Intensivmedizin / Liver Unit

The surgical intensive Care Unit (ICU) cares for patients following major abdominal surgery, including the entire spectrum of intraabdominal visceral procedures as well as organ transplantations such as for the liver, kidney and pancreas. A majority of our patients constitute a high risk category due to the number and severity of their co-morbidities in combination with advanced age. On average 75% of the patients admitted to the ICU require mechanical ventilation. The median SAPS I score is 27.1 and the median SOFA score of our patients is at 13. The 10 bed ICU provides care for approximately 700 patients annually utilizing a  a 24 hr 3 shift model 365 days/year.

The ICU team has special expertise in the postoperative care of patients following hepato-biliary surgery, liver transplantion, acute liver failure, and acute-on-chronic liver failure. Approximately 130 adult liver transplant recipients and 250 patients undergoing major liver resection are being treated annually in our ICU. This level of performance is supported by a close collaboration with our Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Our ICU is offering critical care medicine and postoperative critical at the most sophisticated and advanced level including the following state-of-the-art monitoring and diagnostic procedures: Abdominal Ultrasound and duplex sonography

·        Transthoracic Echocardiography

·        Transesophageal Echocardiography (in consultation with the Department of Cardiology)

·        Right heart catheterization with continuous cardiac output measurement

·        PICCO

·        BispectraI index monitoring

·        Continuous EEG

·        Renal replacement therapy (RRT, in consultation with the Department of Nephrology)

·        Liver assist devices (Prometheus®; plasmapheresis. In consultation with the Department of Nephrology and the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology)

·        Percutaneous tracheostomy

·        Non-invasive ventilation

·        Pleural drainage



The ICU team consists of 1 board certified critical care attending physician, serving as the director of the ICU , 5 ICU residents, a nursing team leader and vice team leader , and the critical care nursing staff itself,  48% of whom have completed specialized critical care nursing education. In addition, an ICU secretary, dedicated physical therapists and support from the environmental services department are available to guarantee seamless and efficient care delivery.

Visiting hours

You are welcome and encouraged to visit your loved one during this time of illness. While we strive for a high degree of flexibility regarding visiting patients, please keep in mind that the ICU is a very busy working environment, not always ready to accept visitors for a specific patient. In addition we ask for your understanding that at times the patient’s condition may not allow for extended visits and delays may be unavoidable. 


Visiting hours are generally arrangedbetween 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. following prior agreement with the medical and nursing staff. Please be aware of these additional points:

·        It is preferred that only the immediate family or next to kin regularly visits the patient

·        The number of visitors is generally limited to a maximum of 3 per day and patient, unless otherwise arranged.

·        Each visit should not extent beyond one hour to maintain consistency of appropriate patient care.

Between the hours of 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 a.m. visitors are accepted only in case of an emergency. During the night hours the patient should follow a physiologic sleep awake rhythm. The time between 7:00 am and 11:00 am is usually needed for critical care patient rounds and interventions including diagnostic, therapeutic and maintenance procedures, and therefore generally unsuitable for visits.


Personal belongings and gifts

The use of personal care items is recommended. Moreover, the use of any kind of aid, such as glasses, hearing aid, dentures and the like is often needed for recovery.

Electronic devices for entertainment such as CD and MP3 players for music or audio books may be used with permission of the nursing staff as feasible. However, the ICU is not a suitable environment for live animals or plants of any kind. Information and health status reports

The residents of the ICU will provide up-to-date information about the health status of your relative. They will inform you during your visit with the patient. In order to maintain an adequate flow on information, please identify a spokesperson who will be communicating with our medicals staff and inform the remainder of the family. This will assist in avoiding duplication of information and confusion. How to find us:

We are located in the “Operatives Zentrum II”, level B3. The ICU is locked with a Code-secured door. To enter the ICU please use the bell. One of our team members will help you to obtain access.


Once inside the ICU please note:

·        Please proceed to the waiting area

·        A nurse will let you know when you can visit your relative

·        Children ≤ 14 years should not enter the ICU


(0049 201) 723-1181

(0049 201) 723-1191

(0049 201) 723-1177


Leadership of the ICU

F. H. Saner, Prof. for critical care (attending)


R. Weissmann (Teamleader nursing staff)

S. Flüss (Vice teamleader nursing staff)

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