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Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

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Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Cook Children's Medical Center cares for children with life-threatening illnesses or injuries.

This includes treatment for illnesses such as multi-system trauma, respiratory distress/failure, infections and shock.

The unit also cares for children recovering from procedures such as cardiothoracic surgeries, brain surgeries, kidney transplants and spinal surgeries. These children require life support and/or intensive monitoring.

On-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week are two physician specialists (board certified in pediatric intensive care or board certified pediatric cardiologist) and a nurse practitioner trained in pediatric intensive care. Specialty physicians, such as neurologists, pulmonologists, oncologists and cardiologists, are available for consultation or referrals

Services include


PICU transport can be provided by Cook Children's Teddy Bear Transport, one of only a handful of neonatal and pediatric transport teams in the world to receive certification by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Services. Services include ambulance, helicopter and fixed-wing airplane (aviation services are provided by Air Methods). The team is also one of the first to utilize nitric oxide and nitrogen on transports.


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is available for critically ill infants and children with lung or heart problems, or certain birth anomalies. ECMO is similar to the adult cardiac bypass procedure. The ECMO equipment includes a pump, artificial lung, filter and blood warmer that allows blood to bypass the patient's heart and lungs. This allows the heart and lungs to rest, heal and/or grow, in hopes that, after ECMO, the organs will function normally and the child will recover.

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