The intensive care unit – commonly called the ICU – is a floor or area of the hospital designed to care for children that require a lot of medical attention and support. The ICU is where your child will begin their recovery after cardiac surgery.
- Continuous monitor (Heart rate, oxygen saturation)
- Intravenous lines
- Endotracheal tube and Ventilator tubing
- Chest tube and collection chamber
- Foley catheter
- Medication drips (via IV lines)
See additional equipment that you might find in the ICU
Nothing can prepare you to see your child for the first time after surgery or for the ups and downs that may happen in the ICU. Your child will have an incision in their chest and many tubes attached to give them medications and fluids, and to help them breathe and eat. Their heart rhythm and oxygen levels will be monitored every second of the day.
The ICU is a very intense environment that most people are not familiar with. Learning what to expect will help prepare you to support your child during the critical time they are recovering in the ICU.
Many people work together in the ICU to help your child through recovery. It may be difficult to get oriented when your child first arrives, but you will gradually become more familiar with the people and routines.
The care team knows that this can be a stressful and emotional time for your family. It’s okay to ask questions so that you understand what’s happening and feel comfortable with your child’s care. It’s important to talk with the care team about any concerns you have or changes that you notice in your child’s condition.