The Ventricular Intensive Care (VIC) Unit for the intensive treatment of ventricular arrhythmias was established in December 2009, after a pilot project started in 2007 because of the need to improve care for patients with heart disease with severe arrhythmias.
The extraordinary resources of modern cardiology have contributed to the improved survival of an ever increasing number of patients with potentially fatal ventricular arrhythmias. The care of these patients requires special skills and commitment; in fact, despite the use of implantable defibrillators, which are life-saving devices, many of these patients experience frequent arrhythmic recurrences that have very serious repercussions on their physical and psychological conditions.
Transcatheter ablation - a procedure performed using special probes called electrocatheters, or, more rarely, using a surgical approach - performed in over 200 VIC patients in just three years, is the most effective intervention to control these severe recurrent arrhythmias, thereby significantly improving the prognosis and quality of life of affected patients. The ablation procedure, performed by electrophysiologists with specific experience in this field, requires the collaboration of various professionals from the areas of cardiology, cardiac surgery, and anaesthesiology, in the different stages of the patient’s treatment. This is possible in the VIC Unit in which the multiple needs of a particularly demanding and complex clinical condition are managed by staff with different skills and roles working together.
Care of the VIC patient, in the critical phase and in the post-operative period, does not only mean specific technical skills within a dedicated environment, equipped with exclusive forms of monitoring and semi-intensive or intensive assistance. It also, and above all, means the medical and nursing team offering special attention to the patient, with a strong focus on psychological aspects and pain control.
The VIC Unit conducts this process with the scope of increasing experimental and clinical knowledge of ventricular arrhythmias, adopting new research tools and implementing novel therapeutic strategies, all aimed at increasingly effective treatment of patients, in a shared effort involving the various skills and resources that are absolutely exclusive to the Monzino Cardiology Centre.