About the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit

Nurses checking ECMO circuits on CICU

The Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) at Great Ormond Street Hospital is a specialised unit for children under 16 years of age who need intensive care for conditions involving the heart, lungs or airways.Children with heart or lung problems may sometimes become so sick that they need machines and medicines to help keep them alive. When that happens, they will be admitted to CICU for such treatment.

Treatments include medications that cannot be safely given on a general ward, and use of machines that can take over the work of the lungs, heart and kidneys. The unit is responsible for the care of children on extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

The unit also cares for children who have had major heart, lung or airway surgery. Such children require a period of close observation and treatment during the immediate post operative period.

The CICU team is a multi-disciplinary team which includes intensive care doctors and nurses, cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, ventilator technicians, physiotherapists and pharmacists.