The Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
A pediatric intensive care unit (also paediatric), usually abbreviated to PICU is an area within a hospital specializing in the care of critically ill infants, children, and teenagers. A PICU is typically directed by one or more pediatric intensivists or PICU consultants and staffed by doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists who are specially trained and experienced in pediatric intensive care. The unit may also have nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physiotherapists, social workers, child life specialists, and clerks on staff, although this varies widely depending on geographic location. The ratio of professionals to patients is generally higher than in other areas of the hospital, reflecting the acuity of PICU patients and the risk of life-threatening complications.Complex technology and equipment is often in use, particularly mechanical ventilators and patient monitoring systems. Consequently, PICUs have a larger operating budget than many other departments within the hospital.