Critical Care

Children need specialized critical care when they are severely ill or injured, or recovering from complicated surgery. Norton Children’s Critical Care, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, provides intensive care services for infants, children and teens.

Our critical care team includes fellowship-trained and board-certified pediatric intensivists who specialize in pediatric critical care medicine, as well as pediatric critical care nurse practitioners, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists and dietitians. We have specialized facilities, including the “Just for Kids” Critical Care Center, a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), and the Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU). These units are equipped to meet the needs of children and families so they can heal together.

Specialized Care Available from Across the Norton Children’s Network

In addition to our critical care intensivists, children in our care have access to specialists from across the Norton Children’s network of medical and surgical specialty providers. Providers from all specialties are immediately available for children in the PICU and CICU.

Facilities to Provide Specialized Critical Care for Kids

The “Just for Kids” Critical Care Center at Norton Children’s Hospital is a multidisciplinary PICU where pediatric intensivists and subspecialists work together to provide highly skilled care. The PICU team focuses on the specialized needs of critically ill or injured infants, children and teens, as well as those recovering from high-risk or complicated surgery. Just outside the critical care center, the Aidan O’Rourke PICU Family Room allows parents and other family members to stay close to their children. The room has many of the conveniences of home.

Norton Children’s Hospital is renovating the “Just for Kids” Critical Care Center thanks to generous donations to the Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation. The renovations will include transforming patient bays into private and semiprivate rooms. This is slated to be completed in summer 2021.

The Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Norton Children’s Hospital is the largest dedicated pediatric CICU in Kentucky. A CICU is an intensive care unit for children recovering from heart procedures, including open heart surgery and heart transplants, or who have heart failure or other conditions requiring intensive heart care. The unit has 17 private rooms, with private bathrooms and showers, offering families comfort, privacy and the ability to be with their children as much as possible during often lengthy stays. Our CICU is staffed with cardiac critical care providers, including dedicated nursing staff and other professionals solely focused on heart care. Research shows that care in a CICU can improve a child’s outcomes.

Advanced Treatments Available for Children

Advanced treatment options are available when necessary, including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Norton Children’s Hospital is one of the first hospitals in the U.S. to establish an ECMO program. We were the 10th center in the country to join the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) and have provided ECMO to more than 1,200 patients since 1985. In 2012, we were recognized as an ELSO Center of Excellence and continue to be a Gold Center of Excellence.

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