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Hospital  >  Departments  >  Critical Care Medicine  >  Navigating the ICU  >  What do I need to know about end-of-life care?  >  Is my loved one in pain or feel discomfort in the ICU?

Is my loved one in pain or feel discomfort in the ICU?

When patients are in the ICU, they are given medication to keep them comfortable.

  • Usually, this will include pain medication, which treats pain and shortness of breath, and a sedative if required;
  • In most situations, the team tries to use enough medication so that your loved one will be sleeping lightly, but will still be easy to wake up;
  • In some situations, more sedation is used in order to keep your loved one completely asleep;
  • When possible, the patient will be completely awake, with no pain medication or sedation at all.

The goal is to keep patients as comfortable as possible, while still allowing the team to monitor them and provide the care they require. If you feel that your loved one is experiencing any untreated pain or suffering, please tell the team. Learn more about pain and pain management.

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Location and contact

Critical Care Medicine

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, 
D-wing, 1st floor
room D1 08
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-4522
Fax: 416-480-4999

For information about patients admitted to Sunnybrook's Intensive Care Units, please contact the unit through the hospital switchboard at 416-480-6100