Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU)

3260 Hospital Dr. NW, Calgary, Alberta  T2N 4Z6

Switchboard 403-944-1110

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Highlights


Patient and Family Centered Care Committee (PFCC)

The CVICU has its own PFCC committee which continues to build the foundation to include the patient and family members as integral partners in healthcare.

Research and Quality Improvement

  • *New* Patient Flow Project – Optimizing patient flow from CVICU to cardiac surgery ward Unit 91
  • *New* Early Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Phase 1 protocol  


Libin

Dr. Ken Parhar, FMC CVICU Medical Director

Kari France, FMC CVICU Acting Manager 

Chris Coltman, FMC CVICU CNE

Overview

The Cardiovascular Intensive Care (CVICU) provides high quality care for the post cardiac surgery patients. This can only happen with the amazing dedication, teamwork, and collaboration of all the departments and multidisciplinary teams involved throughout the cardiac surgery patients’ journey. The unit has a total of 22 beds on two separate units (U. 94 and 104) with 16 of these beds currently funded.

The Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) at the Foothills Medical Centre, is the only CVICU serving Southern Alberta with over 1650 cardiac surgery cases in 2019. The CVICU specializes in post-operative open heart surgery with the majority of cases being Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) and valve repair or replacement. Other post-operative surgeries cared for in the CVICU include complex thoracic aortic surgery, minimally invasive valve surgery including alternate approaches to femoral based Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), as well as Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS) for both temporary heart and lung support (VV/VA ECMO) as well as Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD) which provide short term and more durable heart support.

 

PATIENT CARE

The CVICU is focused on providing patient and family centered care (PFCC). The CVICU has its own PFCC committee which continues to build the foundation to include the patient and family members as integral partners in healthcare. As an example this past year this multidisciplinary committee has implemented the “Getting To Know Me” tool that is usually completed by the patient’s family member with the goal to improve the CVICU patient experience by knowing their individual personal preferences.

The CVICU consists of a large multidisciplinary team:

  • 110 Registered Nurses
    • CVICU has the highest number of advanced certifications in critical care including IABP, CRRT, three VAD devices, Pulmonary Artery catheters, advanced pacing, Lumbar drains as well as other ICU advanced certifications
  • 1  Clinical Nurse Educator
  • 10  Cardiovascular Intensivists MD’s
    • Seven intensivists have obtained advanced Echocardiography training
    • Two Intensivists have additional training in ECLS
  • 12 Cardiac Surgeons (see Libin annual report for sub-specialties)
  • 18 Registered Respiratory Therapists
  • 1 Physiotherapist
  • 1 Clinical Pharmacist
    • PharmD
  • 10 Unit Clerks
  • 15 Health Care Aids
  • 2 Housekeeping staff
  • 2 Social Workers

 

RESEARCH

Over the past year the FMC CVICU was one of the first in Canada to implement a new cardiac surgery post-operative movement protocol called Keep Your Move in the Tube (KYMITT). This is designed to improve mobility and independence without compromising the breastbone/sternal wire integrity. This resulted in a small research project in collaboration with Dr. Kathryn King-Shier from the University of Calgary.

The CVICU is also in the second year of the Early Chest Opening (ECO) after Cardiac Surgery protocol adopted from the new European Resuscitation Council guidelines. And the CVICU is proud of the team who have published in the May 2020 Special Patient Safety Issue in Clinical Simulation in Nursing, titled: Preventing Harm: Testing and Implementing Health Care Protocols Using Systems Integration and Learner-Focused Simulations: A Case Study of a New Post Cardiac Surgery, Cardiac Arrest Protocol. This publication was spearheaded by the Foothills Medical Centre Lead Simulation Consultant Mirette Dube as well as many other CVICU team members.

Our dynamic multidisciplinary CVICU team continues work on Quality Improvement projects including:

  • *New* Patient Flow Project – Optimizing patient flow from CVICU to cardiac surgery ward Unit 91
  • *New* Early Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Phase 1 protocol  
  • Identification and management of delirium post-operatively concentrating on early mobilization
  • Wound Care Project – Implementation of a new sternal dressing September 2019

 

EDUCATION

The CVICU has a very robust, clinically engaged process of educating our nurses. The extensive advanced certifications require initial certification as well as annual recertification provided by the CVICU clinical nurse educator. All new ICU nurses are part of the Department of Critical Care mentorship program. This program has been customized for CVICU and provides a supportive learning environment to allow nurses to become independent and highly skilled.

The CVICU is heavily involved in a simulation program. The purchase of a specialized mannequin has enhanced the learning experience for emergent post-operative procedures.

The ECLS program is very thankful to receive a generous donation from the Rotary Club for the purchase of an Ebbtides Parallel ECMO simulator which will greatly enhance the education for the multidisciplinary team who specialize in the care of these patients.