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Our Stories

A new innovative home for coronary care

Toronto, September 25, 2014

By Kendra Stephenson

St. Michael's 3.0

In Canada, every seven minutes someone has a heart attack.

As a large hospital serving the heavily populated downtown core, St. Michael’s Hospital cares for many cardiac patients every day. When those patients are in critical condition, they go to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.

With St. Michael’s 3.0, the CCU will get a new home on the seventh floor of the future patient care tower. Its new home has been designed to provide adequate space for health teams, patients and families, and proximity to frequently used services, especially the CATH lab, which will cut down on patient movement and stream-line the health team’s delivery of care.

“In the past, critical care spaces focused on the technology and clinical needs of the health team to care for the patient,” said Dr. Michael Freeman, medical director of the Heart and Vascular Program and administrative physician involved with planning the new CCU. “We’ve designed the facility to be more in-tune with the patient’s needs and experience, while also allowing families to interact with their care alongside the health team.”

The CCU manages patients with a variety of cardiac conditions such as congestive heart failure, lethal heart arrhythmia or out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (85 per cent of cardiac arrests occur in homes or public places).

Care for cardiac patients has changed drastically over the past 20 years with advances in technology and research, requiring a completely different patient environment than the CCU’s current home – which is small, not ideally located and in one of the oldest facilities in Canada.

“The rooms are intended to manage the most critically ill patients, as well as transition into a recovery environment as a patient’s health status potentially improves,” said Jana Jeffrey, the former CLM in the CCU who was also involved in planning the future unit. “This means patients recover in the same quiet, familiar and restful healing space without having to move through different environments.”

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

See More of Our Stories in 2014