The Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) provides care to critically ill patients with cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgical issues. During this rotation, fellows learn many aspects of how to manage patients before and after a variety of surgical procedures. These procedures may include coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), cardiac valve repair/replacement using cardiopulmonary bypass and transcutaneous aortic valve replacement; aortic replacement with or without hypothermic circulatory arrest, endovascular aortic repair such as endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) and thoracic endovascular aneurysm repair (TEVAR) and lung transplantation; heart transplantation and ventricular assist device placement.
Patients are also admitted to the CVICU if they require a higher level of care after procedures such as pneumonectomies, pulmonary lobectomies and wedge resections, transhiatal esophagectomies or vascular bypass surgeries. Therefore, fellows learn the preoperative or nonoperative management of a variety of conditions. Finally, the fellows gain experience with the management of a variety of surgical complications such as respiratory failure, infection and renal failure.
During this rotation, fellows are continuously supervised by critical care faculty. Fellows benefit from working within a multidisciplinary team which develops their communication, leadership and teaching skills. This multidisciplinary team includes individuals from various areas of expertise including nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pharmacists; nutritionists, social workers and perfusionists; nurses and others.