Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU)

CVICUAt the Children’s of Alabama Heart Center, our 20-bed Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) cares for children in need of specialized care for their cardiac condition.

Our multidisciplinary team includes cardiovascular intensivists trained in pediatric cardiology, pediatric critical care and neonatology. They work alongside our cardiac surgeons and together with a team of highly specialized nurses, respiratory therapists, and nurse practitioners to provide the best care for our patients.

Research and Quality Initiative (QI) projects are an integral part of delivering expert care to our patients in the CVICU. Our Clinical Guidelines have led to improved outcomes as highlighted below.

We understand that children requiring cardiac critical care can be a highly stressful time for both patients and their families. We are committed to providing our patients with the best care possible from our expert team of pediatric subspecialists.

Dr. Jeffrey Alten’s blog post
“Caring for Kids in the CVICU”


Highlights of the CVICU

Medical team that includes:

  • 9 Board Certified Physicians specializing in pediatric cardiac critical care, including a CV-trained neonatologist
  • One year fellowship opportunities in pediatric cardiac critical care
  • 11 nurse practitioners with specialized cardiac training
  • 20 private rooms with 4 dedicated CV-ECMO suites all equipped with full amenities for rooming in of family
  • Dedicated CV satellite lab and blood bank adjacent to CVICU
  • Centralized telemetry specialists located within unit
  • CV Operating Rooms, CV Pre and Post Anesthesia Recovery Unit, Cath/EP labs all located on same level

Research

  • Busy Clinical and Translational Research Program
    • 5 clinical trials currently underway
  • Robust Pediatric Cardiac Bio-Repository
    • Samples banked from majority of surgical patients for future research
  • Discovery of new therapies and diagnostic tools
  • Participation in Institutional and Multi-center Collaborative efforts

Safety and Quality

  • Strong Multidisciplinary Quality Improvement (QI) team has led to improved clinical outcomes and policy changes
  • Highlights of Accomplishments in last 2 years
    • Presentations at scientific conferences
    • Publications in peer review journals
    • 50% reduction in time on ventilator
    • 51% decrease in peri-operative blood product exposure
    • 89% decreased exposure to IV Potassium boluses
    • 6 day decrease in length of stay utilizing comprehensive feeding protocol
    • 76% decrease in blood sampling on ECMO
  • PC4 - Participation in multi-institutional QI consortium