Ravi Thiagarajan, MD, first entered Boston Children’s Hospital as a Fellow in the Cardiovascular Program in 1998. Aftercompleting his Fellowship, he joined the staff and has remained here ever since, making a name for himself in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.
This July, Thiagarajan will assume the role of CICU Chief.
Thiagarajan grew up in India and went to medical school there. He then moved to Seattle to complete his fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care medicine and became fascinated by the field of congenital cardiology. “I always knew I wanted to work with kids,” he says. “Being able to help these children recover and go home— that prospect was very attractive to me.”
Thiagarajan is passionate about the unit’s commitment to enhancing the experience of patients, parents, families and providers with new bedside therapies and collaborative care models.
“We are always looking for ways to improve the patient’s course through the CICU,” he explains. For example, the department has made significant strides in getting patients off ventilators as soon as possible, carefully mitigating their pain and dependency on strong medications, and ‘fast tracking’ patients who do not need to be intubated very long to a step down unit. All of these efforts are ongoing, and progress is made every day.
“Taking people through cardiac surgery is a complex process; it really takes a team,” says Thiagarajan. In a pediatric CICU, you come across a wide variety of specialists; perhaps more than any other area of the hospital. There are respiratory therapists, cardiac anesthesiologists, nurses, perfusionists, physicians, surgeons, nutritionists, child life specialists— the list goes on!
Besides the practicing clinicians, Fellows from other departments often drop by the unit to learn. Thiagarajan says he enjoys teaching and molding the “next generation” of providers.
“Our team prioritizes communication with referring providers, as well,” Thiagarajan says. “Those conversations and professional relationships are important, as we are all partners in care.”
After all of these years with the Heart Center, Thiagarajan earnestly calls the unit his home. “I love the work environment here; I love the people I work with; I love the teaching; I love the innovation that’s all around. I am excited to take this department into the future.”