His father was admitted during 19 days on last May, in an ICU of Madrid, and as Manuel López says, “that time has probably been the worst days of my life”.

Waiting for the two daily visits made him eternal, in a room overcrowded without ventilation and with only eight chairs. “We seemed more cattle than people,” he recalls.

So, we keep talking about ICU desing and today is the turn of UCI’s relatives: the “invisible”.

Here are the responses of Manuel:

What are the needs in the ICU for you?  Do we need to start a new distribution by removing boxes and considering individual rooms?

I think it´s neccesary more privacy of spaces between patients. It becomes very hard for them and family not only suffer the own drama but look so closely the problem of your neighbors. Somehow I understand that is fed back evil of each other.

What are the needs for ICU patients to have a more comfortable stay?

Larger spaces and airy, luminous, creating different environments according to the hour of the day for not misplaced more the patient. A better regulation of times and shifts for visits always trying not interfere the work of professionals to optimize care and the improvement of patients.

What are the needs for families?

Best areas of waiting and information and a greater independence among patients.

In our design studio, we believe that it is very important to create a space in which the patient feel at home, as you said before, in a “family” space because it would affect the speedy recovery of the patient. We believe that it is feasible and it would not be a huge economic cost, elements such as decorative lamps may be used to add a cozy element, use touches of colors that convey energy and positivity, there are many possibilities. What is your opinion about an aesthetic change?

The sensation you feel in the ICU is uniformity and coldness. My father always wondered why he did not have a clock. Any measures that could be taken to break that immobility believe would affect very positively in the mood of patients in my opinion.
In addition to the aesthetic change, do you think that it is necessary to introduce more elements that may help the tranquility and relaxation of the patient as piped music or being able to adjust the intensity of light so that patients could also have this awareness of day and night?

For sure. My experience has shown me that at 10.00 AM the patient thought that it was 5-6 hours later. Not having the routines of meals as in the general ward completely disturbs the patient. When my father was not receiving sedation, he continuously asked for a radio: in long stays patient requires of any stimulus that motivates him in his day to day.

Many thanks to Manuel for put voice to the forgotten: the families.

Best regards!