The Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, opened in February 2002, is consistently at full census. The original unit had an 8 bed capacity but, with the move to the new Children’s Hospital facility in Lawrenceville, the unit was increased to a 12 bed unit for pediatric patients recovering from cardiac surgery or with a primary cardiac disorder as the indication for intensive care.
As need for cardiac intensive care beds increases, this unit affords physicians and staff the advantage of a space specially designed to care for critically ill heart patients or those recovering from cardiac surgery. Doctors have access to the latest technology, can operate at a moments notice and are able to isolate patients who have recently received heart transplants and are in need of immunosuppressive drugs. The hospital accepts the toughest cases and performs the most demanding surgeries on some of the youngest patients.
Children's highly trained heart specialists are centered in one unit where they are able to focus their efforts to meet the unique needs of pediatric heart patients. Children's CICU is one of the nation's few pediatric units specially designed for this purpose. The CICU, under the direction of Dr. Ricardo Muñoz, utilizes four attendings to manage patient care. The CICU also provides training to fellows in Critical Care Medicine, Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Fellows from institutions other than Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh rotate through the CICU to gain knowledge and experience in the complex cases that we treat.