The Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (ICU) was designed specifically for the care of postoperative cardiac and thoracic surgery patients. This 21-bed unit is designated as a level 1 trauma and respiratory care unit. It also has standard ICU monitoring capability and the capacity for advanced cardiopulmonary support in the form of ventricular assist devices and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
The intensivists work as part of a multidisciplinary team that also includes cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiothoracic surgery fellows, rotating residents, consult services, nurses, advanced practice nurses, nurse educators, a clinical pharmacist, respiratory therapists, a dietician, physical therapists, clergy and other support services staff.
In addition to providing clinical care, the intensivists coordinate teaching activities in the Cardiothoracic ICU. Rotations on the service include three residents (from the Departments of Surgery and Anesthesiology), one intern (from the Department of Emergency Medicine) and a fellow. Medical and St. Louis College of Pharmacy students also rotate on the unit.
The Cardiothoracic ICU has an active clinical research program that includes hypothesis-based studies and clinical trials sponsored by pharmaceutical companies.