We have updated our Online Services Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. See our Cookies Notice for information concerning our use of cookies and similar technologies. By using this website or clicking “I ACCEPT”, you consent to our Online Services Terms of Use.

Schedule an appointment today

Pediatric Critical Care

Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit

The Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU) at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital provides high-quality, state-of-the-art, family-centered critical care for infants, children and adults with congenital and pediatric acquired heart disease. Offering world-class interdisciplinary care that encompasses skilled assessment, continuous observation and timely intervention, our team cares for your children as if they were our own.

Your child’s health is important. Don’t delay care.

Offering in-person, video and telephone visits. Call today to see which option is right for you. 216-844-3528

Find a Doctor

About UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s CTICU

Backed by the latest advances in life-sustaining medical technology, our CTICU is a state-of-the-art pediatric cardiothoracic critical care unit dedicated to the management of acute care for a broad range of congenital and pediatric acquired heart conditions. Pre- and post-operative patients are admitted, as well as patients with nonsurgical cardiac conditions such as cardiomyopathy, myocarditis and heart rhythm abnormalities.

Additionally, UH Rainbow’s CTICU is responsible for managing the care of critically ill young patients in heart failure who require mechanical support, including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) or ventricular assist devices (VAD).

Why Choose UH Rainbow for Your Child’s Cardiac Critical Care Needs?

Families have access to one of the most extensive and experienced teams of pediatric cardiac experts in Ohio.

All experts are specially trained in pediatric cardiac intensive care to care for babies and children with congenital heart disease.

The CTICU is a center within the Congenital Heart Collaborative, a partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital and MacDonald Women’s hospital.

Learn More +

The Congenital Heart Collaborative team includes cardiologists, surgeons, critical care intensivists, pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, respiratory therapists, perfusionists, nurses, social workers, child life specialists, sonographers and many other experts with specialized training and experience in pediatric cardiac care.

Access to a full-service children’s hospital for immediate care from pediatric experts from 16 medical and 10 surgical divisions.

UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s is consistently ranked among the nation’s best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.

Congenital Heart Collaborative physicians, affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, conduct ongoing pediatric research in congenital heart disease - improving the lives of children – every day.


A trusted leader in pediatric healthcare for more than 135 years.

Our CTICU and Rainbow Heart Center operate as part of The Congenital Heart Collaborative – a collaboration between UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and Nationwide Children’s Hospital for treating patients with congenital and pediatric acquired heart disease from before birth all the way into adulthood. This unique partnership provides patients and families in Ohio and beyond with access to a large, comprehensive, experienced, highly skilled Heart team that delivers the very best in clinical services, innovative therapies and seamless clinical care.

The UH Rainbow CTICU is optimally positioned in close proximity to our Cardiac Step-down Unit, Pediatric Cardiac Catheterization Lab and Prentiss Operating Rooms, as well as UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital’s Labor & Delivery Unit. This centralized, strategic positioning maximizes our ability to rapidly treat the most critically ill pediatric cardiac patients while minimizing distance and time required for transport.

Congenital Heart Disease in Children

We have the experience and expertise to treat a wide variety of congenital heart diseases in children ranging from defects that are simple to understand and treat to more complex, life-threatening conditions that can require multiple surgeries to correct.

Learn More

Benefits of Our Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit

Benefits of receiving care at UH Rainbow’s CTICU include:

  • A dedicated team of physicians, cardiothoracic nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists and other specialized healthcare professionals that are committed to pediatric cardiac care
  • Multidisciplinary care/support that joins pediatric critical care medicine, cardiology, pediatric anesthesia and cardiac surgery
  • Postoperative recovery and care tailored to meet each child’s unique needs
  • Comprehensive monitoring in a caring environment gives parents the peace of mind that their child is in the best hands
  • Advanced infection prevention strategies
  • Spacious, private rooms with room for parents to sleep at the bedside on a sleeper sofa throughout their child’s stay
  • Family-focused care – we encourage parents to participate in daily patient rounds and care
  • Dedicated pharmacy, respiratory, child life and nutritional services

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)

One of the most important lifesaving technologies we use in the CTICU is ECMO therapy, whereby a machine pumps and oxygenates a patient’s blood outside the body, allowing the heart and lungs to rest and heal. ECMO is also used to treat respiratory problems such as pulmonary hypertension and pneumonia. Since it was developed in the 1970s, ECMO has been an important lifesaving technology for critically ill infants and young children.

UH Rainbow was one the first U.S. regional centers — and the first in the Cleveland area — to offer ECMO and is continuously recognized as a Center of Excellence by the international Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO).