Cardiac Intensive Care Unit

What is a cardiac intensive care unit?

A cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) is a hospital inpatient unit for babies, children, teens and young adults who are critically ill with heart conditions. A CICU is staffed with cardiac critical care providers, including dedicated nursing staff and other professionals focused solely on heart care. Research shows that care in a CICU can improve a child’s recovery.

As little intervention as possible — without leaving home

Our goal is to help children recover from heart conditions with as little intervention as possible. We will not send your child out of state or to another center for care — our team performs all diagnostic testing, surgeries and follow-up care at Norton Children’s Hospital.

We offer the most specialized care and advanced technology available, including ventricular assist devices (VADs) and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), an advanced medical technology that provides heart and lung bypass when a child’s heart and/or lungs fail or need a rest. A cardiac intensive care doctor is present in the CICU 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Why will Norton Children’s Hospital have a dedicated CICU?

Heart conditions are very complex and can be life-threatening. Yet, in many hospitals, children with heart issues are cared for on general pediatric intensive care units. Having a dedicated team with advanced training and experience in caring for children with heart conditions leads to better care and better outcomes — and a better experience for patients and their families.

Norton Children’s Hospital currently is building the Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU). The 17-bed Jennifer Lawrence CICU was established in 2016 with a $2 million gift from the Lawrence Family Foundation.

Who is on our CICU team?

Caring for critically ill children with heart conditions requires a highly trained and specialized team of providers. Our CICU team members have pediatric cardiac critical care expertise and work together to create a unique plan for each patient. The team works together the entire time your child is in the CICU.

While in the CICU, your child may be cared for by:

  • Pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons
  • Pediatric transplant surgeons
  • Pediatric cardiologists
    • Fetal cardiologists
    • Adult congenital heart cardiologists
    • Heart failure/heart transplant cardiologists
    • Pediatric cardiac catheterization cardiologists
    • Pediatric electrophysiologists
  • Pediatric critical care physicians
  • Cardiovascular anesthesiologists
  • Cardiac critical care nurses
  • Cardiac nurse practitioners
  • Critical care pharmacists
  • Child life specialists
  • Diagnostic imaging specialists
  • Dietitians
  • Family support team
  • Genetic counselors
  • Psychologists
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Social workers

Why choose Norton Children’s Heart Institute

No other congenital heart surgery program in Kentucky, Ohio or Southern Indiana is ranked higher by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons than the Norton Children’s Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Program.

  • Norton Children’s Hospital has been a pioneer in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, performing Kentucky’s first pediatric heart transplant in 1986 and becoming the second site in the United States to perform an infant heart transplant.
  • Our board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric cardiovascular surgeons are leaders in the field as clinicians and researchers.
  • More than 5,000 children a year visit Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville, for advanced heart care.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute successfully performs more than 17,500 procedures a year.
  • The Society of Thoracic Surgeons ranked Norton Children’s Heart Institute among the best in the region after studying years of our patients’ outcomes and our ability to handle a range of pediatric heart conditions, including the most severe.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute has satellite outpatient centers in Bowling Green, Frankfort, Owensboro and Paducah; 28 tele-echocardiography locations in Kentucky and Southern Indiana; and six fetal echocardiography locations across Kentucky.
  • The American Board of Thoracic Surgery has certified the cardiothoracic surgeons at Norton Children’s Hospital with subspecialty certification in congenital heart surgery.
  • The Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit is under construction to give our patients the most advanced care available.
  • Our multidisciplinary approach to pediatric heart surgery brings together our specialists in cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, anesthesiology, cardiac critical care and other areas to create a complete care plan tailored for your child.
Heart – 2929

Contact Us

For more information on services or to schedule an appointment with the Norton Children’s Heart Institute:

(502) 629-2929

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