Pediatric Intensive Care (PICU)

Critical care services at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital provides advanced care for infants, children and young adults with a wide variety of life-threatening issues, such as severe infections, breathing difficulties, traumatic injuries, and recovery from major surgery.

Patients in the PICU have immediate access to intensive care specialists as well as a full array of pediatric subspecialists, state-of-the-art technology and advanced therapies, culminating in the highest level of medical care for pediatric patients.  Our team is internationally renowned for excellence in the care of children with respiratory failure, especially those who require artificial organ support.

We follow a family-centered philosophy of care, with parents and guardians closely involved in the medical team’s decision making.  Our staff are committed to uncompromising respect for all persons and viewpoints.

About our unit

The Mott PICU is a 30-bed unit, composed mostly of private, single-patient rooms as well as a 6-bed intensive care bay designed for patients whose care requires extensive specialty equipment and constant visibility to the medical team.

Nearly half of our PICU patients are admitted directly from the emergency department.  Around 20% of our patients are admitted to the PICU from the operating room to recover from complex surgical procedures, and the remaining patients are generally referred from other hospitals who rely on the expertise and experience of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital PICU team to handle the most challenging pediatric cases in the region.

The U-M PICU team

The PICU is staffed by board-eligible and board-certified pediatric intensive care specialists and advanced practice nurses 24-hours a day.  These senior physicians supervise a team of fellow and resident physicians, and coordinate the participation of a full spectrum of pediatric subspecialists involved in the care of critically ill patients.

The pediatric critical care nursing team specializes in caring for complex, medically unstable and vulnerable patients.  Each PICU nurse receives special training in intense, rapid response care and vigilant monitoring, including being able to recognize even very subtle changes in a patient’s status.

C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital has nationally recognized expertise in Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS) for children who need life-sustaining heart and lung support, as well as continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) for those who require the support of a temporary artificial kidney.

The PICU team also includes other specialized nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, dietitians, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, chaplains and child life therapists.

Family-centered care for your child

A stay in an intensive care unit can be stressful for parents and children alike. Many of the terms, procedures and pieces of equipment used in the PICU may be unfamiliar.  Our PICU staff are committed to helping reduce the stress and uncertainty of having a critically ill or seriously injured child. Our family-centered care philosophy ensures that parents and guardians are kept up-to-date about their child’s condition, and receive the information needed to make informed choices about his or her medical care.  The presence and participation of families and others who provide care and support to patients is not only supported but strongly encouraged. 

Visitation and family presence

Upon admission, parents and guardians are asked to complete a visiting plan to identify who may visit or receive information about their child.  Family and visitors are asked to wear a dated visitor badge at all times.  The number of visitors per patient in the PICU is dependent on the patient’s medical needs, level of unit activity and available space, with maximum number of visitors at any particular time being four.

There is one sleep space and one recliner provided at each beside for parents or legal guardians.  No one under the age of 18, including siblings, is permitted to stay overnight. 

Resources and support

Our team recognizes that a hospitalization is often unplanned and stressful.  We provide a wide variety of support services and programs to help children and familiies during their PICU stay, including:

Through our Patient & Family Advisory Council, we coordinate a peer mentor program to match interested parents up with other parents who have been through similar experiences to support you on your journey.

Please ask a member of your care team for further information about any of these services.

Physician referral and transfer Information

Physicians and hospitals interested in referring or transferring a patient to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital PICU should contact M-LINE at 1-800-962-3555 and ask to speak to the admitting officer.