RWJUH New Brunswick Unveils Critical Cardiovascular Care Unit

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) New Brunswick’s state-of-the-art Critical Cardiovascular Care Unit (CCV ICU) is now open to patients and families.

The new 21,000-square-foot unit includes 24 critical cardiac intensive care unit rooms, a comfortable waiting area, on-call rooms with support areas and separate nourishment areas for staff and family members.

“RWJUH is a recognized Cardiovascular Center of Excellence.  This state-of-the-art unit enhances RWJUH’s ability to provide world-class cardiac care to our cardiac surgery patients, TAVR patients, heart transplant patients and ventricular assist device patients, among others, in a warm, family-centered setting,” said RWJUH President and Chief Executive Officer John J. Gantner.

“Our program has grown in quality and volume to the point where it is among the biggest and best on the Eastern Seaboard,” adds Leonard Lee, MD, division chief, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and chair of department of surgery and professor of surgery at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “This unit is incredible, but it’s important to note that every step we took in the planning process was focused on our patients, their family members and the entire healing process.”

Unique features include:

  • Patient rooms equipped with movable booms that contain all of the equipment needed to care for the patient such as gas, oxygen, and monitors among other items.
  • Capability to provide ECMO therapy through booms mounted at the foot of the bed. ECMO stands for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a temporary mechanical support system used to aid heart and lung function in patients with severe respiratory or cardiac failure. Developed as an offshoot of cardiopulmonary bypass and the membrane oxygen machine used to support those patients, ECMO can be used in patients of all ages (newborn to adult).
  • Patient beds that are not placed against any room walls, giving healthcare providers 360-degree access to the patient at all times.
  • Operating room lights in each patient room allowing clinicians to perform certain procedures in the room directly on the unit without having to transport the patient.
  • An open design with spacious nursing stations laid out to encourage interaction and collaboration among all members of the health care team
  • Nursing stations at each patient room that give nurses clear visibility and sightlines into the patient’s room.
  • Curved hallway walls giving staff better sightlines as they move around the unit.

“RWJUH regularly addresses the most complex cases and cares for severely critically ill patients,” notes Stephern Allison, Vice President of Cardiovascular Services at RWJUH. “These patients and their family members often experience longer stays on the unit and we felt it was very important to take a patient-centered approach to planning the new space.”

Patient and family-centered amenities include:

  • All patient rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows which allow generous amounts of natural light to enter the room. The phototherapy can support the patient’s mental well-being and facilitate the healing process.
  • Private bathrooms for patients and family members in all rooms.
  • Glass doors to patient rooms that can be transparent or made opaque at the flick of the switch to maintain privacy while eliminating the need for curtains and reducing the potential for dust and bacteria forming.

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