Pediatric Inpatient Care
As a dedicated children’s hospital, we care for children with life threatening injuries and illnesses as well as provide specialized care for kids requiring additional treatment following inpatient procedures. The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Children’s Memorial Herman Hospital is a multidisciplinary unit that provides care for children with life-threatening injuries and critically ill patients. Youngsters who need extra attention - for example, post-transplant patients or those with gastrointestinal problems or seizures - receive treatment in the Children's Special Care Unit, a pediatric intermediate medicine unit (PIMU).
These units play a pivotal role in the success of our renowned programs in areas such as neurosciences, heart, general surgery, orthopedics, trauma, pulmonary and transplantation. The Children's Center and the Roger & Debbie Clemens Pediatric Wing are designed for children who require hospitalization but whose conditions are not life-threatening.
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Our 30-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is a multidisciplinary unit that provides critical care to traumatically injured and critically ill kids including infants, children and adolescents. Our PICU is one of only three pediatric intensive care units serving the Greater Houston area.
Special services include, but not limited to, care following kidney and liver transplantation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). The PICU is equipped with isolation rooms, a burn tub room and a private family conference room.
Pediatric specialties include cardiology, neurology, infectious diseases, endocrinology, hematology and psychiatry. Pediatric surgery specialties include general, trauma, cardiovascular, neurosurgical, otolaryngology, plastic, and transplant.
The PICU Staff
The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is a major referral center for pediatric trauma. The many physicians, nurses and allied medical care professional are skilled in the care of children with traumatic injuries, respiratory problems, infectious diseases, burns, liver disease and cardiac disease, as well as postoperative care for children who have had heart, neuro- and general surgery.
Our nurses are required to become certified in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) within 18 months of their date of hire. Many of our nurses attend the Houston Area Collaborative Critical Care Program for pediatric nurses.
A Team Approach
Our multidisciplinary approach to family-centered care involves the participation of nutritionists, pharmacists, social workers, physical/occupational/speech therapists, child life specialists and case managers. Close collaboration between nurses and physicians enhances the quality of patient care, which focuses on the family as a whole.
We provide sleep rooms, a parent lounge and laundry, and we also allow sibling visitation and extended visiting hours for parents. Child life specialists work with our patients and their families, especially siblings, to assist in coping with the stress of a loved one being hospitalized and critically ill.
Children's Special Care Unit (Intermediate Care Unit)
Children's Special Care Unit provides specialized and/or intermediate multidisciplinary care for pediatric transplant patients and children with other acute or chronic conditions. Our staff has advanced training in the following pediatric specialties, not limited to:
- Cardiology / heart surgery
- General surgery
- Neurology / neurosurgery
- Plastic and reconstructive surgery
- Pre- and post-surgical transplant care
The affiliated physicians, nurses and other members of the Children's Special Care Unit are attuned to the needs of children. They take the time to explain to parents and children what to expect during the hospital stay, as well as specific treatment and care provided for each child's illness. Explanations are given to children in terms appropriate to each child's age and level of understanding.
Patient education and discharge planning are major focuses of care at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. Our nurses and staff stay current with medical advances through continuing education programs, and we require that all nurses become Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certified within 18 months of hire.
Our multidisciplinary approach to family-centered care involves the participation of parents and caregivers in addition to the medical care team. Family sessions with members of your child's care team offer parents an opportunity to participate in the child's care during the hospital stay. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to participate in daily medical rounds with their child’s medical team. Multidisciplinary bedside rounds are held 365 days a year, and the opinions of everyone on the medical team are valued so the best care is given to each child.
Child Life specialists are also available to our patients and their families, especially siblings, to assist in coping with the stress of a loved one being hospitalized and critically ill.
Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital includes playrooms with toys, videos and games on different floors in the hospital. Our Child Life specialists staff the playrooms for part of each day and also visit children in their rooms. A teen lounge with TV and computer access is also available, and a parent lounge and laundry area help integrate families into the unit. Activity rooms at the hospital can be located on the 8th, 9th, and 10th floors.
- 8th Floor- Cathy and Jesse Marion Pediatric Playroom
- 9th Floor- Hollywood Video Starlight Site
- 10th Floor- Fondren Park, open space where children can participate in fun activities; Houston Rockets Teen Lounge that includes a TV, computer and instrument set; the Pi Beta Phi Children's Library, and the Lowe Foundation Pediatric Sun Room.
To contact a child life specialist, call (713) 704-2066.
Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital is one of only two hospitals in Houston offering ECMO, which is used for newborns and children who are critically ill with respiratory failure. The ECMO machine functions like a heart-lung bypass machine used in open heart surgery. It uses an artificial lung (membrane) located outside the body (extracorporeal) to put oxygen into the blood. The blood carries the oxygen to body tissues (oxygenation). ECMO can take over the function of the heart and lungs only for a short time. | Learn More »
Family sessions with members of your child's care team offer parents an opportunity to help plan their child's care during the hospital stay. Care conferences may be called by any member of a child's care team, including parents. They can be very helpful for children with multiple care needs.
Because we recognize that the family presence is comforting and reassuring to your child, we place minimal restrictions on family visits. The PICU is closed during changes of shift from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hospital visitation ends at 9 p.m. However, parents and grandparents may remain in the room after this time.
Please help us provide the best possible care by following these guidelines:
- All visitors to the PICU must first obtain authorization to visit at the reception desk. Entry is controlled for the safety of your child.
- Two visitors at a time will be admitted.
- If your child's condition improves, the number of visitors may be increased. This must be arranged by the charge nurse.
- Visitation is limited to your child's room.
- You may be asked to step out during procedures or tests.Visitors staying overnight must obtain a pass from Security, located on the first floor of the Hermann Pavilion.
- If you wish to restrict visitors to your child's room, please notify your nurse.
Parents or guardians are welcome to stay overnight with their child. One adult may sleep in the patient room on the window seat. A limited number of parent sleep rooms are also available after 5 p.m. They are assigned based on availability according to the following guidelines:
- Each family may have one bed in a room that has two twin beds.
- Persons will be assigned to share a room by gender.
- There is a shared bathroom between each suite of two rooms.
Ronald McDonald House
Families of critically ill children can rest and recharge in the home-away-from-home environment of the 14-bedroom Ronald McDonald House located within Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital. A true collaboration between the hospital and Ronald McDonald House of Houston, the House includes seven rooms that serve the Pediatric ICU and seven more that serve the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Ronald McDonald House of Houston furnished and decorated the rooms to create a comfortable environment that includes Internet service, refreshments, books, games and other services. The House also has two large family living rooms, laundry facilities and a kitchenette.
Each sleep/nap room with adjacent bath is designed to give parents a place to rest or spend the night. Bedrooms are available from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis by checking in at Ronald McDonald House office located on the 7th floor of the Hermann Pavilion. Overnight rooms are available from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 a.m. and are assigned by your child's nurse.