Intensive Care

Three Intensive Care Units (ICUs) are available in Ospedale San Raffaele. They are all staffed with dedicated, expert teams of physicians specialized in critical care and always present. A retrieval team is 24h/7d available to rescue patients from remote hospitals with aircraft or ground transportation; the team is equipped to transport safely patient affected by any degree of cardiac or respiratory failure to our institution. Bed availability for these cases is always guaranteed. Moreover, patients are carefully followed also after discharge to ordinary ward, to prevent any relapse. We are linked to a network of reliable rehabilitations to complete the path towards full recovery.

In the General Intensive Care Unit more than 400 patients with medical or surgical diseases are admitted yearly. The patient is at the centre. Cares are standardized to offer the best up-to-date treatments along with a strong attention to safety aspects. An individualized, evidence-based daily screening of patient’s requirements allow a fast recovery; prevention of the disabilities associated with critical illness is part of our approach from the first day of admission. The general ICU staff provides also the medical emergency team, involved in in-hospital emergencies and critical care consulting.

The Cardiothoracic and vascular ICU is a 14-bedded unit, caring for patients recovering from major cardiovascular surgery. It is equipped to support all organ functions with a major focus on mechanical support of the failing heart with ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation), VAD (Ventricular Assist Device), artificial heart, other advanced mechanical and pharmacological supports of the circulation for the treatment of acute heart failure and refractory hypoxia coordinating large national networks in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Health and the Berlin Hertz Centrum.

The Neurosurgical ICU is a seven beds Unit. The nICU admits patients with brain insult (trauma, SAH, major stroke) and postoperative neurosurgical patients, mainly craniopharyngiomas, skull base tumors, AVM and cerebral angiomas. General intensive care monitoring, brain neurophysiological monitoring, intracranial pressure monitoring are available. Straight connection is possible with Neuroradiological Department (CTscan/24 hours, MRI/24 hours, angiography for diagnostic and interventional procedures). The Center is connected with European Brain Injury Consortium and Center TBI. Many International Multicenter Research on neuroprotective agents were developed in the last 20 years.

Main conditions treated

  • Acute respiratory failure
  • Sepsis and septic shock
  • Trauma
  • Stroke and SAH
  • Cardiac failure
  • Coma
  • Status epilepticus
  • Neuromuscular diseases
  • Postoperative monitoring


The ICUs promote several studies, mainly in the fields of cardiac and respiratory failure; furthermore, we participate to national and international multicentre researches. In the last years we published dozens of papers. With over 50 manuscripts published yearly in the most authoritative scientific Journals on critical care medicine we’re among the most prolific groups at the international level in the specific setting of intensive care.


Modern diagnostic and therapeutic technologies are all present. Moreover we can count on the support of the other Departments of the Hospital, all fully equipped with the best resources. In the Units sophisticated ventilators are available for pulmonary assistance; devices to support cardiac or kidney failure are commonly applied.


General Intensive Care: Head of Unit Prof. Alberto Zangrillo, MD: Luca Cabrini, Sergio Colombo, Milena Mucci, Davide Salaris, Carlo Leggieri, Elena Moizo, Paolo Beccaria, Daniela Mamo, Massimo Zambon and Giacomo Monti.   Neurosurgical ICU: Head of Unit Prof. Luigi Beretta, MD: Silvano Cozzi, Susanna Piccoli, Antonio Dell’Acqua, Marco Gemma, Fabio Bernasconi, Maurizio Mungo, Marco Cerri, Assunta De Vitis, Maria Rosa Calvi, Alfredo Ravizza, Luisa Sacchi, Antonella Cipriani, Cristina Frascoli, Francesco Ruggieri, Nicola Pasculli, Elisa Nicelli and Valentina Testa.   Cardiothoracic and Vascular ICU: Head of Unit Prof. Alberto Zangrillo, MD: Giovanni Landoni, Federico Pappalardo, Fabrizio Monaco, Tiziana Bove, Maria Grazia Calabrò, Anna Mara Scandroglio, Giulio Melisurgo, Annalisa Franco, Chiara Gerli, Elena Bignami, Martina Crivellari, Monica De Luca, Greta Fano, Giovanna Frau, Giulia Maj, Alessandro Oriani and Nora Di Tomasso.