The cardiovascular critical care unit comprises an expert team of cardiologists, trained nurses, and advanced equipment to diagnose and manage cases of cardiovascular emergencies. Cardiovascular emergency is often life-threatening, and immediate interventions is the key to saving the lives of patients.
A hypertensive emergency refers to a sudden and severe increase in blood pressure that requires immediate medical attention. It can lead to organ damage or life-threatening complications if not promptly treated.
VA ECMO stands for Veno-Arterial Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation. It is a life-saving technology used in cardiac critical care when traditional measures are insufficient to support failing hearts or lungs. VA ECMO temporarily takes over these functions outside of the body, providing oxygenated blood circulation.
While VA ECMO can be life-saving, it carries potential risks including bleeding complications due to anticoagulation requirements, infections related to catheter insertion sites or circuit components, vascular injury during cannulation process among others.
Patients on VA ECMO require close monitoring by a multidisciplinary team including cardiac intensivists, perfusionists, and critical care nurses. Regular assessment of blood flow, oxygenation levels, anticoagulation management, and circuit function are essential components of their ongoing care.
Not only doctors but nurses also play a vital role in the management of cardiac emergencies. This is because the nurses are highly trained in recognizing the alterations in the vital parameters and immediately alerting the doctors.
VA ECMO may be utilized in various situations such as severe cardiogenic shock, post-cardiotomy shock after open-heart surgery, myocarditis, or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) associated with severe cardiac dysfunction.
Visitors are usually not allowed in cardiac critical care due to several reasons. Firstly, visitors may increase the patient’s risk of infection. Secondly, the continuous movement of the visitors may interfere with the work of medical and paramedical staff.
An Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump, commonly known as IABP, is a mechanical device used in critical care settings for patients with heart failure or certain cardiac conditions. It helps improve the pumping ability of the heart by inflating and deflating a balloon placed inside the aorta.
The IABP works by synchronizing with the patient's heartbeat, inflating during diastole (when the heart relaxes) and deflating just before systole (when the heart contracts). This inflation-deflation cycle assists in improving coronary artery blood flow and reducing workload on the heart.