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Sylvia del Castillo, MD
CTICU Medical Director
Meet Dr. Castillo

Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU)

The 24-bed Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU), staffed by pediatric intensivists and located within the Heart Institute, is the only dedicated, separately staffed unit for pediatric patients on the West Coast.  About 900 patients are admitted each year, including children with the most complex diseases of the heart and lung.

Special Facilities

Special facilities include two positive-pressure and hepa-filtered private rooms designed specifically for transplant patients.

The CTICU combines the services of:

As a result, this specialized care unit reaches out to critically ill children with an effective mix of medical disciplines, including nursing, respiratory care, cardiology, cardiac surgery, anesthesiology and critical care.

When the Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion is completed in 2011, the CTICU will expand to 24 beds to help meet a growing need for these advanced services.

When visiting the CTICU, please follow the instructions provided here.

Critical Care Faculty in the CTICU

The critical care faculty consists of six board-certified pediatric intensivists with special expertise in cardiac care, and have appointments in the Departments of Pediatrics and Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine.

The training background of our faculty is diverse, representing four programs from various parts of the country.  In addition, three of our faculty are anesthesiologists who spend a significant portion of their duty time in the operating room.  The intensivists provide and coordinate the medical and perioperative care of the children.

Read an Interview with an Intensivist

Critical Care Staff in the CTICU

Pediatric cardiac registered nurses (RN), respiratory care practitioners (RCP), and nurse practitioners (NP) provide the “front-line” care in the CTICU by their continuous presence and service to the children and families.  Daily multidisciplinary care rounds occur with the collaborative input from each of these disciplines.  The respiratory care practitioners are also dedicated to the CTICU, and are trained and experienced at providing the specialized respiratory needs of children with heart disease.  There is ongoing teaching and education of advanced cardiac care management through out the year provided by our NPs, CTICU Education Managers, and senior nursing staff.  In addition, the CTICU staff possess particular expertise in the use of advanced technologies such as inhaled nitric oxide, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and ventricular assist devices.