Two major changes in patient characteristics and management occurred recently that demand distinctive alterations in the function of the intensive cardiac care unit (ICCU). These changes include the introduction of an early invasive strategy for the treatment of acute coronary syndromes, enabling early recuperation and shorter need for intensive care on the one hand, while the number of older and sicker patients requiring prolonged and more complex intensive care is steadily increasing. A task force of the European Society of Cardiology Working Group on Acute Cardiac Care was set to give a modern updated comprehensive recommendations concerning the structure, organization, and function of the modern ICCUs and intermediate cardiac units. These include the statement that specially trained cardiologists and cardiac nurses who can manage patients with acute cardiac conditions should staff the ICCUs. The optimum number of physicians, nurses, and other personal working in the unit is included. The document indicates the desired architecture and structure of the units and the intermediate cardiac unit and their relations to the other facilities in the hospital. Specific recommendations are also included for the minimal number of beds, monitoring system, respirators, pacemaker/ defibrillators, and necessary additional equipment. The desired function is discussed, namely, the patients to be admitted, the length of stay, and the relocation policy. A uniformed electronic chart for ICCUs is advised, anticipating a common European database.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study presents independent research (part) funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health. C.E.W. is funded through European Union's Seventh Framework Programme via Marie Curie Action, co-financed by the Junta de Andalucia and the European Commission under Talentia Postdocgrant agreement number 267226.
- Acute cardiac care
- Functional recommendations
- Intensive care unit
- Medical equipment