Renovated Presby CTICU Reopens to Patients

By: Allison Hydzik

5V3A9524 copyUPMC Presbyterian Hospital fully reopened its 20-bed cardiothoracic intensive care unit (CTICU) to patients today, nearly six months after it was closed in September for renovations as UPMC moved quickly to address some mold-related infections.

The updated unit features a new nursing station, along with the latest in patient safety technology. Changes include water-resistant walls and surfaces, stationary toilet units, enhanced door security and new plumbing.

“The renovated CTICU features multiple infection control measures and is truly a model unit for caring for our sickest patients,” said Holly Lorenz, chief nursing officer for UPMC. “I’m proud of our staff for working together to accommodate this renovation with minimal disruption and am happy to welcome patients back into the unit.”

The renovation went above and beyond recommendations made by top infection prevention experts. For example, to enhance disinfection of the hospital rooms, the walls were finished with a special paint that increases their reflective properties. This makes the ultraviolet light emitted by disinfecting UV robots able to more effectively reach all areas of the rooms.

In addition, hospital officials took advantage of the closure to make significant cosmetic changes to improve work flow and the comfort of patients and visitors. The nursing station was completely updated, new flooring and storage was added throughout the unit and window coverings were replaced allow for more natural light.

The unit continues to house one negative pressure room designed to significantly reduce the risk of airborne infections spreading to patients outside the room. As with all negative pressure rooms throughout the health system, this room will not be used to house solid organ transplant patients who do not have airborne infections.

The CTICU typically houses adult patients who are recovering from cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery or heart, lung or heart-lung transplants. Clinicians in the unit specialize in supporting patients with monitoring, ventilation, pharmacologic interventions, nutritional therapy and infectious disease management.