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Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit

At WakeMed, we are the specialists in caring for patients who have had a traumatic injury or a complex surgical procedure.

Patients with a traumatic injury often undergo surgery related to their accident and need our highest level of intensive care. We also admit many general surgery patients who have had bowel resections, cancer surgery, and gynecological, vascular or ENT (ear, nose, throat) procedures.

Our STICU Team of Professionals

Staffed by some of the most experienced nurses and medical specialists, our Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit (STICU) is outfitted with advanced monitoring equipment so that patients with severe injuries or recovering from a difficult surgery have access to one of the region’s finest intensive care units.

Each year, more than 500 patients locally and from Eastern North Carolina are admitted to this unique nursing unit.

Many times, patients with traumatic injury are transported to WakeMed’s Level I Trauma Center by ground or air ambulance and are ultimately admitted to STICU.

Compassionate, Dedicated Care

Any time a loved one is injured or has major surgery, families are often unsure about their recovery and what happens in an intensive care unit.

We treat each patient and their families like our own, explaining every procedure, test and how our technologically advanced unit keeps their loved ones safe. We update each patient’s goals every day and encourage family to be present during daily rounds so that they can ask questions. The unit offers open visitation to allow families unrestricted time with their loved one.

Our nine-bed unit is staffed with 33 advanced trained critical care nurses and a support team who are joined by surgical intensivists, neurosurgeons, general surgeons, specialty surgeons, rehab specialists and therapists, chaplains, clinical case managers, infection control nurses and many more to provide appropriate care based on each patient’s needs.

Our multidisciplinary approach to care ensures that we involve families, engaging them to actively participate in the patient’s care.

Advanced Technology to Monitor Patient Progress

Our STICU unit is fully outfitted with the latest equipment, allowing us to keep a close watch on patients.

Each patient is observed with around the clock cardiac monitoring, including invasive monitoring capabilities for heart pressures, blood pressure and central venous pressure. The unit can also help patients who need assistance with breathing by using ventilators and BiPAP machines. If a patient has rapid blood loss, it can quickly be replaced with a Belmont rapid infuser.

eICU® Service

The STICU is also home to an eICU, where computers, cameras, microphones and software allow the physician to observe the patient and confer with the on-site critical care nursing team. This sophisticated system provides yet another layer of expertise available to our valued patients. Other specialty equipment is available to keep patients safe and more comfortable while they heal.

Patients typically stay five or six days in the unit, but some more complex cases may remain longer based on their recovery status. Once they no longer need intensive care, most patients are transferred to a general medical/surgical unit or one that has some continued level of monitoring.

While patients are in our STICU, families and loved ones have access to our comfortable and spacious Critical Care & Surgery Waiting Room (CCSWR), located on the second floor, adjacent to all of our intensive care units.

Open 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, our CCSWR is a warm and supportive place to wait while your loved one is hospitalized.

Personalized, Team Approach to Care

Our STICU offers a team approach to care, drawing on the expertise of our advanced trained nurses, ancillary health experts and specialty physicians. Our patients benefit from this progressive, inclusive environment that always puts patients and families first in all that we do.