How We Can Help
Cardiac Critical Care Treatment Information
We offer comprehensive care for heart failure and heart attack patients, including the following services:
- Post-transplant care. After you receive your new heart, you need around-the-clock care to make sure your new heart is working correctly. You also take immunosuppressant medicines to keep your body’s immune system from attacking your new heart. We run frequent blood and imaging tests to keep an eye on your new organ. We administer all treatments you need within critical care, including cardiac rehabilitation and other therapies to help you recover.
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). ECMO is an advanced technique to assist patients who are experiencing heart failure and awaiting surgery. It has been used in neonatal intensive care for many years and is now being used to assist adults. ECMO pumps blood from your body into a machine that adds oxygen to your blood and removes carbon dioxide from your blood. Your blood is then warmed to the correct temperature and pumped back into your body. ECMO ensures that your cells receive the oxygen they need to function correctly when your heart or lung are not working properly. ECMO essentially performs your heart and lung functions for you.
- Respiratory support. Heart failure causes fluids to build up in your lungs, preventing you from breathing correctly. In addition to or instead of ECMO, you may require respiratory support through a ventilator. A ventilator machine pumps oxygen-rich air directly into your lungs through either a tracheostomy or endotracheal intubation. A tracheostomy is an incision through the front of your neck straight into your trachea, the airway in your throat. You receive air through a tube connected from the ventilator through the tracheostomy. For endotracheal intubation, a tube is run through your nose or mouth and down into your trachea. It is more often used for patients who need temporary respiratory support.
- Positive Airway Pressure machines (PAP). When you are on a PAP machine, you wear a mask over your nose and mouth. The mask is attached via a tube to an air pump. The pressure in your airways is kept constant by the flow of air from the machine. This keeps your airways open and functioning properly.
- Parenteral nutrition. When on respiratory support, you may not be able to eat normally. Instead, all the nutrients, carbohydrates, fats and proteins you need are sent directly into your bloodstream through intravenous therapy (IV). Without IV nutrition, your body would not have the nutrients it needs to continue to function.
- Electrocardiograph monitoring. An electrocardiograph (ECG) records your heart’s electrical activity. By monitoring this activity, we can look at how your heart is beating and if it is working properly. To be monitored, small, soft electrodes are attached to your chest. The electrodes pick up electric signals and transfer them to the ECG machine to be digitally recorded.
Cardiac Critical Care Locations & Physicians
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Cardiac Critical Care Support Services
Learn more about heart disease and heart failure, how to prevent them and how they are treated by visiting the following websites.
A Sampling of Cardiac Critical Care Support Services
IU Health Heart & Vascular Care
Our Heart & Vascular physicians offer expert care for a full range of cardiovascular diseases and the latest treatments for heart failure. Learn more about our services by visiting the Heart & Vascular Web page.
American Heart Association
This website shares information on heart attacks, how to prevent them and how they are treated.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
This website explains heart failure and how it is treated. It also includes information on clinical trials and the latest news about heart failure.