a 28 bedded lead regional centre, which specialises in the medical intensive care of sick newborn babies, those requiring neonatal surgery and those who have cardiac conditions requiring both medical and surgical treatment. Read more about our neonatal intensive care unit here.
Call the charity team today on 023 8120 8881 to make a donation, or to discuss current fundraising projects specifically for any of our emergency and trauma services.
Alternatively, if you want to hold your own event to raise money, get in touch with us and we can provide help, support and advice to you.