Cardiology and cardiovascular surgery patients have historically been one of the sickest populations that physicians encounter. With the inherent compromise of the cardiac and/or respiratory system and the added complexity of a major surgical procedure, this patient group requires a demanding level of care. As innovations in the treatment of cardiac patients have prolonged life, we have encountered patients who require redo-redo-redo procedures. There has been a tremendous increase in the use of a wide variety of mechanical assist devices, transplantation procedures, robotic surgery, and hybrid approaches in which cardiac surgeons and cardiologists work in the same room on the same patient. Against this background, there have been quite a few changes taking place in the field of critical care. This report discusses the transformations being made in blood pressure management, blood product transfusion, prevention of healthcareassociated infections, physical therapy in cardiothoracic intensive care units (ICUs), ventilatory management, and the role of intensivists in cardiothoracic ICUs.
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