Explore This Treatment Program

Overview

The MassGeneral Hospital for Children Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is a 14-bed, multidisciplinary unit, which has distinguished itself by providing high quality care for critically ill infants, children and adolescents. Our patients present with a wide variety of life-threatening issues, such as severe infections, respiratory diseases, trauma and post-operative care of various complex surgeries.

Our mission is to provide state-of-the-art critical care medicine by bringing together the most sophisticated technology and scientific advancement in an environment sensitive to the multicultural patients and families we serve. Excellent communication with the family and primary care pediatrician is seen as a critical success factor in optimizing outcomes.

A Coordinated Multidisciplinary Approach

The MassGeneral Hospital for Children PICU provides monitoring and life-sustaining treatment for critically ill patients suffering from a wide range of illnesses. We provide advanced cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological support, both invasive and non-invasive, including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). The PICU attendings are all trained in pediatric critical care medicine. In order to optimize the care of both the child and family, the pediatric intensivists, in collaboration with the critical care nurses, orchestrate a multidisciplinary team that includes medical and surgical physicians, as well as:

  • Respiratory therapists
  • Pediatric pharmacists
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Child life specialists
  • Social workers
  • Chaplains
  • Nutritionists
  • Imaging and laboratory personnel

We have a complete range of pediatric consultant services, including:

  • Pulmonology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cardiology and cardiac surgery
  • Gastroenterology
  • Hematology/oncology
  • Infectious diseases
  • Neurology
  • Nephrology
  • Trauma surgery
  • General surgery
  • Orthopaedic surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Transplant surgery
  • Pediatric urology

The PICU fellowship program provides graduate-level patient supervision 24 hours a day.

At MassGeneral Hospital for Children, we strive to provide an open and welcoming environment. We believe that no one knows a child as well as parents do, and therefore parents, along with primary care providers, become partners in the child’s care. The parents have an active voice in all treatment plans.

A Program of Constant Improvement

Our procedures and formulary are continually assessed through tools such as the Collaborative Practice Meeting, where novel therapies are evaluated and PICU performance is monitored. Quality assurance is provided through case studies and other forums. Scheduled educational activities are held in the PICU and, by arrangement, in the community.

Service for Sedation and Pain-Free Procedures

The procedural sedation program provides analgesia and/or sedation as appropriate for children in need of potentially painful or anxiety-provoking procedures. This service is provided in a specially decorated, child-friendly patient room within the PICU, which is less intimidating than the operating room. Common procedures include lumbar punctures and bone marrow biopsies, kidney biopsies, central venous catheter placement, knee taps and others.

The TeleHealth Program

The Pediatric TeleHealth program provides live video conferencing between the PICU and select patient rooms in emergency departments at outlying community hospitals, including MassGeneral for Children at North Shore Medical Center, Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Nantucket Cottage Hospital. Via this link, the PICU staff may provide on-demand medical advice and guidance to help assess, and if needed, stabilize critically ill infants and children and prepare them for transport to the PICU. This telemedicine technology also supports an international link between the Buen Samaritanu Hospital in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico and the PICU.

Research

The division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine is performing laboratory and clinical research, including:

  • Mechanisms of inflammation, apoptosis and neuroprotection in brain injury
  • Predictors of severity and outcome in severe, acute and chronic pulmonary diseases
  • Applications of innovative technology in the PICU environment