The Cardiothoracic Unit is part of the Cardiorespiratory Unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital, which operates across several wards.
Walrus Ward is a busy, dynamic day procedure unit within the Cardiorespiratory Directorate caring for a variety of specialist areas including cardiology, transplant, pulmonary hypertension, tracheal, thoracic and respiratory patients.
The ward consists of seven inpatient beds to care for children and young people having procedures with sedation or general anaesthetic. These include diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterisation, MRI scans, CT scans, bronchoscopy and sedated ECHOs.
The ward also cares for children and young people attending for pre-operative admission for assessment and preparation prior to cardiac surgery. Children and young people are also reviewed as required post-operatively for cardiology review on Walrus Ward.
On average we routinely see approximately 15-20 patients per day for various treatments and procedures.
Flamingo Ward (Cardiac Intensive Care Unit)
Flamingo Ward is a specialised unit for children under 16 years of age who need intensive care for conditions involving the heart, lungs or airways. The unit is also responsible for the care of children on extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
The Flamingo team is a multidisciplinary team which includes intensive care doctors and nurses, cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, ventilator technicians, physiotherapists and pharmacists.
Bear Ward specialises in caring for children who are pre and post cardiac surgery; pre and post cardiac catheterisation, who have congenital/acquired cardiac disease, pre and post heart/heart & lung transplant and with persistent pulmonary hypertension.
The ward has a designated High Dependency Unit (HDU), which ensures the appropriate levels of care for sick children, making the best use of trained staff and relieving unnecessary long and short-term pressures on Flamingo Ward (Cardiac Intensive Care Unit) facilities. There are eight HDU beds in Bear Ward.
Intensive care episodes can be a difficult experience for a child and family and the HDU means patients who do not require airway support immediately post operation go straight to HDU rather than intensive care. This provides a better service and experience for the child and family as well as making more efficient and effective use of intensive care facilities.