Critical Care (PICU)

The Stollery Children’s Hospital Pediatric Critical Care Environment admits approximately 1200 children (neonates to age 17) annually. Critically ill children are seen in two separate ICU environments: a Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (PCICU) which admits patients with medical and surgical heart disease and a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) which admits all other critically ill patients. Between the two units, there are 23 beds staffed by 15 pediatric intensivists.

The PICU serves as a major pediatric trauma centre for Northern Alberta, as well as the referral centre for solid-organ transplants in Western Canada. It has a busy transport service, coordinating over 200 transports a year of patients from all over Northern Alberta and the territories.

As the referral centre for the Western Canadian Heart Network, the Stollery Children's Hospital performs approximately 450 open-heart surgeries per year, making it the second busiest congenital heart surgery program in Canada. The PCICU has an extensive VAD program using both short-term and long-term devices. Both the PICU and PCICU have active cardiac and pulmonary ECLS programs (the second largest in Canada).

A large expansion of both programs is currently underway. Both the PICU and the PCICU are being completely renovated. When completed, both ICUs will have 16 beds each to look after critically ill children.

The Pediatric Critical Care program at the University of Alberta offers a Royal College accredited program in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, as well as clinical fellowships in Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Medicine and Pulmonary Hypertension.

Doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, social workers, occupational therapists/physiotherapists and dieticians work together with families as a team to provide care for the unit’s young patients. We strive to provide the best possible care for critically ill pediatric patients and their families.