Establishing a Cardiac ICU Recovery Clinic: Characterizing a Model for Continuity of Cardiac Critical Care

Hoyle L. Whiteside, Dustin Hillerson, Victoria Buescher, Kayla Kreft, Kirby P. Mayer, Ashley Montgomery-Yates, Vedant A. Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Care in the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CICU) has become increasingly intricate due to a temporal rise in noncardiac diagnoses and overall clinical complexity with high risk for short-term rehospitalization and mortality. Survivors of critical illness are often faced with debility and limitations extending beyond the index hospitalization. Comprehensive ICU recovery programs have demonstrated some efficacy but have primarily targeted survivors of acute respiratory distress syndrome or sepsis. The efficacy of dedicated ICU recovery programs on the CICU population is not defined. Methods: We aim to describe the design and initial experience of a novel CICU-recovery clinic (CICURC). The primary outcome was death or rehospitalization in the first 30 days following hospital discharge. Self-reported outcome measures were performed to assess symptom burden and independence in activities of daily living. Results: Using standardized criteria, 41 patients were referred to CICURC of which 78.1% established care and were followed for a median of 88 (56-122) days. On intake, patients reported a high burden of heart failure symptoms (KCCQ overall summary score 29.8 [18.0-47.5]), and nearly half (46.4%) were dependent on caretakers for activities of daily living. Thirty days postdischarge, no deaths were observed and the rate of rehospitalization for any cause was 12.2%. Conclusions: CICU survivors are faced with significant residual symptom burden, dependence upon caretakers, and impairments in mental health. Dedicated CICURCs may help prioritize treatment of ICU related illness, reduce symptom burden, and improve outcomes. Interventions delivered in ICU recovery clinic for patients surviving the CICU warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-140
Number of pages6
JournalCritical Pathways in Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.


  • critical care cardiology
  • critical illness
  • intensive care unit recovery clinic
  • patient readmission
  • postintensive care syndrome
  • secondary prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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