Evolution of Visiting the Intensive Care Unit
This article gives a historical perspective of visitation in the intensive care unit (ICU) since the establishment of critical care units. Initially, visitors were not allowed because it was thought to be harmful to the patient. Despite the evidence, ICUs with open visitation have consistently been in the minority and the COVID-19 pandemic halted progress in this area. Virtual visitation was introduced during the pandemic to maintain family presence, but limited evidence suggests that this is not equivalent to in-person visitation. Going forward ICUs and health systems must consider family presence policies that allow for visitation under any circumstance.
Milner, K. A. (2023). Evolution of visiting the intensive care unit. Critical Care Clinics,39(3):541-558. Clinics. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ccc.2023.01.005