Pediatric Intensive Care (PICU)


There are four intensive care units specialized for children, Pediatric Intensive Care (PICU) in Sweden - Gothenburg, Lund, Uppsala and Stockholm

At such units children are cared for by means of medical and surgical diagnoses of imminent or manifest failure of one or more organ systems. This care focuses on monitoring, diagnosis, treatment and care. In the first instance each unit provides care for all children within its catchment area who are in need of intensive care. The unit also serves as a consultative body for all children in Sweden who require more advanced diagnosis and treatment which cannot be provided at their local hospital. Treatment centres for children who require heart surgery are located in Gothenburg and Lund.

The care provided at PICUs is provided around the clock by specially-trained nurses, assistant nurses, paediatric nurses and child anesthesiologists, and by medically responsible physicians in close collaboration with physicians at various maternity clinics. Physiotherapists, nutritionists, social workers and psychologists are also linked to the unit.

Healthcare professionals carry out the majority of the work with the child on the ward, but the child’s parents are also encouraged to participate in the care the child receives. The youngest children are cared for in incubators in order to regulate their body temperature. Assessment of the children's intensive care needs takes place on a continuous basis, and transfer to the unit can take place at any time of day or night.

Pediatric Intensive Care units are centres of excellence which are used to train various categories of personnel. In order to improve children's intensive care in Sweden a range of research projects approved by the research ethics committees are underway. Follow-up of care and treatment results are regularly sent to the national quality register, The Swedish Intensive Care Registry (SIR).