At UHN, we strive to deliver Compassionate Care & Caring. Learn more about the services and supports that are available to you throughout your journey.
Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians,
staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make
the most of our resources.
At the heart of everything we do at UHN are our Healthcare Professionals. Refer a patient to one of our 12 medical programs. Learn more about the resources and opportunities available for professional growth.
University Health Network has grown to be one of the largest research and teaching hospital networks in Canada - pioneers in improving the lives of patients. Our long history of health professions education at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab hospitals has consistently advanced the science of education.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international
source for discovery, education and patient care.
Being touched by illness affects us in different ways. Many people want to give back to the community
and help others. At UHN, we welcome your contribution and offer different ways you can help so you can find one that suits you.
The Newsroom is the source for media looking for information about UHN or trying to connect with one
of our experts for an interview. It's also the place to find UHN media policies and catch up on our news stories, videos, media releases,
podcasts and more.
There are at UHN:
The MSNICU is a combined medical-surgical and neuroscience intensive care unit. We care for medical and surgical patients who have experienced a stroke, epilepsy, brain injury, spinal disorder, or other neurological disorders. We also care for patients who require support such as mechanical ventilation and treatment for multiple organ dysfunction syndrome.
Our refurbished centre has 24 state-of-the-art intensive-care beds and eight neurosurgical "step-down" monitored beds.
As one of the country's largest specialty neurosurgical intensive care units, we are a regional centre for patients with spinal cord injuries and neuroscience patients. We are also a provincially-designated Regional Stroke Centre, where patients requiring clot-busting drugs and other therapies are admitted to our unit for care.
Vision: Saving lives together, caring intensively.
Mission: We are a dynamic, integrated inter-professional team providing exemplary, safe patient care in a culture of discovery, innovation, and knowledge translation.
COGnitive outcomes and
WELLness in survivors of critical illnessCOGWELL will be the first multisite, comprehensive study to link sleep and circadian function, rhythmic cortical electrophysiological activity measured by quantitative EEG, and long-term cognitive impairment in survivors of critical illness.
Clinical Effects of
ThoracentesisYou may be invited to participate in this study if the doctors caring for you have decided that they need to drain fluid out of the lungs, called a "pleural effusion". The decision to drain this fluid is often made with the intent of helping patients to breathe more easily and come off the ventilator sooner.
PROSPECT Pilot Trial:
PRObioticts to prevent
TrialInfections are common in critically ill patients and new prevention strategies are needed. Probiotics are commercially available live microorganisms thought to have health benefits when ingested. Before probiotics can be recommended for use in critically ill patients for the prevention of infection, a large well-done study is needed.
EUPHRATES: a Clinical Trial in Adults with Septic Shock and EndotoxemiaCurrently, an assay exists to determine endotoxin levels in blood but there is no FDA-approved method of removing said endotoxin. The
EUPHRATES study is interested in determining the potential benefit of removing these endotoxins regarding the treatment of sepsis and patient outcomes.
REhabilitation and ReCOVERy in survivors of Critical Illness. Long-Term Outcomes and Needs Assessment in ICU Survivors of Prolonged Mechanical Ventilation and their Caregivers.We aim to learn more about walking ability, quality of life, and lung recovery in patients at two-years after leaving the ICU. These patients must have been on a mechanical ventilator for one week or longer.
Assist. Innovative Approaches to Mechanical Ventilation in Spinal Cord Injured Patients.The pilot study aims to improve our understanding of the interaction between patients with spinal cord injuries and breathing machines, which will help determine what type of mechanical ventilation is better for patients with spinal cord injuries.
Our unit uses music to help our patients heal, which received attention from the Toronto Sun.
Read their coverage.
Our goal is to work with families to provide the best possible care for their loved ones. We know that having a seriously ill friend or family member is very stressful. We will do our best to provide support. By working together as a team, we can help you and your loved one cope with this stressful situation. Learn more about the
role families can play.
The Critical Care Program at Toronto Western Hospital receives some of the most complex medical cases from across Canada. Using an inter-professional team approach, we apply both established and innovative methods to diagnose and treat patients. Research continues to allow teams to provide the most advanced therapies to patients.
In addition to providing care in our unit, an ICU Outreach program is available around the clock to all patients outside the ICU who show signs of instability.
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Learn about what to expect before, during and after your surgery, as well as preparing to return home, in UHN's
You can also find other services throughout UHN. Learn more about
patient and family services available throughout UHN.
The bedside nurse is your greatest resource. They will welcome you and:
Monitoring Your HealthYour healthcare team will see you every day. We will talk with you about how you are doing and answer any questions you may have. If you want to speak with a member of your healthcare team at any other time, ask the nurse looking after you.
You may have blood tests, x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans or other tests performed during your stay. If we recommend that you receive any of these tests, we will discuss them with you in advance, and we will meet with you afterward to discuss the results.
We encourage you to have family members, friends and other supportive visitors during your stay. You are welcome to meet with visitors in your room, in the common lounge areas and in the visiting areas outdoors.
UHN hospitals offer flexible visiting hours. Learn more about visiting patients at UHN »
Throughout our hospital, you and your family and other visitors can find a range of amenities to make your stay more enjoyable and comfortable. Learn more about amenities at UHN hospitals.
If you are from out of town, ask for a visitor's package at the Volunteer Desk or the ICU Desk. This package has information about where you can stay, Toronto Transit Maps (TTC), and other information you may find helpful.
There is a food court in the lobby of the Atrium. It is open every day from 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Some of the food stalls are closed on holidays.
There is underground parking at Toronto Western Hospital (entrance on Bathurst St.) There are also outdoor parking lots close to the hospital.
As your body heals, you may experience some pain and discomfort. Our goal is to make sure that you have as little pain as possible.Managing your pain can help your recovery. Pain management can:
To manage your pain, we need to know what you are feeling. You can describe your pain on a number scale, where "0" means "no pain" and "10" means "the worst pain you can imagine." You can also describe your pain with words like:
These words can help us understand and treat your pain.
For mechanically ventilated and non-verbal patients, the health care team has developed ways to evaluate for pain using advanced assessment techniques. Your nurse will explain this to you.
It is important to wash your hands well and often while you are in the hospital. Washing your hands will reduce the chances that you will become sick or get an infection.
It's okay to ask your doctor, nurse and other healthcare providers to wash or sanitize their hands using a gel hand sanitizer before examining you.
You can learn more about infection control at UHN.
Our goal is to work with you to provide the best possible care for your loved one. We know that having a seriously ill friend or family member is very stressful. We will do our best to provide support. By working together as a team, we can help you and your loved one cope with this stressful situation.
Please ask one person to be the main contact with the health care team. This person will receive updates from the team and pass the information on to family or friends.
Choosing a spokesperson reduces confusion, protects patient privacy and lets the health care team focus on what's most important - caring for your loved one. Please provide us with the name and contact number of this person.
Every day, the health care team talks about how your loved one is doing and how to continue their care. These meetings are called rounds. If the patient gives their consent (agrees), we welcome the family to attend rounds.
During rounds, you have a chance to:
If you are the Power of Attorney or legal decision maker for the patient's health-related decisions, please speak to the bedside nurse if you want to take part in rounds. They can guide you through the process.
Patient confidentiality (privacy) is very important to us. Help us by keeping all information about your loved one and other patients private.
Sometimes, we need to speak to you and other family members in more detail about your loved one's care. In this case, we will arrange a family meeting. These meetings give you a chance to meet many of the team members and talk about your loved one's progress. We will work with you to schedule the meeting at a convenient time for everyone.
Friends and family are a very important part of the care of patients. Please speak to a member of the healthcare team about how you can help care for your loved one.
Some examples of how you can help include:
We can also teach you some ways to communicate with your loved one in case they are unable to talk. This is a very important and easy skill to learn.
You are an important part of your loved one's health care team, so you need to take care of yourself. Even though this is a stressful time, try to eat and sleep properly. Taking breaks away from the hospital is very important.
Remember: Your loved one will never be alone in the ICU.
The length of your stay will be based on your health care team's assessment of your condition. Soon after you arrive on the unit, we will discuss with you and your family how long your stay in the ICU may be.
We will work with you and your family to start planning early for your transition out of the ICU. Once hemodynamically stable and off of mechanical ventilation, the inter-professional team takes care of your needs as you move from the ICU to an inpatient unit, home or the community.
If you have any questions about your discharge or your care needs before you leave the unit, don't be afraid to ask a member of your team. We are here to help you.
Dr. Jeffrey Singh, TWH Site Leader
Nurse Manager: Kim Partridge
Patient Care Coordinators: Karen Bennett & Karen Meredith, coordinate the daily running of the ICU
Nurse Educator: Rebecca Sinyi
ICU Nurse: the nurse who will be with your loved one 24 hours a day in the ICU.
Medical Resident: a doctor who will always be in the ICU. Medical residents will provide 24-hour medical care to your relative.
Critical Care Fellows: senior doctors doing further training in intensive care medicine. They supervise the medical residents. Two to Three critical care fellows work in the ICU.
Staff Physician: doctor in charge of the ICU. Every Monday, one of our staff physicians will take charge of that week.
Neurosurgical Residents: provide care for neurosurgical patients.
Consultants: other doctors who will be contacted if necessary.
Pharmacist: ensure that patients receive the right drug at the right time and the right dose. They often attend rounds and advise doctors on the best drug regimen.
Charge Nurse: co-ordinates the activities of the unit for the shift.
Patient Care Assistant (PCA): helps the nurses with patient care. Helps move patients to different areas of the hospital.
Physiotherapist (PT): provides exercise programs to help bodies become stronger and keep lungs clear.
Occupational Therapist (OT): uses splints to help joints or keep hands and feet in the proper position.
Respiratory Therapist (RT): takes care of the "breathing machine" (ventilator) and will monitor patients' breathing status throughout the day and night.
Dietician: makes sure that patients receive the best nutrition.
Speech Language Pathologist: may do a swallow study to check if it is safe for patients to eat food by mouth.
Social Worker: can provide family counseling, help and support. Can coordinate family meetings and talk about discharge planning.
Spiritual Care Providers: are available if you would like their help. They do not represent any specific religion. They work with patients' belief systems to help provide support during difficult times.
Volunteers: are available if you feel your loved one would benefit from having a visitor in your absence. Please ask the bedside nurse to contact them for you.
Medical students, residents and fellows are part of our team. Learn more about
health care professional trainees at UHN.
You will be contacted with information about your first appointment.
Please bring the following to your appointment. Not all of these items may be needed for your appointment. Our clinic or your referring doctor will let you know what you must bring.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.
When you arrive, you will sign in with the receptionist. You will need your health card (OHIP card) to sign-in. If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
You may be given a Measuring Health Equity Questionnaire to fill out. This form contains questions about your background. We collect this information to find out who we serve and what unique needs you may have. The form is voluntary and you can choose ‘prefer not to answer’ to any or all questions. However, the information you choose to give us will help us improve the quality of care for you and others.
First appointments take longer than follow-up appointments. Your first appointment can take 2 hours or more. Follow-up appointments usually take 15 to 30 minutes. We do everything we can to stay on time but sometimes unforeseen circumstances may delay your appointment.
At the end of your first appointment, the nurse or doctor will give you a contact list for your health care team. If you don’t get a contact list, feel free to ask for it.
After every appointment, a member of your health care team will tell you about your next visit. Be sure you understand what is going to happen next. For example, know the time and place of your next visit or if someone will call you with this information.
If you are unsure about what your next steps are, don’t be afraid to ask a member of your team. We are here to help you.
We understand that reaching us by phone can sometimes be difficult. Often our phone lines are busy or are turned over to the message centre so our staff can prepare for clinic visits or help other patients. We make every effort to return your call within 24 hours. Our staff will try to reach you 2 times. If we are not able to reach you directly you may need to call us again.