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Pediatric Critical Care

Our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) cares for infants, kids and teenagers with serious illnesses and injuries or who have had complex surgery — including heart procedures and organ transplants.

PICU: Critical Care for Kids

Our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) cares for infants, kids and teenagers with serious illnesses and injuries or who have had complex surgery — including heart procedures and organ transplants.

Our 14-bed PICU admits about 1,000 children each year. We're one of the Southeast's top referral centers for pediatric trauma, cardiac and critical care. We also work closely with our Emergency Department — one of five level-one trauma centers in Virginia.

A Leader in Virginia

Why You Should Choose UVA

We treat patients with a wide range of serious medical problems, including:

Complex Cases: Seriously Ill Children

  • Our PICU offers state-of-the-art equipment and the latest therapies to support children with organ failure.

    Services available include:

    • High frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV) helps your child breathe by sending small, rapid puffs of air into the lungs. It's safer for small lungs than high-pressure, conventional ventilation methods.
    • Extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) provides life support for children whose heart and lungs aren't functioning normally. A heart-lung machine is used to add oxygen to the blood and circulate it throughout the body.
    • Extra-corporeal renal replacement therapy takes over kidney function in children with severe injuries to the kidneys or kidney disease.
    • Inhaled nitric oxide treats respiratory problems like pulmonary hypertension. A breathing machine provides nitric oxide, causing blood vessels in the lungs to dilate and hold oxygen that circulates throughout the body. 
Critical Care for Children

A Multidisciplinary Team Approach

Your child’s critical care team includes:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Pharmacists
  • Nutritionists
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapists

Care for complex medical conditions and serious injuries requires collaboration among experts from an array of disciplines, including:

  • Heart and vascular
  • Orthopedic
  • ENT
  • Urology
  • Transplant
  • Surgery

Family-Centered Care

As a parent or legal guardian, you're the most important member of your child's care team. We encourage you to participate in all aspects of your child's care.

We offer support services for parents and families, including the Hospital Education Program and spiritual support.

Stay With Your Child

When your child is in the PICU, stay close by. We have 11 private rooms with sleeping space for parents who want to stay overnight with their children.

While your child is hospitalized, temporary lodging at a small cost is available through the Ronald McDonald House of Charlottesville. We also offer additional local lodging options

Contact the PICU

An on-call PICU doctor is available 24 hours a day:

Call us at 434.924.1761


Manage your healthcare online with MyChart.