Critical Care

The Section of Critical Care provides coverage for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), and the Pediatric Sedation Service at Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago. With upwards of 1600 annual admissions, the 30-bed PICU is a multidisciplinary unit that provides care for the complete spectrum of childhood critical illness.  Our award winning Pediatric Sedation Service performs nearly 3000 procedures annually, and recently received the Society for Pediatric Sedation (SPS) inaugural Center of Excellence in Pediatric Sedation designation. We are an ELSO Gold Center of Excellence for ECMO.  Additionally, the Section supports an ACGME accredited Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship program and a robust clinical research enterprise focused on clinical outcomes, healthcare quality, and medical education.

Critically ill children are supported by advanced technologies including conventional and advanced mechanical ventilator support (high frequency oscillatory ventilation, NAVA ventilation, APRV).  Additional advanced technologies used in the PICU may include extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), nitric oxide helium-oxygen mixtures, plasmapheresis, renal-replacement therapy and hemofiltration or complete dialysis services.  A wide array of invasive and non-invasive monitoring technology is employed to ensure the highest vigilance in detecting and proactively addressing changes in physiology.

A multi-professional and interdisciplinary approach is utilized to provide patient and family centered care in the PICU. In addition to the critical care physicians, the care team consists of consulting physicians and surgeons, bedside critical care nurses, a full-time social worker, certified child life specialists, case managers, pharmacists and respiratory therapists. Individuals from these diverse specialty areas work together to provide care that extends well beyond that which is required for the medical/surgical condition at hand.  A senior critical care physician is in the PICU and available 24 hours a day.  Equipped with the most advanced technology, our team diligently works to improve survival, encourage meaningful and speedy recovery, minimize disability, and relieve pain and suffering in a consistently respectful and caring manner.