Heart Institute of the Caribbean to open ICU for heart patients

The Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC) has announced the opening of a fully equipped cardiac intensive care unit (ICU) dedicated to the care of heart patients.

The six-bed, high-acuity unit at HIC, which is scheduled to be open to the public March 2017, is the first of its kind in Jamaica and will be complemented with a 20-bed cardiac telemetry unit. It will be the first and only such service in Jamaica dedicated to the care of heart patients.

“No effort was spared in ensuring that the units meet and, in most cases, exceed current international standards. That was the reason we engaged the services of one of the leading hospital architects in the world, Ansel & Bailey, based in London, UK, with a track record of high- quality health care design for over 100 years,” Dr Ernest Madu, chairman and CEO of the Heart Institute of the Caribbean, is quoted in a news release from the institution.

The intensive care and telemetry units at HIC have been designed to meet international standards, with dedicated oxygen and medical air lines leading to individual bed head units for each patient, HIC said. All beds are equipped with individual patient monitors linked to central monitoring stations and accessible to an international panel of experts to assist remotely in the care of patients to achieve optimal outcome, the release continued.
In addition, each bed in the intensive care unit comes with a dedicated ventilator for those patients who may need ventilator support. Three zones of healing music are also provided to create comfort for patients while being treated.

“We recognise that a very important factor in ensuring good outcome for critically ill patients is infection control. In recognition of this, we have employed the use of air handling units and ensured that the intensive care unit has a laminar airflow environment, allowing for 20 to 25 air exchanges per hour, thus providing clean and filtered air at all times for patients and staff,” Madu continued.

Cardiac intensive care units have been in existence for more than 50 years, and have been shown to significantly improve survival and outcome for patients with heart disease. Unfortunately, even though cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in Jamaica, there has not been a dedicated cardiac or coronary intensive care unit in Jamaica, until now.

While there are several intensive care unit beds in a few hospitals in Jamaica, none of these are dedicated cardiac care units, which are usually specifically designed and equipped to cater to the specialised needs of heart patients. With the new cardiac ICU at HIC, heart disease patients in Jamaica can be cared for in a specialised cardiac intensive care unit specially designed and equipped for the care of heart patients.(Jamaica Observer)

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