The division of critical care medicine provides primary consultative critical care in both the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU) and the neurosciences ICU (NSICU) at UK HealthCare. Anesthesiologists lead a team comprised of fellows, residents, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapist, dietitians and others to provide care to a wide variety of patients across these specialty units. In addition, the division provides consultative critical care to postoperative surgical patients admitted to the ICU following abdominal organ transplantation, ENT, plastics, urologic, and other types of general and specialized surgeries.
Anesthesiology residency rotations in critical care medicine are based primarily in the CVICU and the NSICU. During these rotations, anesthesiologist critical care specialists lead a team comprised of residents, fellows, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapist, dieticians and many others.
CVICU and NSICU
In the CVICU, our team works closely with surgeons to care for critically ill patients following complex cardiac and thoracic surgeries including both heart and lung transplants. The team also provides consultative support to patients requiring mechanical cardiac support devices such as ventricular assist devices (VADs) and total artificial hearts (TAH), as well as for those patients with severe cardiac or respiratory system failure who require extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
In the NSICU, our multidisciplinary team works closely with stroke neurologists and neurosurgeons to care for a variety of intracranial pathologies including ischemic stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, intracranial tumors, and patients with status epilepticus, as well as, to mitigate the effect of pre-existing or co-existing multi-organ dysfunction in these patients.
Didactic education occurs daily on anesthesiologist-led teaching rounds which focuses on patient-related pathology and trains fellows to develop a framework for information processing and decision-making skills. Formal didactic lectures occur weekly with our surgical critical care colleagues and cover a broad range of critical care topics from a variety of specialties including local, regional and national experts. Residents will also develop diagnostic and procedural skills, including bedside point of care ultrasound and the placement and utilization of arterial lines, central lines, pulmonary artery catheters, chest tubes, thoracentesis, paracentesis, and endotracheal intubation in critically ill patients.
Due to its large referral base and native patient population, UK Chandler Hospital has among the highest patient acuity rates seen in the country. As such, our anesthesiology critical care medicine teams are challenged with very sick but incredibly rewarding patient cases on a daily basis. Our residents play a pivotal role on our critical care teams and are rewarded with incredible experience, knowledge, decision-making opportunities, and invaluable hands-on diagnostic and procedural skills during their training.