This study states that Critically ill patients are inherently susceptible to a multitude of complications related to both the severity of underlying illness and the need for intensive care therapies.1,2 Many of these complications are associated with increased morbidity and mortality and often result in greater resource use and healthcare expenses and longer intensive care unit (ICU) lengths of stay.1–3 A number of these complications are potentially preventable, and their incidence rates are used as quality metrics within modern-day ICU settings.4 Contemporary cardiac ICUs (CICUs) have an increasing prevalence of noncardiovascular comorbidities and multisystem organ dysfunction.5,6 Thus, it stands to reason that patients admitted to contemporary CICUs will be susceptible to similar preventable complications associated with both their multisystem critical illness and the resources required to treat their complex conditions. At the same time, there is a need among CICU providers to understand those complications that are most applicable to critically ill cardiovascular patients, who may not be well represented in the general ICU. As a result, there may be opportunities to improve CICU outcomes through the implementation of evidence-based preventive practices. However, little guidance exists to support the development of best-practice principles specific to the CICU environment.7 This scientific statement focuses on the potentially preventable complications encountered within contemporary CICUs. Although many of these complications are shared with other medical and surgical ICU settings, some are unique to the CICU environment.


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