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Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) Houston TX

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital is a multispecialty unit that provides care for infants, children and adolescents who are critically ill or injured. The PICU plays a pivotal role in the success of our renowned programs in areas such as cardiac care, neurosciences, pulmonary, transplantation and trauma.

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Our 30-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) provides critical care to traumatically injured and critically ill patients from birth to 18 years of age. The multidisciplinary team specializes in the unique needs of critically ill or injured children and is one of only three pediatric intensive care units serving the Greater Houston area. As a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center and one of the busiest trauma centers in the country, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital is specialized and equipped to care for even the most severe cases.

Our PICU is home to the Children’s Heart Center Intensive Care Unit, a cohorted unit specifically for patients with critical congenital heart defects requiring surgery, cared for by a medical team with special training and expertise. The affiliated team of cardiac intensivists, cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, cardiac anesthesiologists, perfusionists, nurses and respiratory therapists work in unison to deliver specialized care, speed recovery, and relieve pain for all patients.

The PICU Team

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit’s staff is skilled in the preoperative and postoperative care of patients undergoing major cardiac surgery for repair of congenital heart defects, complex neurosurgical procedures, severe trauma including burns, major pediatric surgery including transplantation, and other critical medical disorders.

Our nurses are required to become certified in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), an American Heart Association training program aimed to improve the quality of care provided to seriously ill or injured children, resulting in improved outcomes. Many of our nurses are active participants in the Houston Area Collaborative Critical Care Program for pediatric nurses.

Pediatric critical care medicine physicians and hospitalists, who are faculty at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, provide twenty-four hour, in-house coverage to ensure that patients with intensive care needs receive the best care possible. The board-certified or board-eligible clinicians help our pediatric patients get better by providing treatment using the latest in technology and medical advancements. Our PICU is made up of a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals that include Child Life specialists, case management, nutritionists, pharmacists, social workers, physical/occupational/speech therapists, and respiratory therapy.

Learn more about the Department of Pediatric Critical Care >>

Children’s Transport Team

The Children’s Transport Team features a team of nurses and respiratory therapists, led by pediatric and neonatal physicians highly experienced in critical care. As a quaternary care facility and a Level I pediatric trauma center, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital is equipped and ready to care for the most critical and severe cases. Our transport team regularly transports pediatric and neonatal patients from community hospitals, clinic and emergency departments when a higher level of care is required.

For more information about the Children’s Transport Team, click here >>

Family-Centered Care

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.

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)

Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital (CMHH) is one of only two hospitals in Houston offering ECMO, which is used for newborns and children who are critically ill with respiratory failure or who are recovering after cardiac surgery. A lifesaving technique that supports the function of the heart and lungs, ECMO allows an infant or child to rest while healing of the organs naturally takes place. As a high-volume program in Texas, the Pediatric ECMO Program supports approximately 30 children each year.

Click here to learn more about ECMO services >>

Visiting Hours

Because we recognize that the family presence is comforting and reassuring to your child, we place minimal restrictions on family visits. Please help us provide the best possible care by following these guidelines:

  • All PICU visitors must first obtain visit authorization at the reception desk. Entry is controlled for the safety of your child.
  • Up to three visitors at the bedside at a time.
  • Siblings ages 3 – 13 must meet with a Child Life therapist prior to visitation. This is aimed to assist with stress and fear related to having a loved one hospitalized. No siblings under the age of three.
  • Visitation is limited to your child's room.
  • You may be asked to step out during procedures or tests.
  • Hospital visitation ends at 9 p.m. However, parents and grandparents may remain in the room after this time.
  • 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.

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.

Each sleep/nap room with an adjacent bath is designed to give parents a place to rest or spend the night. Bedrooms are available from 1 to 5 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 p.m. to 11 a.m. and are assigned by your child's nurse. Parents or guardians are welcome to stay overnight with their child. One adult may sleep in the patient room on the window seat.

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