Admission to the PICU

Admission to an intensive care unit can be frightening and stressful for the patient and their family. We will do everything possible to help manage these fears throughout your child's hospitalization. You can help create a familiar and comforting environment for your child by bringing a familiar item from home and remaining with your child as much as possible during their stay. We encourage parents to participate in their child's care, whenever possible.

Leaving the PICU

When children no longer requires the level of care and monitoring provided by our intensive care unit, they will be transferred to another unit within the hospital. Based upon the needs of all our patients, these transfers can occur at any time during the day or night. The staff of the PICU will make every attempt to notify parents prior to the child's transfer from the PICU. For this and many other reasons, it is important that you notify your child's nurse how you can be reached when you leave the unit

Our guidelines

  • Parents and legal guardians are welcome to visit throughout the day.
  • Only two visitors are allowed in the PICU per child. A lounge, equipped with vending machines, microwave, and tables and chairs are available. There is also a Ronald McDonald Room in the hospital for Families, where showers and Laundry services are available free of charge.
  • We do permit one family member to sleep in the patient's room. Space permitting, two individuals (parent, grandparent or guardian) per patient may spend the night.
  • If you plan to spend the night, please place purses, wallets and valuables in a safe place while sleeping. There is a Lockable storage space in every room.
  • Visitors under the age of 15 are not allowed in the PICU or in the parent lounge.
  • To promote a healthy environment for our patients, Tobacco products are not permitted anywhere in the hospital.

Prior to visiting with your child

  • Obtain a visitor's pass from the information desk.
  • Sign in at the first nurses' station.
  • Have your visitor's badge in plain view.
  • Identify yourself to your child's nurse.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly using soap and warm water. Sinks are located throughout the PICU and in each patient room.
  • Eating and drinking will be allowed in your patient's room.

Phone messages

Phones are located in the PICU lounge. Parents may use them free of charge. Information about patient conditions will only be given to parents and legal guardians over the phone. Phone messages for parents will be taken and placed in a message station located at the front desk of the PICU.

The phone number to the PICU is 314.454.4466. When you leave the hospital we encourage you to call the PICU as often as you wish to check on your child's condition.

Sights and sounds

There are many sights and sounds in the PICU that can be intimidating or frightening. Please ask questions as often as you wish.

Children are connected to monitors that measure and record heart rate, respiratory rate and oxygen levels. This is not painful and is necessary for the safety of all patients.

Your child may need the placement of an intravenous catheter to allow the delivery of fluids and medications. These fluids maintain the body's fluid balance and provide glucose (and other sources of nutrition) and the medications to treat your child's condition or illness.

Your child may require the administration of supplemental oxygen in order to maintain adequate blood oxygen levels. Children may receive oxygen through a nasal cannula or mask.

Some children will also require either mechanical breathing assistance or higher levels of supplemental oxygen than can be delivered through a cannula or mask. When this is necessary, a breathing tube is placed through their nose or mouth. This tube provides a connection between the patient and the ventilator, a machine that helps the patient breath and aids in the delivery of oxygen and the removal of carbon dioxide.

Many other types of equipment, treatments and therapies may be administered to your child, depending upon his or her individual needs. The nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists, and other staff members will explain these therapies to you and your child. Please ask if you have questions.