Intensive Care Unit

Cabrini’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) provides care for a wide variety of medical and surgical conditions. Our highly skilled team has a long standing expertise in the management of patients following open heart or other complex surgeries. 

General Inquiries

Phone: (03) 9508 1600

Additional Information

The ICU is located on first floor of the theatre block. Directions can be obtained from the main reception.

Operating Hours

24 hours, 7 days a week


Required. Find out more about referrals


Cabrini Malvern
181-183 Wattletree Road, Malvern VIC 3144
(03) 9508 1222

About our ICU

There are times when a patient requires intensive care following major surgery or due to a sudden deterioration in their health. At Cabrini’s ICU, we all share the same goal: to help patients and their families through this difficult time by creating a surrounding of calm and confidence. 

Our level 3 ICU admits more than 1600 people annually and provides care for 16 patients at any one time. We are affiliated with Monash University and accredited with the College of Intensive Care Medicine (CICM) for 12 months of advanced training.

The unit has a long standing expertise in the management of patients after open heart and other complex surgeries. The number of medical patients is also on the rise with an increasingly busy Emergency Department.

About the ICU environment

The environment in which we care for patients and their families is highly technical. Much of the sophisticated equipment used in the ICU has alarms or flashing lights. There is no need to be frightened: they are there to attract the attention of staff members. 

Intensive care specialists are in attendance 24 hours a day and lead the ICU medical team. They work with the surgeon, referring physician or specialist, and supported by registrar doctors. The doctors formally see patients twice daily on rounds and continually review patients throughout the day and night. The medical staff are available to discuss issues with you at your request.

The nurses in intensive care are qualified critical care nurses or nurses undertaking specialty training in critical care. Nursing staff will keep you informed about your family member’s condition, therapy and progress. 

Transfer out of ICU

Generally discharge from ICU to another ward is planned and it occurs during the day. Occasionally it may be necessary to discharge a patient quickly at night time due to emergency admissions. This only occurs if it is safe to do so, and the family will be contacted the next morning if this has happened.

Visiting a patient in ICU

We understand that families will want to see their relative or friend as soon as possible. However, patients who arrive at ICU from the operating theatre must first be transferred onto the ICU equipment, settled, and assessed. In some cases, diagnostic tests (such as x-rays) need to be completed before anyone is able to visit.

Working together – what we ask of you

  • Although visiting is possible at any time, on some occasions you may be asked to wait outside to allow specific procedures to be performed. It is a good idea to call ahead, so that you can plan your visits around procedures such as washing, turning the patient and conducting tests.
  • Always let us know if you are planning to come outside normal hospital hours (which are from 7 am until 8 pm) so that we can alert security to expect you.
  • If a patient is seriously ill, visiting is restricted to immediate family. We suggest no more than two visitors at the bedside at any one time. This reduces congestion and is less stressful for the patient.
  • When you arrive at ICU, ring the intercom outside the ICU doors to notify staff of your visit. You may be asked to enter or take a seat outside until staff contact you. We try to keep waiting times as short as possible.
  • Upon entering ICU, you need to wash your hands. This is necessary to reduce the risk of infections.
  • Please refrain from visiting the ICU if you are unwell yourself.
  • There are certain circumstances when it is not appropriate for visitors to be present in ICU and you may be asked to step outside for a short period of time. We ask for your understanding should this occur.
  • Flowers and pot plants are not permitted at the bedside in ICU as we need to allow clear space for the large amount of electrical equipment, but cards and written messages are fine. 

What you can do to help your loved one and the ICU team

  • At the bedside, remember that even though your family member may be unconscious or heavily sedated, they may be able to hear and feel. Touch and familiar voices can be an important part of care.
  • Children are welcome in the ICU under the supervision of a parent or adult family member. We encourage the parent to come in first so that they can make an assessment of whether it would be appropriate for their child to visit.
  • The bedside nurse is able to take calls from immediate family members 24 hours a day. We recommend that calls be made by one nominated family member only, in order to avoid confusion. Family members can then contact the nominated family member for information and updates.
  • Please leave a contact number to enable ICU staff to contact you urgently if the patient’s condition changes.

The importance of looking after yourself

You can help your loved one while they are in ICU by taking good care of yourself. For example, rather than being at the bedside 24 hours a day, you need to give yourself a suitable break. This will also give the patient time to rest.

Our ICU specialists

Each day the ICU is staffed by a multi-disciplinary team including a senior intensivist, ICU registrar, Medical Emergency Team liaison registrar, nurse manager, bedside nurses, pharmacist, dietician and physiotherapist. We have strong emphasis on team work, compassionate care and quality bedside teaching. We regularly conduct patient and registrar satisfaction surveys to help us in improving our service and training.

  • Director of Intensive Care - A/Prof Vineet Sarode


    A/Prof Vineet Sarode completed his Anaesthesiology training in Mumbai prior to moving to Australia. He completed his intensive care medicine training with College of Intensive Care Medicine (CICM) at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. He has worked as a Specialist intensive care physician at Epworth Health, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Eastern Health in Melbourne in the past. His interests include leadership and management in ICU, clinical governance and medical administration with research interest in physician engagement and its impact on organisational efficiency. He is currently finishing his MPH (Master of Public Health) in Health Management stream at Monash University. He also currently holds an Adjunct Associate Professor appointment at the Department of Medicine at Monash University.


  • Deputy Director of Intensive Care - A/Prof David Brewster

    MBBS FCICM FANZCA Grad Cert Hlth Prof Ed

    At Cabrini, A/Prof David Brewster is the Director Medical Education, the Deputy Director of Intensive Care and the Clinical Dean for the Monash University Clinical School. David is currently a practicing specialist in both anaesthesia and intensive care medicine. He has a strong clinical interest in intensive care after cardiac surgery, advanced airway management in intensive care, and anaesthesia for both high-risk patients and the elderly.

    David has had significant experience in developing and implementing medical education. Notably, he co-founded and authored the “Beyond BASIC: Airway Management” course. He has held a variety of undergraduate teaching roles for the medical school at Monash University since 2006, culminating with his appointment as the clinical dean at Cabrini by the Central Clinical School in 2017. In postgraduate medical education, David has previously been the supervisor of training (SOT) at Cabrini Health (for CICM and ANZCA). He now oversees all medical education at Cabrini hospital. David is also completing a PhD at Monash University in the field of medical education. His current areas of research include team training, leadership and airway practices in intensive care medicine.

  • Prof Warwick Butt


    Prof Warwick Butt is a Senior Intensivist at Cabrini Hospital, Malvern. He is also the current Director of The Royal Children’s Intensive Care Unit, Melbourne. He is on the editorial board of Australian Critical Care and Resuscitation (the journal of the College of Intensive Care Medicine, Australia), Pediatric Critical Care Medicine (Journal of World Federation of Pediatric Intensive Care Medicine), the Journal entitled Perfusion and the Canadian Journal of Cardiology and a regular reviewer for Adult European and US Intensive Care Societies (Intensive Care Medicine, Critical Care Medicine) and the British Journal of Anaesthesia.

    Warwick has had over 350 scientific communications and been an invited lecturer at adult and paediatric world congresses in both general and cardiac critical care and anaesthesia. His major research interests include the prediction and assessment of the short and long-term outcome of ICU, Traumatic Brain Injury and the use of extracorporeal technology (ECMO, RRT, and CVVP) in critical illness. He is an adjunct Professor at Monash University and a research group leader (clinical sciences theme) Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

  • Dr Deirdre Murphy

    MB MBCh BAO(Hons), MRCPI, FCARSCI, FCICM, PGDipEcho, DDU (Crit Care)

    Deirdre is a Senior Intensivist at Cabrini ICU. She has worked as an intensivist in Melbourne since 2002. Prior to working at Cabrini she was a staff specialist at the Alfred from 2003 and Head of the Cardiothoracic ICU from 2011 -2016. Deirdre has an interest in echo and ultrasound in critical care and has been involved in setting up and running courses on transthoracic echo, ultrasound and transoesophageal echo. She is an examiner for DDU (Diploma of Diagnostic Ultrasound, ASUM). Her research interests include advanced heart failure therapies and cardiothoracic intensive care. She is a regular reviewer for Annals of Intensive Care, British Journal of Anaesthesia and Journal of Heart Lung Transplant. She is an adjunct senior lecturer at the School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine Monash, and is a tutor for Biomedical Science at Monash University.

  • Dr Steve Philpot


    Steve Philpot is an Intensive Care Specialist at Cabrini Hospital with a special interest in end of life care, organ and tissue donation, communication skills training and empathy in the workplace.

    He is the National Lead Trainer for the DonateLife Family Donation Conversation Workshops, the Convenor of the CICM communication program “How To Run An Effective Family Meeting”, convenor of the Cabrini Health “Shared Decision Making” workshop and chair of the Cabrini Health End of Life Care Committee. He is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at Monash University.

    He is currently completing and Masters of Health and Medical Law at Melbourne University.