Nursing in our Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU)
Our Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) is a predominantly surgical unit for children under 18 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.
The Unit offers a wide range of experiences and learning opportunities following post-op surgery including heart and lung transplantation, tracheal reconstruction, thoracic surgery, pulmonary hypertension and mechanical heart, lung and renal assist.
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 who need artificial heart and lung support technology such as extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and Berlin Heart.
In summer 2012, the team moved into new purpose-built facilities with additional space to provide greater privacy for families and an improved working environment for the clinical teams.
As with the other intensive care units, the team is very conscious of the stress parents and relatives of children on CICU are under, and there is a large support network to help. This includes psycho-social support, play and interpreters.