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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Critical Care: Services Offered

Katie Reasoner

Families of children with critical illness face great challenges, but finding comprehensive, compassionate care shouldn't be one of them.

Our critical care team offers a full range of services to diagnose, manage and treat life-threatening conditions. At the heart of our critical care services is the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). The 30-bed PICU is located on the third and fourth floors of the state-of-the-art University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital. Twenty-four rooms are private with in-room sleeping accommodations for families.

Parents of all patients are welcome to stay overnight with their child. Comer Children's Hospital also is home to a large neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), where neonatologists and critical care specialists treat babies and infants with complex and serious medical conditions.

Critical Care Technology and Support

Our specialists have access to the most advanced technology to help support critically ill children. Some of the high-tech services we provide include:

  • High frequency oscillatory ventilation
  • Open lung/low tidal volume ventilation for respiratory failure and asthma
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a type of long-term heart-lung bypass
  • Nitric oxide for respiratory failure
  • Helium-oxygen mixtures for acute asthma patients
  • Complete dialysis services for children with kidney disorders

Experts in intensive care medicine partner with pediatric cardiologists and pediatric heart surgeons to deliver state-of-the-art cardiac care to children who require heart surgery or have serious heart conditions. Critical care doctors also play a vital role in supporting children who require bone marrow transplantation, neurosurgery, chemotherapy or other procedures.

Sedation and Procedure Service

At Comer Children's, sedation services are integrated into critical care medicine. We offer a range of sedation options for children undergoing diagnostic exams or surgical procedures. Our goal is to make patients as comfortable as possible and relieve any fear or anxiety while managing their care in a safe and effective manner.

Nurses specializing in intensive care, sedation and invasive procedures work seamlessly with critical care physicians leading the care team. In addition, child life specialists are available to help patients through developmentally appropriate play and education. » Learn more about sedation and procedure service.

Comfort and Integrative Care Team

The Pediatric Comfort and Integrative Care Team helps to relieve symptoms and optimize the quality of life for children facing serious illnesses. Pain can be one of the most stressful parts of your child's illness. Our team offers a variety of methods to comfort your child and ease his or her distress. A physician and nurse practitioner work closely with the family and the primary care team on quality of life decision-making as well as pain and symptom management.