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PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit)

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About the service

The Paediatric Intensive Care Unit in Glasgow began life under the auspices of the Paediatric Anaesthetic Department at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Yorkhill). Initially the focus was the care of critically ill children recovering from major surgery, but as the speciality of Intensive Care Medicine evolved during the 1980s and 1990s, the Unit also became more directly involved in the care of children presenting as severe medical emergencies.

In June 2015, the service moved to a brand new 22-bedded Critical Care Unit at the new Royal Hospital for Children site on the former Southern General Hospital campus in Govan, bringing to an end the 101 year association of Yorkhill with children’s medicine. Thus began an exciting new chapter in PICU's story, co-located on a critical care floor that includes 36 NICU beds and 70 adult critical care beds a short walk away along the hospital corridors.

More about the service on the PICU website

What we do

Our Unit provides intensive care for critically ill babies and children, who reside in (or are are visiting) Scotland, and who need highly invasive technical support and treatment following either an emergency admission or planned highly specialised surgery.  Specialist services, such as ECLS, may attract admissions from outside of Scotland. We treat patients from birth up to the age of 16 years - but occasionally older than this if they remain in secondary education and are already under the care of paediatric medical personnel.

As well as the general intensive care of critically ill children, our Unit supports nationally designated paediatric services for Scotland in the following areas:

  • Interventional Cardiology
  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Airway Surgery
  • Renal Services
  • Stem Cell Transplant
  • Extra Corporeal Life Support (ECLS)

In addition, we also provide support to the West of Scotland Regional Neuro-Surgery programme.

More about what we do on the PICU website


Referral pathway

Referring a baby or child for ECLS/ECMO

Visit the PICU website for information on our ECMO Referral Pathway. We operate a "one phonecall" approach: if you refer to us and we accept the patient for ECMO but have no bed available, then we will assist you in finding a bed.