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How often can my family visit the ICU?

Deb Cordes
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
How often you can visit your family in the ICU will vary from hospital to hospital. Some hospitals have "open visitation" meaning that you can visit your family member at any time and there are no set visiting hours. Some hospitals may restrict visiting in the ICU to set hours, set amount of time and may also limit how many visitors may be in the room at the same time. It is always important to check with the ICU nurse so you can abide by the visitation rules.
 Dr. Cathy Provins-Churbock, PhD
Critical Care Medicine
Hospital policies vary on visitations hours. It is always best to ask a representative from the unit in which your loved one is in what the hours are. The American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) and many other professional nursing organizations now recommend open visitation. Meaning that family can visit around the clock. However, interpretation of this does vary from ICU to ICU so it is best to ask.

Remember there are a lot of variables that affect visitation. For example, an emergency in the ICU may result in visitation being interrupted. Also the condition of your loved one will influence visitation. Nurses do believe that the family is an integral part of the healing process and they do what they can to foster frequent visitation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.