Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU)

The Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) provides supervision and support for infants and children with congenital or acquired heart disease and adults with congenital heart disease. The CICU is staffed by full-time, board-certified pediatric intensivists and cardiologists with special expertise in the management of patients with cardiac disorders, as well as specially trained nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, social workers and multiple other professionals, working in close collaboration with pediatric cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons.

UPMC Children's Hospital's CICU is a technologically advanced 33-bed unit that is designed to provide complex cardiac care in a patient- and family-centered way.

The Heart Institute at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh ranks among the top cardiovascular surgery programs in the United States. UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh has earned a distinguished three-star rating from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for its patient care and outcomes in congenital heart surgery. The three-star rating, which denotes the highest category of quality, places UPMC Children's among the elite for congenital heart surgery in the United States and Canada.

The STS star rating system is one of the most sophisticated and highly regarded overall measures of quality in health care, comparing the nationally benchmarked outcomes of cardiothoracic surgery programs in the United States and Canada. The STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database (CHSD) star rating is calculated based on overall risk-adjusted operative mortality for all patients undergoing pediatric and/or congenital heart surgery performed by an STS CHSD participant.

Historically, approximately 8%–10% of participants receive the three-star rating for congenital heart surgery. The latest analysis of data for congenital heart surgery covers a 4-year period, from 2015 to 2018, and includes 118 participants.

Benefits of CardiacTelemedicine

UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is leading the way in the development of telemedicine services to meet the needs of young patients regionally and around the world. Our state-of-the-art digital technologies allow us to provide complex pediatric care through remote and virtual means wherever our expertise is needed at anytime of the day or night.

Our e-CICU Program offers remote consultation of critical care units by Children's world-class pediatric intensivists and cardiologists, when complex critical care expertise is required.

Learn more about Children's Telemedicine Program.

Referral Requirements

Emergency referrals should be made using the Children’s Hospital Communications Center, 412-692-5000. Questions also may be directed to the intensivist on call by calling the hospital operator at 412-692-5325.



Yolandee Bell-Cheddar, MD

Matthew Bochkoris, MD

Rod Ghassemzadeh, MD

Jiuann-Huey "Ivy" Lin, MD

Joan Sanchez-de-Toledo, MD

  • Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU)

    UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
    4401 Penn Avenue
    Floor 4
    Pittsburgh, PA 15224