Christy's general pediatrician became alarmed when test results showed she was severely anemic — missing more than half of her hemoglobin. Within hours she was in the fight of her life, and ended up having a condition that only a children's hospital could treat.
The 20-bed pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach provides care to toddlers, children and teenagers who become critically ill or injured. Critical care is comprehensive care for patients whose condition may be life-threatening or who may require constant monitoring. Conditions that commonly cause critical illness and injury include severe infection, poisoning, trauma, extensive surgery, congenital anomalies and immunological disorders. Patients from multiple surgical specialties including congenital heart surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedics and general pediatric surgery receive advanced level care. Miller Children’s Hospital is a level II trauma center and admits patients with a wide variety of traumatic injuries, including head traumas.
The unit is staffed 24 hours per day, 7 days per week by onsite board-certified pediatric intensivists, registered nurses and respiratory therapists with special skills in the management of critically ill children, and the availability of an interdisciplinary team including social workers, dieticians, occupational therapists and physical therapists. This highly trained PICU care team of physicians, nurses, therapists and other staff possess the knowledge, skill and judgment to provide timely assessment and treatment. The PICU team is actively involved in research studies to help improve outcomes nationally. More than 1,300 patients are admitted to the PICU at Miller Children’s each year and half of the patients admitted are transported here from other hospitals, by our specialized pediatric transport team.