Critical Care

When your child’s health is critically compromised, the experienced pediatric critical care physicians and nurses at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center provide the advanced medical and surgical care that can save your child’s life. Infants, children and teens in the 18-bed pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) are cared for and treated by a multidisciplinary team of board certified pediatric critical care physicians, pediatric medical and surgical subspecialists, nurses with advanced training, respiratory therapists, child life and rehabilitation specialists, nutritionists, pain and palliative care specialists, and social workers.

Inside the PICU, our critical care physicians are at the bedside 24-hours-a-day. Our highly skilled specialists care for children of all ages who are critically ill, severely injured, suffering life-threatening complications of chronic illness, experiencing organ failures, or in a state of medical instability. Conditions that require intensive care may include:

  • Asthma and other complex breathing disorders
  • Severe lung disease such as pneumonia and bronchiolitis
  • Post-operative care after surgery of the airway, spine, brain and abdomen
  • Heart, kidney or liver failure
  • Post-operative care for infants, children, and young adults with congenital heart disease
  • Poisoning
  • Acute infections of the bloodstream (septic shock), brain (meningitis), and other organs
  • Shock
  • Trauma

Children in need of critical care are admitted to the PICU from several areas of the hospital, including Connecticut Children’s Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center and our operating rooms. Many pediatric patients are transported directly to the PICU from other regional hospitals that cannot provide the advanced care needed. Connecticut Children’s state-of-the-art pediatric intensive care services include:

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Family-Centered Care

Connecticut Children’s family-centered approach to care ensures open dialogue and communication between our staff, children and their families. We encourage parents to be involved in decisions and plans about their child’s care, and to join our physicians and staff as they round each day. The multidisciplinary team caring for your child is always available to answer questions and provide the support needed during and after your child’s stay in the PICU.

Parents are encouraged to visit their child in the PICU as often as possible. In most situations, one parent may spend the night in their child's room, or parents may stay in one of 10 PICU suites. Located just outside of the PICU, these accommodations allow parents and families to stay close to their child with many of the conveniences of home, such as full bathrooms, laundry facilities, kitchenettes, and a lounge area with Wi-Fi access. Connecticut Children’s is a leader as one of the few children’s hospitals in the country to offer their patients and families this level of comfort and care.