Discharge or Transfer from the ICU


As a patient recovers from or stabilizes after a critical illness, the patient will be transferred out of Intensive Care. Whether the transfer is to home, another floor at University Hospital, or to another health care facility, this is the next step in the patient’s recovery. The team works with the patient and family in the transfer planning to ensure the Power of Attorney and family members are aware of the future plan of care after leaving the ICU.

One of the key steps in the transfer planning is to ensure the team receiving the patient has information about the patient’s history in the ICU, and significant events. The team will review the patient's health history with the other health care team on the floor.

It is normal for patients and their families to feel some anxiety and fear about leaving critical care. We encourage patients and families to express their concerns to the bedside nurse who can arrange meetings with appropriate members of the team to address any questions or concerns.

Discharge to Another Unit at University Hospital

All patients discharged from the Medical-Surgical ICU to another floor within University Hospital are monitored for two days by the Critical Care Outreach Team (CCOT) . The patient is assessed daily during CCOT's morning rounds to help smooth the transition and ensure staff and patients are getting the support they need.

The charge nurses, social worker and the clinical nurse specialist will help you plan for the resources you and your family will need while on the floor.

Once a patient is in another unit, the patient will stay in hospital until they are ready to be discharged home or to another facility. Please see the corporate Discharge Planning page for more information.

Discharge to Home

There are a number of resources available to help patients when they return home. The care team will assist the family with plans for care after discharge from hospital.

The Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) has case managers at University Hospital. These case managers may be consulted prior to patient discharge to review the available resources in the community.

Discharge to Another Hospital

The Medical-Surgical ICU supports patients from the London community as a primary hospital, but also supports patients referred from other regions of Ontario.

Once the patient no longer requires the specialized skills and technology of LHSC, our ICU team will discuss options for transfering the patient back to their community. If you have any questions about this, or concerns with the process, please see the bedside nurse.


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