Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit - CTICU

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Our skilled respiratory specialists support you throughout your treatment. To schedule pulmonary function tests, call 310-794-9721.

Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU) at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

Irina Vartapetian
Irina Vartapetian, RRT, RCP, RTIII, Clinical Specialist

The 7ICU Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU) is designed specifically for the care of postoperative cardiac and thoracic surgery patients.

The Respiratory Therapists are technically proficient and work well within interdisciplinary team in close collaboration with Intensivists, Surgeons, Nurse Practitioners and Nurses. This collaboration is intensely, consistently and reliably focused on providing excellent care to our patients.

The CTICU Respiratory Therapy team consists of a highly experienced Clinical Specialist and training Preceptors who are the leading educational and clinical support for the Respiratory Therapists. The CTICU RT team successfully participated in the clinical trial of Inhaled Epoprostenol, and the development and implementation of multidisciplinary Protocols. We perform Differential Lung Ventilation, Adult High Frequency Ventilation, and the most innovative and new modes of ventilation and Patient management.

CTICU provides services for the surgical treatment of cardiac, pulmonary and esophageal diseases. We offer a full complement of cardiac services for acquired heart disease, congenital heart disease and transplantation as well as minimally invasive and robotic surgeries.

Treatments for acquired heart disease include coronary artery bypass grafting, valve repair and replacement, treatment of thoracic aneurysms, and the insertion of pacemakers and electrical defibrillators. Our physicians also have extensive experience in the treatment of adults with congenital heart disease. Our transplant programs include heart, heart-lung, heart-liver and lung transplantation as well as cardiac assist devices.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognizes the Heart Transplant program at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center as one of the nation's best.

The UCLA Heart Transplant program has been a pioneer in the field since performing its first transplant in 1984. Since then, more than 2,000 patients — both adult and pediatric — have undergone this life-saving procedure. In 2001 UCLA surgeons implanted the Abiocor total artificial heart, which is only the 6th procedure performed in the United States. In 2004 UCLA participated in the initial feasibility study of continuous reperfusion of a donor heart prior to transplantation. Since 2010 UCLA leads a multi-center Phase 2 clinical study of an experimental organ-preservation system that allows donor hearts to continue functioning in a near-physiologic state outside the body during transport. (Heart in a Box: Beating Heart Technology)

Lung transplantation has become an effective and successful treatment option for end-stage lung disease. The first UCLA lung transplant was performed in 1988. Since then, the program has shown substantial growth and has pioneered innovative strategies for patients with end-stage lung diseases. To this date, over 450 lung transplants have been performed and the program has emerged as one of the largest lung transplant programs in the country.

We are proud and excited to be part of the Cardio Thoracic team. Our life in CTICU is intense, fast-paced and never quite the same. We work hard and we work hard together to provide the highest quality care to our patients and their families.