Pediatric Cardiac Step-down Unit

The Children's Cardiac Step-down Unit provides highly specialized patient care with a dedicated nursing staff experienced in the unique needs of pediatric cardiac patients, whether it is management of children before surgery or stabilization before going home. Located adjacent to the Children's Michael P. Fisher Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, the level of care delivered is just below intensive care. Patients are monitored on telemetry, a wireless system that assesses patient heart rate and rhythm while the patient is free to move throughout the unit and even other parts of the hospital.

The care team includes pediatric cardiologists, pediatric cardiac surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologistsnurse practitioners and physician assistants, nurses, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, speech therapists, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, chaplains, child life specialists and hospital volunteers. 

Family Centered Care

We know that families are also a vital participant in a child's care. With that in mind, we perform family-centered rounds, during which parents, patients and caregivers can openly discuss all aspects of a patient's care. Prior to discharge, we teach families how to care for their child at home and we offer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes. Feedback from patients and families is encouraged through a patient satisfaction survey, so that we can continue to improve care and comfort.

Cardiac Step-down Services

  • Comprehensive preoperative and postoperative care including chest tubes, pacemakers and central venous lines
  • Pre- and post-transplant care for severely damaged or diseased heart conditions
  • Diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias, including radiofrequency ablation and implantation of defibrillators
  • Medical management of patients in the Complex Congenital Heart Disease program—addressing the most unique needs of fragile patients who have had neonatal cardiac surgery
  • Monitoring after cardiac catheterization with interventional procedure
  • Treatment of acquired heart disease including dilated cardiomyopathy, Kawasaki's disease and acute rheumatic fever