A ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) which will improve the availability of care to local families was held at St. Luke’s University Hospital-Bethlehem Thursday.
“We are thrilled that children and their families will be able to remain in the region and within St. Luke’s to receive the high quality pediatric critical care that they need,” said Glenn Stryjewski, MD, PICU Medical Director.
The new unit will open to patients Monday and is part of an $11 million expansion hospital officials say is dedicated to improving pediatric health care within the region and providing advanced care to critically ill or injured children close to home.
The multidisciplinary unit is furnished with the latest technology, including mechanical ventilation and dialysis equipment.
The unit is staffed with pediatric critical care intensivists who are available 24 hours a day.
PICU intensivists will collaborate with St. Luke’s pediatric subspecialists to manage care for children suffering from a variety of illnesses such as severe respiratory distress, infections, serious injury and heart disease, a hospital news release said.
As part of its expansion of pediatric care, St. Luke’s continues to add pediatric subspecialists to meet the needs of children and teens who are experiencing critical illness or injuries.
The intensive care unit has a 2:1 nurse-to-patient ratio with nursing stations positioned outside each patient room to allow for close patient monitoring.
Each room is private and spacious with homelike amenities and is equipped for parents who need to spend extended periods of time with their children. Specialized amenities include video game connectivity, color-changing lights, books and toys for patients. The rooms also have televisions with programming for parents, access to washers and dryers, extra charging ports, showers and a sofa for an “at home” comfortable feeling.
The new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is located on the third floor of St. Luke’s University Hospital-Bethlehem near the current neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
In phase two of the Bethlehem Campus’s ongoing pediatric expansion, the inpatient pediatric unit will be relocated to the third floor adjacent to the new PICU.
“These investments in new space and additional pediatric physician specialists will allow families to keep their children close to home in the Luke’s for advanced pediatric care,” Dr. Stryjewski said.
Note: This story includes information from a St. Luke’s University Health Network news release.