Now that elective procedures, organ transplants, and surgeries are being performed again, UAB Medicine saw the need for more intensive care unit space for non-COVID 19 patients. In response, the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) provider team and the Blood and Marrow Transplantation & Cellular Therapy (BMT) nursing staff worked together to open a temporary 12-bed ICU.
Designated as MIC2, the unit opened May 6 on the eighth floor of the Women & Infants Center, in space that previously was not used for clinical services. Plans to renovate and retrofit the space began 1.5 years ago, as part of an effort to create more space for BMT and MICU patients. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, those plans were accelerated.
“The new unit provides ICU space for MICU patients to heal while minimizing their risk of being exposed to COVID-19, and it opens up BMT beds up for our transplant patients to have their lifesaving treatment,” says Wendy Madden, BSN, MSN, DNP, nurse manager for the Medical Nursing team. “The BMT nursing team is stretching to make this work so we can do our part to help UAB successfully fight this pandemic. We are honored to be able to help in some way. There have been so many teams and departments that have come together and worked around the clock with speed like I have never witnessed at UAB to make this happen in a very short time period.”
Madden says the move is an important step toward accommodating the influx of patients who need medical care not related to COVID-19.
“This is a small way to combat the financial burden COVID-19 has placed on UAB by enabling the hospital to have more ICU beds to facilitate the restarting of elective procedures, transplants, and surgeries,” she says. “These services are important for the health of our organization, community, patients, and employees.”