Patient Care

The critical care team at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital is prepared to help critically ill children return to health.

To help young patients recover, Packard Children’s has expanded its PICU bed capacity, made key hires on the critical care team, improved emergency transport capability and instituted new ways to track patient outcomes. Starting at the bedside, attending physicians collaborate closely with specialty practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists and patients’ families to tailor the care provided to each child.

Two attending physicians and two complete medical teams are on the ward at all times. Both teams deal with direct bedside needs, as well as the emotional and social needs that each child and family may confront in the context of critical, life-threatening illness. Patient outcomes are monitored using continuously updated Pediatric Risk of Mortality, or PRISM scores.

Faster, safer trips to the hospital

Packard Children’s critical care expertise extends beyond the hospital walls. Pediatric transport specialists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to travel to other hospitals and accompany critically ill children back to the Packard PICU.

The transport team consists of six RN transport specialists, experienced PICU nurses who have received specialized training in moving sick and injured children. Each trip is led by one of these specialists, accompanied by a second ICU nurse and, if the child’s condition warrants, a respiratory therapist or physician. Transports are performed by ambulance, life-flight helicopter or fixed-wing plane.

Multidisciplinary collaboration

Physicians in the PICU maintain close ties to subspecialty providers appropriate to each child’s case, and also draw on the expert knowledge of specially-trained PICU nurses, respiratory therapists, social workers and pharmacists. Contact is maintained with referring physicans and the patient's family is included in all care decisions.