Intensive Care Medicine

A total of 44 fully equipped and staffed advanced intensive care beds are available across two adult interdisciplinary intensive care units (ITS1 and ITS2) at the German Heart Center Berlin.

Our multidisciplinary team of nursing staff, physiotherapists, respiratory therapists, as well as physicians from the Department of Cardiac Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine and the Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery ensure expert care for all of our patients.

In addition to elective post-operative care following cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgery, we have special expertise and decades of experience caring for patients on mechanical circulatory support, before and after thoracic organ transplantation and patients requiring pre- or postoperative management for acute aortic dissections.

Our mission is to ensure that patients not only get successfully discharged from intensive care, but to maintain preoperative quality of life and achieve important patient-centered outcomes in recovery. To promote patient engagement throughout the ICU stay and to enhance recovery, we minimize sedation and have implemented a protocol-driven management of pain and delirium in accordance with national guidelines.

Recognizing the psychosocial burden of an intensive care stay and the associated recovery, our patients and their relatives are continuously supported by our Department of Psychosomatic Medicine.

To ensure that patient care adheres to the principles of evidence-based medicine our workflow is underpinned by a compendium of guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) which are ratified and approved through external peer review.

The range of services available on the ICU include:

  • Multiprofessional, interdisciplinary ward rounds
  • Structured and client-centered communication with patients and relatives
  • Comprehensive hemodynamic and monitoring and management
  • Transthoracic and transeosophageal echocardiography
  • Mechanical circulatory support
    - intraaortic balloon counterpulsation (IABP)
    - temporary left- and/or right heart support (e. g. Impella, Levitronix)
    - veno-arterial ECMO/ECLS
  • Point-of-care coagulation testing
  • Lung-protective ventilation techniques
  • Inhalation of nitric oxide
  • Veno-venous ECMO
  • Protocol-based ventilatory weaning
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Percutaneous tracheostomy
  • Screening, prevention and management of delirium and POCD
  • Neuromonitoring (NIRS, EEG)
  • CSF pressure monitoring
  • Therapeutic hypothermia
  • Renal replacement therapy, continuous and intermittent
  • Early mobilization
  • Antibiotic stewardship and infection control
  • Nutritional support (enteral and parenteral)
  • Continuous support and guidance by clinical ethics committee and palliative care