The Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) Service is the primary consulting service for all patients admitted to the SICU and for all patients in the Medical Intensive Care Unit for whom a surgical consultation has been requested. The SICU service provides comprehensive advice about the management of ventilators, pharmacologic, cardiovascular and hemodynamic interventions, transfusion and fluid therapy, antibiotic use and nutrition. A broad spectrum of interventional services is provided, including arterial and central venous cannulation, pulmonary arterial (Swan Ganz) catheter placement and management, hemodialysis catheter placement, diagnostic upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopy, fiberoptic bronchoscopy, tube thoracostomy, bedside percutaneous tracheostomy, and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy.
The SICU Service provides continuous bedside management of patients with severe poly-trauma, closed head injury, septic shock, ARDS, acute renal failure, as well as those perioperative patients at high risk for morbidity due to severe associated medical conditions. Frequently responsible for introducing state-of-the-art technologies and innovations in critical care medicine to the Medical Center, the SICU service is a valuable resource to all of the residency training programs at Alameda Health System (AHS), Highland Hospital (General and Orthopedic Surgery, Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Primary Care and Transitional Medicine). In addition, third- and fourth-year UC medical students often obtain a strong introductory exposure to the science and art of surgical critical care while on their core and elective surgical rotations at AHS Highland Hospital.
The popular SICU seminar series provides a core of sixteen lectures to the rotating housestaff on the service and covers essential critical care topics ranging from fluid and electrolyte management and mechanical ventilator use to more advanced issues such as head injury protocols and damage control surgery.