About the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit

About 40,000 children a year are born with a heart defect. Because of their many special needs, the Heart Institute at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh opened the first Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) in the region.

At the CICU, surgeons can:

  • Repair tiny hearts.
  • Give toddlers a chance for a lifetime with transplanted hearts.
  • Provide even more children with the chance to live and breathe for weeks on a mechanical pump until a donor heart becomes available.

The CICU, located on Children’s fourth floor, is a 12-bed unit with private rooms, offering state of the art care in a family-centered environment. Specially designed beds allow surgeons to operate in an emergency, saving precious time. Additional cardiac intensive care services are provided on the seventh floor, a 21-bed unit with spacious private rooms where patients with a spectrum of illness can be cared for.

The technologically advanced CICU is designed to meet the needs of a growing number of complex cases. Newborns only several years ago were not considered candidates for surgery. Now, thanks to medical advances, they are. As a result, they warrant more specialized care.

Children's CICU is moving ahead in this amazing frontier of technologies while focusing on its determination to save young lives.