Levine Children's Hospital offers the region's first dedicated Pediatric Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU), providing specialized, immediate post-operative care for children following heart surgery as well as an ECMO (heart-lung bypass) program.
A facility designed with families in mind
Housed on the sixth floor in the Ricky Hendrick Centers for Intensive Care, the CVICU was designed for the special needs of families with children recovering from heart surgery. The area includes a spacious waiting area, large-screen TVs, a family dining area, a quiet respite room with recliners and private family waiting areas for critical situations.
Enabling parents to stay close to their children as much as possible while still managing their daily lives, the intensive care floor also includes a family business center to help parents keep up with business obligations, as well as sleeping rooms for families. Following the immediate post operative phase, patients are moved to CVICU rooms that offer accommodations for parents to stay in their child's room if they wish.
State-of-the-art expertise and technology
Our team of cardiologists, surgeons, anesthesiologists, intensivists, nurse practitioners, nurses and other healthcare providers are specially trained in pediatric cardiology using the latest technology available. Doctors can identify and analyze heart abnormalities at the earliest possible stages using three-dimensional echocardiography. More pediatric diagnostic heart catheterizations have been performed at the hospital in the last 15 years than at any other facility in the state.
Our cardiothoracic surgeons employ leading-edge surgical approaches to treat complex pediatric and adult congenital heart disease. One of the latest advances is the use of robotics, which allows doctors to perform minimally invasive surgery on the tiniest patients with pinpoint accuracy. The advantages include smaller incisions, shorter hospital stays and recovery times, a lower risk of infection, less pain and a reduced need for medication.
A parent's view
The new CVICU is receiving rave reviews from parents. Lisa McKenzie, mother of a child with congenital heart disease and leader of the Levine Cardiac Kids support group, had this to say after touring the new CVICU with other Cardiac Kids parents:
"Being parents of kids who have been hospitalized, it was apparent to us through the tour that so many suggestions and ideas received from families were truly understood by the designers/developers and incorporated into the new Levine Children's Hospital facility. The whole 'personality' of the hospital exudes comfort and hope - two things I think a hospital, particularly a children's hospital, should portray.
"Of course, the biggest raves from our group came after seeing the new CVICU, as it is so different from the CVRU. It would seem that patients will heal faster and families will find it easier to cope, simply with the addition of private space/rooms and windows, not to mention the excellent care and family-centered perspective offered by the CVICU staff with Tracy Avolio as their manager. As we toured the progressive floor, we were also quite impressed with the playrooms, lounge areas, hospital room design and overall layout."