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To arrange for transport of a critically ill infant or child, call our Pediatric Access Line at 1-877-644-8988
For all other critical care calls: 617-724-4350
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.
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:
We have a complete range of pediatric consultant services, including:
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.
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.
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 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.
The division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine is performing laboratory and clinical research, including:
Accepting New Patients
In 2018, all four inpatient units at MGHfC achieved 365 consecutive days without central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI). This includes the NICU, PICU, Ellison 17 and 18 and the Special Care Nursery. The record still going strong into 2019.
For the past 10 years, Sophie Bresnahan, RN, a nurse in the PICU at MGHfC, has been volunteering at the Saint Rock Haiti Foundation health clinic in Saint Rock, Haiti. This March, six other PICU nurses joined Bresnahan for her annual trip to work alongside Haitian nurses, doctors and dentists from the clinic.
At 5 weeks old, Natalia Boidi was rushed to the emergency room where doctors diagnosed her with SMA, a rare genetic disorder in which the nerves in the spinal cord slowly die off. After months in the PICU and a novel treatment called Spinraza, Natalia can breathe on her own and is learning to stand - things that were once almost impossible with her disease.
At 3 months old, Mikey was diagnosed with laryngomalacia. This made it hard for him to breathe. It also meant that he might need surgery and a tracheotomy. On April 11, his parents, Katie and Michael, shared their family’s experience at this year’s Grand Rounds, sponsored by the Family Advisory Council at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC).
In this FAC Spotlight, meet Eleanor McLaughlin, RN, a nurse on the PICU and member of MGHfC's Family Advisory Council, who helped improve patient care by implementing adolescent rounding in the PICU. Adolescent rounding is an innovative practice that gives teens and young adults a place to be heard and advocate for their care by participating in morning rounds.
At just seven weeks old, Lucas Calderon was rushed to the Emergency Department at MGHfC. His tiny body had gone into cardiogenic shock, caused by SVT, a condition that causes a fast heart rate because of extra electrical conduction tissue in the heart. Now at age 1, Lucas is the happiest of miracle babies.
Phoebe Yager, MD, has been appointed chief of Critical Care Medicine for MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC).
The microvascular endothelium is instrumental in many processes in the brain, including oxygen delivery, barrier function, and response to inflammation. After brain trauma, microvasculature disturbances lead to increased permeability, vasoconstriction, and capillary occlusion, events which amplify the primary insult. An understanding of these endothelial responses to injury is important in the investigation of neuroprotective strategies during brain injury. This topic forms one major area of my research.
Learn about the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, including who's who on your health-care team, accommodations for parents and guardians staying overnight with children, and a short introduction to family-centered care.
To arrange for transport of a critically ill infant or child, please call our Pediatric Access Line at 1-877-644-8988 and you will be connected directly to a critical care physician.
To schedule an appointment with a MassGeneral for Children pediatric specialist, please call 888-644-3248 or complete our online appointment form to request an appointment.
Physicians may call 888-644-3211 or use the online referral form and the Access & New Appointment Center will call your patient within 1 business day.
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