Coronary Intensive Care Unit

What is a coronary intensive care unit?

The coronary intensive care unit (CICU) is an area in the hospital where serious heart problems are treated. It may also be called a coronary care unit or cardiac care unit (CCU). You may need to be in a CICU if you:

  • Have had a heart attack
  • Are recovering from a heart surgery or procedure
  • Have heart disease

You will stay in the unit until you are doing well enough to need less intensive care.

What happens in a CICU?

While you are in the CICU, you will be closely monitored. Depending on why you are there, you may have:

  • A heart monitor to check your heart rhythm and a pacemaker to control the rhythm
  • Oxygen, given either through your nose or through a tube placed in your throat and attached to a ventilator
  • An IV to give you fluids, nutrients, and medicines
  • Tubes to drain urine, stomach contents, or other fluids, as needed
  • A blood pressure monitor

These tubes and monitors will be removed when you no longer need them.

You may be given medicines to control blood pressure, to open blocked arteries, or to treat abnormal heart rhythms.

Your rehabilitation and education starts while you are in the CICU. You will slowly start exercising while you recover from a heart attack or heart surgery. You will learn about your heart disease and what you can do to stay healthy.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-06-18
Last reviewed: 2014-09-29
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
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