Leading the Way: Royal Columbian Hospital’s Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit Awarded Centre of Excellence Designation

We are thrilled to share a momentous achievement at Royal Columbian Hospital. In May 2023, the Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit (CSICU) at RCH earned the esteemed Centre of Excellence designation from the Cardiac Surgical Unit Advanced Life Support (CSU-ALS) North America program, making it the first centre in Western Canada to receive this honour.


The CSU-ALS protocol is tailored for post-cardiac surgery cardiac arrest. It shows a nearly 50% increase in survivability, using advanced resuscitation techniques with delayed chest compressions.

The dedicated team, led by Patient Care Coordinators Elise Allen and Robinson Peria, alongside Clinical Nurse Educator Leonard Eulalia, underwent an intensive four-day clinical review and mentorship program with CSU-ALS. As a result, they are now equipped to train and certify other staff members within the cardiac intensive care unit.

Over 90% of the unit’s nurses, staff, and medical professionals are certified in this specialized protocol. Additionally, their commitment extends to respiratory therapists and emergency attending physicians at Royal Columbian Hospital, who have also received an overview of the CSU-ALS protocol, fostering a culture of collaboration in patient care.

With this prestigious designation, the CSICU team now looks to share their expertise with other cardiac surgery centres across the Lower Mainland and Western Canada. They aim to become regional and national leaders in CSU-ALS education and actively contribute to research initiatives for further validation and enhancement of the protocol.

This achievement reflects the unwavering dedication and expertise of our hospital’s CSICU team. The Centre of Excellence designation empowers us to make a meaningful impact on cardiac care, not only within our region but also across North America. Together, we forge ahead, committed to providing exceptional care and saving lives through the advancement of medical excellence.

Read the full story here: https://thebeat.fraserhealth.ca/news/2023/Aug/rch-cardiac-surgery-intensive-care-unit-achieves-centre-of-excellence-designation