Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
Any child who is seriously ill, suffers acute or chronic pain or whose medical needs can't be met on the hospital's main medical floors goes to the PICU.
Kids in the PICU might include those with severe breathing problems from asthma, serious infections, certain heart conditions, some complications of diabetes, congenital anomalies, immunological disorders, drug overdoses, or those involved in a serious automobile accident or near-drowning.
Some kids may have been stable enough to initially be cared for on the hospital's medical-surgical floors, but are then transferred to the PICU if they become more acutely ill. Following major surgery, many children may be cared for in the PICU for several days. The PICU differs from a general medical floor because it is staffed 24 hours a day by a highly experienced clinical staff with dedicated critical care experience trained to provide continuous monitoring of heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure, ventilators (breathing machines) and medications that can only be given under close medical supervision. Doctors and nurses in the PICU are certified in pediatric critical care medicine and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and are ready and prepared to respond appropriately to emergencies.
How long kids stay in the PICU depends on their condition — some might stay a single day; others are there for weeks or even months.
The only Level I Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in El Paso, the highest certification available, the PICU at El Paso Children's Hospital is a multidisciplinary unit that provides care for infants, children and adolescents who become critically ill or injured. Equipped with advanced technology, this highly skilled multidisciplinary team improves survival, speeds recovery, minimizes disability and relieves pain and suffering for a broad spectrum of conditions caused by critical illness or injury. El Paso Children’s Level 1 PICU sees close to 3,000 patients annually with a 99% survival rate.
El Paso Children's Level I PICU features:
- 22 Private Patient Rooms
- 2 Negative Pressure Rooms
- 2 Positive Pressure Rooms
- 24/7 Hospitalist coverage
- 24/7 Coverage with Board Certified Pediatric Critical Care Specialists
- Advanced Technology
- State of the Art Cardiac Monitoring
- Electronic Medical Records
- Vein Viewer
- Cardiovascular Equipment
- Heliox Connection in every patient room
- Advanced Respiratory Technology
- High frequency oscillatory ventilation
- Kid Play Room
- Family Lounge Area
Transport to the PICU
El Paso Children’s Hospital Critical Care Transport Team provides lifesaving pediatric and neonatal critical care on a rolling intensive care unit ambulance in the moments that can matter the most.
The critical care transport team is equipped to handle Level 1 Trauma, Level 3 NICU, and Level 1 PICU, the highest designations, and transport pediatric patients within a 250 mile radius.
Donors Make a Difference in the PICU
Equipment and services below were made possible through the generosity of our donors.
Critical Care Beds $158,530
The Foundation donated ten In-touch Critical Care Beds. Controls of all beds function with an easy, intuitive touch screen interface using a powerful on-bed Windows computer. Bedside data monitors local bed status with visual, audible or remote signals that improve care and responsiveness. Features assist in early mobility exercises that have been shown, in some cases, to decrease the overall length of stay in the ICU, enhance muscle strength and increase ventilator-free days.
Nitrous Oxide Porter Sentry Sedation - $8735
With this equipment, 90 to 95% of children identified as good candidates are able to enjoy a new approach with a number of advantages over oral or intravenous sedatives, nitrous oxide for pediatric sedation for brief, minimally invasive procedures. With oral medications it is not uncommon to wait 20 minutes for the sedative to work. Then the patient potentially has to spend additional time in the hospital to make sure they are fully recovered from sedation. Nitrous oxide starts working in a minute, and after the procedure when mask is removed, the effects are gone and the child can go home.
That means less stress for families with children who require frequent appointments for chronic illnesses. Accessing a port with a needle to give chemotherapy or inserting urethral catheters for children undergoing workup for urinary tract infections can be stressful. With nitrous oxide no IV is required. Patients don't have to take anything by mouth. They are lightly sedated and able to interact with the hospital staff throughout the procedure.
Littman Stethoscope, $2,427
Critical for diagnosis, the Foundation funded 26 Littman Stethoscopes, one for each room of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit to reduce time-saving critical minutes and support infection control in a sensitive environment.
Bed Prism Spectacles, $588
Some patients are prescribed bed rest or they can only lay in bed prone following serious surgeries or traumatic injuries.
Bad enough for an adult, but for a kid, nearly impossible. With Bed Prism Spectacles, they can lay in bed and still read or watch TV, which makes a huge difference as the healing minutes tick away.
Olympic Brainz Monitor - $22,950
Funded by El Paso Children's Foundation, the Olympic Brainz Monitor is the latest tecnology in cerebral function monitoring. Understanding an infant's brain health is a critical part of treatment decisions. The Olympic Brainz Monitor provides vital information to clinicians who need to assist with earlier diagnosis and treatment.
20 Kangaroo Feeding Pumps - $6800
Funded through generous donors, the Kangaroo ePump system is the lastest innovation in external feeding pump technology for patients who require nutrition through continuous feeding, intermittent feeding or feding and flushing.
3 Siemens Blood Gas Analyzers, $56,309
10,960 patients are helped per year with the analyzers that provide blood test results in about 60 seconds. Accurate and easy to use, the blood gas analyzers offer rapid results to determine what changes can be done to improvie the patient's oxygenation and ventilation status. It helps healthcare professionals to identify changes in the pediatric and newborn health status by real-time test results preventing lifelong complications. It offers an effective invasive and non-invasive way to monitor sudden changes.
Cardiac Monitoring Systems, $694,455
Used for continuous monitoring of children with suspected cardiac arrhythmias.
X Series Manual Monitor and Debrillator, $77,786
Offers extensive capabilities for patient transport and cardiac resuscitation. The monitor is small and lightweight with extensive monitoring capabilities when transporting critically ill patients.
Bladder Scanner, $8,140
A bladder scanner is used as a non-invasive form to check the urine amount in the bladder and to determine if there should be a foley insertion or catherization.
Healing Arts Program
Evidence based research now strongly recognizes art as an essential component to health, healing and well-being.
Entirely funded through El Paso Children's Foundation the Healing Arts Program integrates dynamic and inspirational art from local and regional artists in every area of the hospital including the PICU, improving the hospital experience for patients, families and caregivers.
Donors Make a Difference in Pediatric Transport
Equipment and services below were made possible through the generosity of our donors.
Neonatal Transport Education & Training - $3599
This comprehensive training provided updates on current guidelines for specialty team transports and clinical issues related to neonatal and pediatric transport, including simulation labs for Critical Care Transport members and stabilization for care and management of critically ill patients and limits and effects of the transport environment.
Pediatric Transport Ambulance wrap - $6,000
Due to the increase in the number of pediatric transports since Children's opened in 2012, a brand new ambulance with even more capabilities was required. This is a fully equipped intensive care unit on wheels. Children's Miracle Network sponsored the wrap that reminds everyone there is a highly specialized pediatric emergency transport crew and a small child receiving life-saving care even as the wheels are rolling.
Foundation PICU volunteers also provide other amenities and special support to PICU families. To learn how to become a PICU volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or register here now.