Critical Care Medicine

Welcome to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)/Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (PCICU) at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital.

Our combined PICU/PCICU is a 19 bed unit dedicated to providing state of the art health care to the children we serve.  The PICU is staffed by a multidisciplinary care team led by pediatric intensivists.  A board certified pediatric intensivist is present in the PICU 24 hours a day in order to meet the needs of our patients and their families.  The multidisciplinary care team includes fellows, residents, nurse practitioners, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists, social workers, case managers, physical and occupational therapists and child life specialists.  All of our team members are specially trained in the management of acutely ill children and young adults, aged 0-18+ years.

A child's illness or injury can be overwhelming and stressful for families - especially when it involves critical care. Yet, the treatment plan and road to recovery needn't be. The University of Maryland Children's Hospital offers outstanding critical care for the youngest patients within a warm, caring environment.

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is a 19-bed unit with private rooms designed to provide patient and family-centered care. State-of-the-art care is provided around the clock for pediatric patients with life-threatening medical and surgical conditions.  The University of Maryland Children’s Hospital staffs pediatric intensive care attending physicians in-house 24-7 to assure the highest level of care for the most complex patients.  The PICU has the most advanced technologies available to support patients in need, including ECMO, nitric oxide therapy, high frequency modes of ventilation and renal replacement. 

Features of the PICU

The 19-bed facility in the PICU is designed to be warm and inviting. It features:

  • All private rooms.
  • Gaming systems for children.
  • Sleeping accommodations for one caregiver.
  • A secured unit that keeps children safe.
  • A kid-friendly environment with fun activities for children, including reading, movies and video games.
  • Pet therapy for patients who are well enough.

Providing Multi-disciplinary Care

Care is delivered by an expert team of attending physicians, highly-trained nurses, respiratory specialists, physical and occupational therapy managers, nutritionists, case managers, social workers, pediatric nurse practitioners, pastoral care professionals and support staff. Specific medical sub-specialists are called in as needed to compliment the team. In addition, child life specialists are involved in all aspects of each patient's care plan, including helping with the adjustment needs of siblings. 

State-of-the-art diagnostics and treatments within the PICU focus on:

  • The age and size of the patient
  • Individualized care plans based on patient requirements
  • Special emphasis on pediatric pain management
  • Continuous monitoring and evaluation throughout the day
  • Including the family as an integral part of their child's care team
  • Parents are allowed to remain with their child around the clock, seven days a week, which often helps to calm anxieties and provide reassurance to little ones
  • Translation services are also available to aid in communication needs