Postoperative Care of the Cardiac Surgical Patient
Cardiac surgical procedures are among the most common operations performed in the United States. At the same time, patient demographics and proliferation of interventional cardiology have led to older, more complex, and higher risk surgical patients. Despite this riskier group of patients, outcomes have improved so that interventions can be offered with the expectation of little to no complications. Most preventable deaths after cardiac operations have been attributed to postoperative problems in the intensive care unit (ICU). We will describe our approach to the routine care of the cardiac surgical patient, common complications, and systems and practice improvement, specifically focusing on the immediate postoperative period.
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