Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Which patients are admitted to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit?
Children with heart conditions who need continuous monitoring and frequent assessments are admitted to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. While most of the patients are admitted after heart surgery, we also care for patients with non-heart related conditions.
What does the CICU look like?
While the CICU is an area of constant activity, we strive to provide a comforting environment for families, who we know are going through a stressful time.
All of the bed spaces offer privacy for patients and their families. The bed space your child occupies in the unit may change from time to time due to the needs of other patients.
The parent area contains a sleep bench that may be used as a bed for one parent, a closet, a small safe for valuables and a phone for outgoing and incoming calls. When you are not in the room, messages from incoming callers may be left on voicemail for you.
Visiting the CICU
Parents are welcome to stay with their child in the CICU 24 hours a day. We ask that you wear a parent ID badge, which you can get at the reception desk in the main lobby. Siblings of any age are also welcome. All siblings under age 12 must check in at the main lobby information desk to be screened for illness and then get a Children’s sticker to wear before entering the unit. Siblings’ sleep accommodations are not available in the hospital. Our resource specialist is available to assist families who may require additional accommodations.
To ensure the privacy of all our patients, we ask that you stop at the CICU front desk each time you visit. The receptionist will check your parent ID badge and let your child's nurse know you are here. The unit is very large. Signs are posted to help you and we are happy to escort you to your child's bed space.
Since this is an intensive care unit, visitors may be limited. We ask that all visitors be accompanied by a parent.
We encourage you to bring in stuffed animals, blankets, music boxes or pictures for your child. Please label all personal property with your child's name to prevent items from being misplaced. Flowers are not permitted in patient rooms.
Cell phones and wireless computers may not be used in the CICU. These items may interfere with some of our sophisticated monitoring in the CICU.
How can I contact the CICU and find out about my child while I'm away?
If you are away from the hospital, you can contact the reception desk (617-355-8087) to be connected with your child's nurse.
We are happy to provide you with information regarding your child's condition any time, 24 hours a day. We encourage you to ask questions at any time. You may find it helpful to keep a notebook to write down information you receive and keep a list of questions that come up. We are here to help you and your child, and we will answer all your questions honestly and to the best of our ability.
How do I make and receive personal phone calls?
All incoming personal phone calls should be directed to the phone in your child's room. Instructions on the usage of the phones are posted in your child's room.
Who will be given information about my child?
To protect your child's privacy, we only provide information to parents, guardians and primary care providers. We ask that other family members and friends contact you for information about your child.
What will my child's routine be while in the CICU?
Because routines differ by the age and diagnosis of each child, you may discuss the daily plan for your child with your child's nurse and physician. Your nurse will explain tests and procedures and provide frequent updates on your child's condition. Many diagnostic tests are performed at the bedside.
Transfer from the CICU
Once your child has recovered and is in a stable condition, you will be transferred to the Cardiology Unit on the 8th floor, which is adjacent to the CICU.