Postoperative critical care of the adult cardiac surgical patient. Part I: Routine postoperative care

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objectives: Cardiac surgery, including coronary artery bypass, cardiac valve, and aortic procedures, is among the most common surgical procedures performed in the United States. Successful outcomes after cardiac surgery depend on optimum postoperative critical care. The cardiac intensivist must have a comprehensive understanding of cardiopulmonary physiology and the sequelae of cardiopulmonary bypass. In this concise review, targeted at intensivists and surgeons, we discuss the routine management of the postoperative cardiac surgical patient. Data Source and Synthesis: Narrative review of relevant English-language peer-reviewed medical literature. Conclusions: Critical care of the cardiac surgical patient is a complex and dynamic endeavor. Adequate fluid resuscitation, appropriate inotropic support, attention to rewarming, and ventilator management are key components. Patient safety is enhanced by experienced personnel, a structured handover between the operating room and ICU teams, and appropriate transfusion strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1477-1497
Number of pages21
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 21 2015


  • cardiac surgical procedures
  • cardiopulmonary bypass
  • coronary artery bypass
  • hemodynamics
  • intensive care
  • postoperative care
  • quality improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Postoperative critical care of the adult cardiac surgical patient. Part I: Routine postoperative care'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this