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Please what is the difference between CCU and ICU, or are they the same?


UM Review RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Utilization Management.

CCU is Cardiac Care Unit and ICU is Intensive Care Unit. Usually the CCU will have more heart-based interventions, such as titrated drips to achieve hemodynamic stability. The ICU deals with patients needing a more complex level of care, but not necessarily cardiac interventions. I think of ICU as more related to general surgery and ventilation needs, while CCU is more cardiac surgery or cardiac problems that can include ventilator needs, that cannot be safely managed on another unit.

Hope that helped.


Specializes in Critical Care.

The CCU i work in deals with pt's in MODS, with baloon pumps, swanz, chest sumps and even the occasional ventric. drain. So to say that the ICU deals with "more complex pt's" I would have to respectfully disagree. In our facility CCU takes care of mainly heart pt's, and ICU cares for Neuro pt's. It's all up to you if you like the heart or not.

FYI: if you are planning on going to anesthesia school... they rather CCU or heart experience....go figure

Thanks, but I thought CCU meant critical care unit:confused:

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Utilization Management.

OK, corrections:

Yes, CCU does mean Critical Care unit. Sorry about that. In our hospital, CCU generally means Cardiac Critical Care and ICU means Medical ICU.

Also, I didn't mean that ICU has a more complex level of care than CCU, rather that it's a more complex level of care than the floor units such as Med-Surg or Tele.

Sorry for the misunderstanding.


Specializes in Critical Care.

Thanks, but I thought CCU meant critical care unit:confused:

It all depends really. some it means Critical Care Unit, Coronary Care Unit and God knows what else. in some hospitals a CCU is just like a step down, but in most that i worked at it is a Critical unit ie.. ICU or what have you.


Specializes in Paediatric Cardic critical care. Has 6 years experience.

I my hospital we have a general ICU and the a cardiothoracic critical care/intensive care and two coronary care units (also CCU) which can be quite confusing.

In the UK we're more likely to refer to ICU as ITU though. Horses for courses.


Specializes in ICU.

So I'm a bit confused. What's the difference bwtween CCU- Coronary Care Unit and CVICU- Cardio-Vascular ICU?


Specializes in CCU, ED. Has 7 years experience.

In our hospital CVICU is the open heart surgery ICU.

CABG patch kid, BSN, RN

Specializes in Telemetry, CCU.

So it sounds like it depends on the facility, lol. In our hospital, CCU is for coronary care unit, it is most certainly an ICU (should just be called CICU or CVICU) I think anything with the "C" is some sort of cardiac unit, most likely an ICU.

Like one of the above posters, our hospitals definition is that the CCU gets all the CABG/thoracic surgery pts and anyone else that needs a swan or balloon pump. They try to keep it cardiac but they also get "regular" ICU pts too. The ICU gets all the ICP monitoring/neuro pts and the CCU nurses don't really do the bolts although there are nurses that do it all, and its nice to be crossed trained. We get trauma on both sides and will hopefully be getting more if we get our Level II trauma designation.


Specializes in CT ICU, OR, Orthopedic.

we have a CTICU (cardiothoracic), an SICU (surgical), a neuro ICU, a MICU (medical), and a IMCU (intermediate or step down) 10 beds in each unit. We all get cross trained, and cross patients. We try to keep it true to the specialty, but that doesn't always happen. The CT ICU gets all hearts, IABPs, and usually PA caths. MICU gets all the CRRT pts. Neuro gets the ventrics. Did I confuse you more?:banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead:


Specializes in Cardiac/Tele/CVICU. Has 3 years experience.

At our hospital, there is a CCU (Coronary Care Unit), an SICU (and its stepdown unit), a CSD (Coronary Stepdown), and a CVICU (and its stepdown unit). It's confusing to me.

hello am tariq from pakistan but in our country j.c.c.i approved hospital aga khan university hospital c.c.u means coronary care unit and i.c.u means intensive care unit.and the brief detail has been provided by respected angie o plasty thanks

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