Thorac cardiovasc Surg 2014; 62(07): 536-542
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1384803
Original Cardiovascular
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Status of Cardiac Surgical Intensive Care Medicine in Germany during 2013: A Report on Behalf of the German Society for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery

Andreas Markewitz
1  Klinik für Herz- und Gefäßchirurgie, Bundeswehrzentralkrankenhaus, Koblenz, Germany
Georg Trummer
2  Klinik für Herz- und Gefäßchirurgie, Universitäts-Herzzentrum Freiburg-Bad Krozingen, Freiburg, Germany
Kevin Pilarczyk
3  Klinik für Thorax- und Kardiovaskuläre Chirurgie, Westdeutsches Herzzentrum Essen, Universitätsklinik Essen, Essen, Germany
Andreas Beckmann
4  Deutsche Gesellschaft für Thorax-, Herz- und Gefäßchirurgie (DGTHG), Berlin, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

08 May 2014

22 May 2014

Publication Date:
22 August 2014 (online)


Background This report summarizes the results of a voluntary survey designed to assess the current situation of cardiac surgical intensive care medicine in Germany in 2013.

Methods A standardized questionnaire concerning detailed information about structural characteristics of cardiac surgical intensive care units (ICUs) was sent to all German departments performing cardiac surgery.

Results Participation quota resp. response rate was 100%. Compared with previous surveys since 1998, the total number of available intensive care capacities for patients after cardiac surgery increased to 1,404 beds, whereas the proportion of cardiac surgical ICUs decreased to 59% with a simultaneous increase of interdisciplinary ICUs. The proportion of cardiac surgeons acting as director of an ICU declined to 36%. The physicians' teams were predominantly interdisciplinary (74%). More than half of the directors were board-certified intensivists (54%), with a peak of 81% in ICUs run by cardiac surgeons. Human resources development in the ICU showed divergent trends with an increase of physicians and a decrease of nurses. Half of all ICUs (50%) and two-thirds of cardiac surgical ICUs (65%) offer an accredited training program for intensive care medicine.

Conclusion The results of this survey corroborate that intensive care medicine represents a substantial and important part of cardiac surgery. However, efforts are necessary to keep this attitude alive for the future.