AU Health opens $13M Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit

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AUGUSTA, GA (WJBF) — Augusta University Health cut the ribbon Thursday on a new 13-million-dollar cardiovascular ICU unit.

“I think this region has needed a center like this for a very long time and it finally has one,” Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery Dr. Richard Lee said.

AU Health now expanding its cardiovascular ICU capacity from 11 beds to 18.

“When you look at the number it doesn’t seem like a lot to me except those are 18 lives,” Lee said.

Doctors say the rooms are bigger and better equipped to provide care to patients and families.

“It’s very important because number one it allows us to take care of more patients and the second is the rooms are much larger allowing us to have lifesaving pieces of equipment present in all the rooms,” Medical director of the cardiovascular ICU unit Dr. Stephanie Dunlap said.

Each room is specifically designed to cater to patient care and their needs.

“So, any caregiver, a nurse, a physician who gives medicines and takes charts and vital signs can do it right by the patient’s bedside and even if out of the room right outside with a line of sight directly into the patient,” Dr. Lee said.

ICU’S across the state have been consistently packed with patients during the pandemic.

Dr. Richard Lee, Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery said the new unit will help provide extra beds and prepare for any additional surges of covid-19.

“Especially in covid we’ve been faced with constraints in capacities especially in ICU beds. So, there are patients where we had to move surgeries or change things . Now this also us to prepare for the next surge as well as take care of all the patients with cardiac disease for the region.”

Patients will be placed in the unit starting Monday.

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