As director of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Associate Professor Nerina Harley manages the care of over 2,000 critically ill patients each year.

These patients are admitted for many reasons including trauma, post-surgical care, complications from cancer and other medical conditions. Critically ill patients require around the clock monitoring and top level care from Nerina’s team. Some are so ill they are kept sedated to avoid pain and so cannot communicate with the doctors.

“Accurate and rapid pathology results are incredibly important to the diagnosis and treatment of our patients. We are absolutely dependent on pathology for precise and dependable results.”

Pathology plays a role in the successful management of a huge number of conditions in an ICU setting.

“We could not do what we do without pathology’s assistance in the rapid diagnosis of conditions including heart attacks, haemorrhages, cancer and many other conditions.”

“Working in intensive care is extremely rewarding as we see patients at their most critically unwell. We can make a real difference and save lives. Even though it’s not seen by our patients, pathology plays a hugely important role in their care.”