The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) serves to fulfill the mission statement of the Department of Critical Care Medicine — to provide exemplary care for critically ill patients and conduct cutting edge research related to life-threatening acute medical problems. The PICU was set up in 1969, and at that time was the second pediatric intensive care unit in the country. Since then the PICU has steadily grown to a 36-bed state-of-the-art multidisciplinary unit that cares for the critically-ill children of Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio — an approximate catchment area of 5 million. The annual admissions to the PICU are approximately 2500, with overall mortality of <2%.
In addition to being a level 1 trauma center, the PICU also provides post-operative care for many surgical subspecialties e.g. neuro-surgery, orthopedic surgery, and plastic surgery. Due to the tireless dedication of its faculty, fellows and nurse-practitioners, the PICU has an international reputation in the care of pre and post liver and intestinal bowel transplant patients. The PICU physician team also serves as the medical command for the CHP transport team, transporting about 1500 patients annually.
The third mission of our department is to train the leaders of tomorrow in the field of critical care medicine. The illustrious faculty at CHP has trained over 100 fellows since its inception, and many of our graduates have established themselves as leaders in the field of CCM.