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Children who have a serious heart problem or are recovering from heart surgery need round-the-clock care from specialized experts. Atrium Health Levine Children’s is home to the region’s only pediatric cardiovascular intensive care unit (CICU). We have the latest tools and technologies – many of which are specially designed for babies and kids – so your child can get the advanced heart care they need, close to home.

Learn More

To learn more about the Levine Children’s CICU, contact us at 704-373-1813.

About our CICU

Our team uses the latest tools and compassionate care to support kids with heart problems and their families. Many of our patients come to our CICU because they are awaiting a heart transplant or other surgery. We often use medications and sometimes heart pumps to keep these kids’ hearts strong until their operation. And we do everything we can to keep kids and families as comfortable as possible.

Children will also come to our CICU to recover after their heart surgery. We might use tools like ventilators or heart/lung machines to help your child breathe as their heart heals. We’ll closely monitor them and do everything we can to get them home as soon as possible.

Advanced tools in the CICU

For children who need help breathing or whose heart and lungs need rest, we use advanced tools like:

  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). This machine can support your child’s heart and lungs while they wait for – or recover from – surgery. ECMO works like an artificial lung, putting oxygen in the blood so your child’s heart and lungs can rest. We’re the only hospital in Charlotte that offers ECMO.
  • Ventilators. A device to help children who can’t breathe efficiently while they recover from surgery. Our team has access to many types of advanced ventilators, so we can select the one that’s best for your child.
  • Continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT). This machine helps to do the job of the kidneys, which are sometimes affected if the heart is very sick.

Supportive services

When your child has a serious heart problem, it can impact every part of life. We offer comprehensive supportive services to help families navigate this process, including:

  • Camp LUCK. This free summer camp is for kids with heart conditions and their siblings. Camp LUCK helps children build a community with other kids who are having similar experiences.

  • The HEARTest Yard. This program provides in-home nursing support for children and families as they transition home from the hospital. It’s funded by the Greg Olsen Foundation and was launched after the former Carolina Panthers football player and his wife, Kara, had a baby with a severe heart defect.

  • Cardiac neurodevelopmental program. Sometimes heart conditions can affect a child’s brain development and lead to things like learning delays. Our brain development experts will help your child overcome any challenges that come up as they grow.

  • EASE app. This app helps ease loved ones’ minds while their child is in the hospital by providing live updates throughout the day.

  • Child life specialists. These specialists help children and their families with things like getting ready for medical procedures. They can also help your child’s teachers and classmates understand their illness.

  • Nurse navigators. These nurses support and build close relationships with each patient and family. They become experts on each child’s condition and medical history, teach parents at-home care, attend appointments to answer questions and discuss treatments and more.

  • Nutritionists. Our nutritionists make sure kids have a balanced diet and are getting the nutrients they need to stay strong.

  • Social workers. They help families cope by connecting them with things like counseling, support groups and financial assistance.

  • Pastoral care. Our chaplains offer religious and spiritual support when families request a visit.

Why choose Levine Children's?

  • Specialized care for kids with heart problems. Most pediatric intensive care units see kids with all types of illnesses. Our CICU is just for kids with heart conditions, and its doctors and nurses spend all of their time caring for kids like yours. This gives them the experience and expertise to keep your child as healthy as possible.

  • Advanced tools and technology. We use the most advanced technologies to support kids and help them recover. This includes ventilators specially made for tiny babies, advanced heart pumps and more.

  • 24/7 care from a top team. Our team includes board-certified cardiac intensive care physicians, a team of specialized heart nurses and other experts who work together to deliver around-the-clock care. We also work in close partnership with Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute - home to world-renowned heart care specialist.

  • Top surgery outcomes. Our surgeons have some of the region’s best outcomes, which means kids have the best chance to recover and get healthy once they arrive at our CICU after surgery. That’s one reason why U.S. News and World Report ranks Levine Children’s Hospital among the best children’s hospitals for cardiology and heart surgery.

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Levine Children's Hospital

1000 Blythe Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28203