Cardiac Intensive Care Unit | Patient Resources

Outstanding survival rates 

The survival rate after cardiac surgery at Children's for all patients is 98.5 percent. An important focus in the ICU is the provision of efficient and cost-effective care, and several of our initiatives focus on ways to decrease the length of patients’ intensive care stays, as well as total hospital stays. 

We believe that optimal intensive care management of children with heart disease requires both an understanding of pediatric cardiology, and: 

  • knowledge of all the drugs available to support the heart
  • knowledge of the best monitoring and tests to follow a patient's recovery or diagnose possible problems
  • an appreciation of immature organ systems, and the changes that occur with growth and development
  • an appreciation of respiratory physiology and significance of interactions between the heart and lungs
  • the utility of different types and modes of artificial ventilation, and the effect this has on the lungs and the heart
  • the complex effects of undergoing surgery and being on the heart-lung machine and in particular the effect this has on the body's inflammatory system and organ functions
  • an understanding of the potential risk for brain injury, and the use of all modalities to monitor and protect the brain
  • the methods available to protect and support the function of all organs, and provide alternative support when necessary, such as kidney dialysis
  • the use of specialized equipment and machines to support of the circulation such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
  • and general intensive care management that is necessary for all patients, including nutrition, prevention and treatment of infection, and careful management of sedation and analgesia

Patient experience

After a heart surgery or other heart procedure, your child will be taken to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU). Learning about the CICU journey in advance can help you feel more comfortable and informed about what to expect. These videos provide a detailed overview of the unit, including the physical layout, the staff you will meet, and the machines that will help your child recover.

Your infant's stay

Your child's stay