Cardiac Critical Care

The Heart Center is well known for its cardiac response time and level of skill in treating critically ill young patients.

Led by Medical Director John M. Costello, MD, MPH, the Cardiac Critical Care Program treats critically ill infants, children and young adults who are admitted to the hospital for complex heart conditions.

To bring the highest level of knowledge and expertise to each patient, our team of pediatric cardiac intensivists collaborates closely with the Heart Center's cardiologists, surgeons, neonatologists, anesthesiologists, cardiac advanced nurse practitioners and cardiac nurses.

Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit

The 36-bed Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) occupies the entire 15th floor, where cardiology and cardiovascular surgery patients stay from admission to discharge. It is one of the few pediatric units of its kind in the nation, providing the expertise, technology and comprehensive resources to treat a broad range of complex heart conditions from infancy through young adulthood.


 Regenstein CCU Virtual Tour


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Improving Patient Safety & Comfort

As an acuity-adaptable unit, the CCU's patient rooms meet the advanced technological requirements of an intensive-care room while providing the family amenities and comfort of an acute-care, private room. Research shows this model of care greatly improves patient safety and comfort by eliminating the need for transfers to other units in the hospital for treatment.

Advanced Cardiac-Intensive Care Technology

The CCU boasts the most advanced technology available, including:

  • 24-hour heart rhythm monitoring for arrhythmias via a central monitoring station.
  • Patient monitoring from anywhere in the hospital and remote sites, including physician's homes.
  • Near infra-red spectroscopy (NIRS), a non-invasive technology that will allow us to monitor oxygen supply to all parts of the child's body.
  • ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenator), an external cardiac and respiratory support device

Family-Focused Space for Comfort & Privacy

We understand how important family is to the healing process. In addition to offering private rooms, the CCU features:

  • Enhanced family space in rooms so that parents can stay at their child's side at all times
  • 16 dedicated beds for newborns and 20 for pediatric and young-adult patients
  • Bright, sun-filled family “respite rooms” for relaxation, recharging and socializing
  • Private consultation rooms for parent-physician conversations

It is also connected to Northwestern Medicine's Prentice Women's Hospital, the largest birthing center in the region. This allows us to provide immediate care for newborns that require urgent cardiac intervention, while keeping them close to their mothers as they recover from delivery.