What happens in the cardiology department?

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The Cardiology Unit (UCC) is a specialized hospital unit dedicated to the treatment of people with severe or acute heart disease. People who have undergone heart surgery also receive mandatory health insurance as they recover.

These rooms are equipped to provide specialized care for heart disease and are staffed with medical personnel trained in cardiac care. Many CCU hospitals are treating a growing number of patients who, in addition to cardiovascular disease, have other chronic health problems that require treatment .

For example, a retrospective review of 1,042 patients admitted to the CCU in 2017 found that patients with heart disease also had other chronic health problems, including:

  • Septicemia
  • Acute kidney injury
  • Acute respiratory failure
Vizut Utairam / Getty Images

Fixed issues in CCU

Patients are admitted to AKI with severe, acute, and / or unstable heart disease that requires 24-hour follow-up and specialized cardiovascular therapy.

The most common of these is an acute heart attack or another form of acute coronary syndrome. People with these conditions are prone to rapid and unexpected changes in their condition and typically require ongoing therapy, such as targeted temperature control (causing mild hypothermia).

Other patients who may require a stay in the intensive care unit include those who:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 805,000 people suffer from heart attacks each year. Additionally , 18.2 million 200,000 Americans undergo coronary artery bypass surgery each year. Consequently , in most hospitals, the CCU tends to be busy.

Also know as

  • Coronary Therapy Department
  • Coronary intensive care unit
  • Intensive care unit
  • Intensive Cardiology Unit (UCIC)
  • Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CICU)

What's happening at CCU

Cardiology departments are specially staffed and equipped to treat and solve problems unique to cardiac patients, especially when constant monitoring is required.

Nurses, technicians and doctors with special training in caring for people with serious heart conditions see patients 24 hours a day, with a staff-to-patient ratio much higher than in a typical hospital ward.

All patients admitted to the CCU are placed on a cardiac monitor, which records and analyzes each heartbeat and sounds an alarm to alert staff in the event of a serious arrhythmia.

In some patients, temporary catheters are also placed in the artery in the wrist to continuously monitor blood pressure, or in the pulmonary artery to monitor blood pressure in the heart.

Patients with severe heart failure may receive an intra-aortic balloon pump (IABB) or a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) to help the heart pump blood.

Cardiology departments are equipped with ventilators for patients who have severe respiratory problems as a result of a heart attack .

People in the CCU often require specialized testing, so CCUs are equipped to perform these tests in the room. These include, but are not limited to, blood tests, EKGs , echocardiograms , and chest X-rays .

The CCU is generally configured differently than a typical hospital room. Most have a centralized infirmary surrounded by 8-12 individual rooms, each with large glass windows so patients can be seen from the infirmary.

The nursing station itself will be equipped with monitoring screens that will display continuous data for each patient. If an emergency occurs, it is detected immediately by trained medical personnel who can respond immediately.

Many ICU patients are on bed rest, but comfortable chairs are available for those who can (and can benefit from) staying awake for a prescribed period of time each day.

Visitors

While UCC visitors are encouraged to provide comfort and companionship to patients, they are generally limited to members of the immediate family. Visiting hours are often limited to two or three short periods of time per day.

Food and other items brought in from outside the hospital, such as plants and flowers, are generally prohibited because patients in intensive care units tend to follow a controlled diet and plants can introduce bacteria into the environment that cause infections.

If you visit a loved one in the CCU, it is likely connected to cables and tubes. This can be confusing, but don't be intimidated: you need to be watched closely.

After CCU

The average stay in the ICU is one to six days. Subsequently, most patients are transferred to the so-called 'descent therapy unit' of cardiology, where they will receive less intensive therapy.

Although the heart is continuously monitored in the descent unit, patients are allowed (and encouraged) to walk and move regularly. Often times, physical therapists or physical therapists work with patients in the descent unit to help them progress in their locomotion and teach them what actions to avoid after they are allowed to return home.

Most heart patients are discharged immediately after patient care. They are often placed in a cardiac rehab program to learn more about the necessary changes to their diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors that are important to avoid continuing in the intensive care unit.

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