Starship Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
The Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Starship is a national service for children requiring intensive care for longer than 24 hours and a regional service for all children requiring intensive care or high dependency care. More than half the children admitted come from outside the greater Auckland region.
The Unit is a combined cardiac and general intensive care facility with a physical capacity for 16 ICU beds and 6 HDU beds, admitting approximately 1100 - 1200 children each year. Approximately 45% of admissions are cardiac, providing pre- and post-operative care for children undergoing treatment for congenital cardiac conditions. General admissions include the full range of medical and surgical conditions and therapies, including liver transplantation, spinal surgery and neurosurgery. All intensive care support techniques are employed; including renal replacement therapy, HFOV (high frequency oscillatory ventilation) and ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation).
PICU also staffs and runs the only dedicated paediatric retrieval service in New Zealand. Children are retrieved from throughout New Zealand and occasionally by international flight from the South Pacific region. There are approximately 300 retrievals each year, with a mix of road, fixed wing and helicopter transfers.
Family Centred Care is the dominant philosophy within the Unit and staff care for critically ill children in partnership with the child's family/whanau. Parents' presence at the bedside of their critically ill child is accepted as the norm, and parents are not asked to leave for any procedures ranging from insertion of intravenous lines to resuscitation.
Further information can be found at www.adhb.govt.nz/picu. Information for parents/caregivers is available at www.adhb.govt.nz/picu/family_whanau_info.htm.