Best Care, Coming and Going

PACU is the Place for Patient Transitions

Patients awaiting surgery or recovering from post-surgical anesthesia will spend some time in a post-anesthesia care unit, or PACU, under the watchful eyes of nurses whose main tasks are to manage airways and alleviate pain.

ABOVE: Patients recover in bright, spacious areas in the new post-anesthesia care unit.
Photo credit: Photographs © 2019 Sasha Moravec

NorthBay Medical Center’s North Wing has 16 beds in its brand-new PACU, located just steps away from the surgical suites on the third floor. Two of them are pediatric beds, but can be used by adults if necessary.

The unit was designed to be bright and spacious, taking advantage of ceiling-high windows and sunlight from large windows just outside the unit. Muted colors aim to create a calming environment, and each bed area is separated by either a hard wall or curtains to enhance privacy. Wall-mounted TVs help waiting patients pass the time.

Patients return to these beds after surgery, where nursing staff assures they safely awake from general or local anesthesia.

Patients return to these beds after surgery, where nursing staff assures they safely wake from general or local anesthesia. From here, they may be transferred to a room on the second floor, or discharged for home care.

The North Wing’s new PACU also includes a negative pressure room, for patients who may have a communicable disease. Air in this specially sealed room is ventilated out of the building, after being processed through an advanced air filtration system.

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