Having a loved one in intensive care is a stressful and worrying time. The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is a very different environment to a normal hospital ward and can be an intimidating place to visit.

ICUunwrapped hopes to support the family & friends of ICU patients by explaining what happens in intensive care.

Every patient and situation is unique and the information provided here cannot be specific to your loved one. The healthcare professionals caring for your relative are the best people to provide you with an update on their condition and this resource doesn’t replace those all important face-to-face meetings.

We hope you will find this general information about intensive care useful as you support your loved one through their ICU journey.


ICUunwrapped is primarily written to inform and support the family & friends of our intensive care patients. But if you’ve been a patient on intensive care it may help you understand more about the treatment you received and perhaps fill in any memory gaps of your time on ICU. If you’re someone looking into the benefits and burdens of intensive care, it may help you clarify your future care wishes.

ICUunwrapped is written by members of the intensive care team at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.


We would really value your comments and feedback on the resource. Click here to send general comments, report errors and/or make suggestions for future topics.