Pediatric cardiac intensive care has evolved as a distinct discipline in well-established pediatric cardiac programs in developed nations. With increasing demand for pediatric heart surgery in emerging economies, a number of new programs are being established. The development of robust pediatric cardiac intensive care units (PCICU) is critical to the success of these programs. Because of substantial resource limitations existing models of PCICU care cannot be applied in their existing forms and structure. A number of challenges need to be addressed to deliver pediatric cardiac intensive care in the developing world. Limitations in infrastructure, human, and material resources call for a number of innovations and adaptations. Additionally, a variety of strategies are required to minimize costs of care to the individual patient. This review provides a framework for the establishment of a new PCICU program in face of resource limitations typically encountered in the developing world and emerging economies.
Keywords: Congenital heart surgery; critical care; developing country.