Critical Care

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Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Published On 07/11/2011

Our 20-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is the only pediatric unit in the region staffed 24 hours a day by physicians who specialize in pediatric critical care. We take care of more than 1,600 critically ill children each year in the PICU.

The PICU, located on the 5th Floor of the hospital, is designed to treat children whose condition or illness requires critical treatments and constant observation or monitoring. Once their condition improves, PICU patients will typically be transferred to the Intermediate Care Unit or other patient care floors before going home.

Features of the PICU

Our PICU features:

  • A satellite pharmacy that allows quick, safe access to medications and pharmacists.
  • Private rooms for each patient, with room for a parent or caregiver to sleep.
  • A family room is also available for families to gather and relax.
  • Lactation rooms for breastfeeding mothers who need help nursing their baby.
  • A washer and dryer on the 6th Floor.

Technology in the PICU

Our PICU offers state-of-the-art technology for its patients, who require advanced diagnostic and therapeutic services. Technologies include:

  • high frequency oscillatory ventilation
  • nitric oxide
  • heliox
  • extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
  • continuous renal replacement therapy (or peritoneal and hemodialysis)
  • multi-modal neuromonitoring
  • ultrasound-guided vascular access
  • cardiac output monitoring

Le Bonheur is the only hospital in the region recognized as an ECMO Center of Excellence by the International Extracorporeal Life Support Organization. ECMO is a cardiopulmonary treatment that supports patients whose heart and lungs are severely damaged and cannot function on their own.

The PICU team

Under the leadership of board-certified critical care physicians, clinicians in our PICU specialize in the care of critically ill or injured children. In addition to critical care physicians and nurses, PICU team members include:

  • Respiratory therapists
  • Occupational and physical therapists
  • Speech pathologists
  • Pharmacists
  • Child Life specialists
  • Social workers
  • Chaplains or Spiritual Care team members
  • Patient advocate representatives
  • Clinical nutritionists

The PICU also offers translation services, and critical care fellows, pediatric residents or medical students may also be part of the PICU team.

The PICU partners with families and encourages them to actively participate in their child’s care by participating in daily rounds with the care team and contributing to their child’s care plan.