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Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at UI Health provides specialized care for children with severe respiratory, circulatory, or neurological problems, including children who have undergone transplantation, cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, and other surgical procedures. We also provide management of emergencies ranging from allergic reactions to broken bones to complex illnesses. Our 24-bed PICU is among the handful of medical centers in Chicago and Illinois to be designated a Pediatric Critical Care Center.

Our Pediatric Intensive Care team comprises pediatric critical care physicians, intensive care unit nurses, respiratory therapists, and intensive care pharmacists to deliver and monitor care for children with urgent medical needs. We also provide access to Child Life Specialists; occupational, physical, and speech therapists; dietitians; and psychiatrists to fully attend to your child's needs.

In a newly renovated treatment room, doctors and nurses are able to perform many procedures that used to be done bedside. Doing procedures in the treatment room helps minimize patient pain and results in a more positive healthcare experience.

Child Life Specialists & Family Support

Child Life is an integral part of a patient's hospital stay. Our Child Life Specialists work with patients and their families by providing support through therapeutic play. In our newly renovated playroom, children will participate in arts and crafts projects, play games, watch movies, and interact with other patients. Each activity is age-appropriate to benefit the patient's needs.

Child Life Specialists work with patients to help ease fears and anxiety relating to the hospital setting. With our patient puppet, Zoey, we are able to demonstrate what will happen during a procedure and allow play opportunities for patients to be "the doctor." Zoey also is used in our videos to better prepare patients for upcoming procedures, such as surgery, MRI, IV, CT Scan, and EEG.

We encourage parents to stay bedside with their child. Other tips for a successful hospital experience include:

  • Bring a favorite personal item from home, such as a toy, blanket, or stuffed animal.
  • Bring underwear, pajamas, and slippers.
  • Bring your own personal toiletries.

PICU Special Events

Our staff is committed to ensuring your child has the most positive experience while staying with us. Regular special events that take place in the PICU include:

  • Pet therapy
  • Movie nights
  • Snow City Arts
  • Special groups/entertainers
  • Holiday Parties
  • Handmade blanket delivery
  • Donations

Request an Appointment

To make an appointment, please fill out the online form or call 312.996.7416.

View our clinic locations and get directions to UI Health here.