We provide critical care in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Special Care Nursery.
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit cares for the most critically ill children. The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit team includes specially trained physicians, nurses and allied health professionals with specialized education and expertise in managing the care of these children.
The Children’s Heart Centre team of physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists care for children with the most severe forms of cardiac disease, before and after their cardiac surgery. The care of children in a critical care environment requires a multidisciplinary team approach with ongoing discussion and collaboration among patient and family members and members of the Intensive Care Unit and Heart Centre teams.
The Newborn Care Program includes the Special Care Nursery and the Neonatal Care Nursery, the Neonatal Follow-up Program and the Division of Neonatology of the UBC Department of Pediatrics.
Together with the Women’s Obstetric Program, it provides comprehensive Level II and III perinatal services including direct patient care, consultation, triage and transport. Extracorporeal life support is provided with the Pediatric Intensive Care unit.
The Newborn Care Program works closely with Children’s Heart Centre to provide comprehensive care to infants with congenital heart disease. Many infants born prematurely with congenital heart disease are cared for in the Special Care Nursery before having cardiac surgery.
Extracorporeal Life Support
The Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS) program is a full-service program for patients ranging from infants to young adults. It has a proven record in successfully managing the care of infants and children in multi-system failure.
ECLS uses advanced and invasive life support equipment when conventional medical therapy has failed to stabilize the patient. The ECLS equipment is similar to the heart and lung machine used by perfusionists in the Cardiac Operating Room. However, this equipment is portable, modular, rated for long-term use, and is less complicated to operate. These differences make it possible to use the equipment safely in an Intensive Care Unit setting. Despite potential complications, the expected survival rates for post-operative patients who need this level of support is generally around 50 per cent.
A multidisciplinary team including intensivists, neonatologists, anesthetists, perfusionists, nurses, and respiratory therapists provide the extracorporeal life support. The team is supported by the Cardiac Sciences, Transfusion Medicine, Pathology and Radiology staff who contribute to this demanding endeavour. The team’s commitment has allowed the program to excel in patient outcomes, research, innovation, and education. Ongoing quality assurance measures indicate that outcomes are on par or exceed those of most other international cardiac centres that provide these services.