Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit

The CICU is a dedicated setting for the management of critically ill patients with congenital or acquired heart disease (Hoffman et al. 2002). Because only 10-15 pediatric CICUs exist in the world (Melvin Almodovar, personal communication, July 10, 2008), most pediatric cardiac patients are admitted to general PICU settings. Patients hospital ized in a CICU typically present as newborns with congenital heart disease (diagnosed either prena-tally or postnatally), children and adolescents with a history of congenital heart disease who are manifesting ongoing or recurring cardiac symptomatology or require further interventions, patients with a history of congenital heart disease who are hospitalized for noncardiac concerns, or previously healthy children and adolescents with acquired heart disease. Representing a broad age range, CICU patients, including those awaiting or recovering from heart transplantation, undergo a variety of specialized diagnostic and medical procedures (e.g., echocardiogram, cardiac catheterization) and surgical interventions.

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