Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

Exceptional Care for Critically Ill or Injured Children

Phone: (732) 937-8673
Fax: (732) 253-3700

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital (BMSCH) is a 20-bed, state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary inpatient service that provides a full range of services to critically ill or injured children from birth to 21 years of age in a patient- and family-centered environment. Older patients may be admitted to the PICU with the approval of the PICU Medical Director or someone they designate.

The unit is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with highly trained intensive care physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists. It is located on the third floor of the hospital.

BMSCH Is a Nationally Accredited Pediatric Trauma Center

As one of only three nationally accredited pediatric trauma centers in New Jersey, the PICU at BMSCH is uniquely equipped to handle pediatric traumatic injury.

Low Staff-to-Child Ratio Ensures Concentrated Oversight

In the PICU, registered nurses trained in the care of critically ill children provide care to only one or two patients during their shifts, so your child will have constant, dedicated, professional oversight.

We Provide Specialized Pediatric Transport Services

Specially trained nurses staff the active pediatric transport service. If your child needs to be transported from another medical facility, our nurses will provide advice and safe transfer via a specialized mobile intensive care unit for children. Pediatric critical care physicians serve as medical control for critical transports and are available for consultation to referring physicians and emergency departments.

Family-Centered Care

Family-centered care is a top priority at BMSCH. Nurses educate patients and their loved ones about the patient’s condition, medical equipment, specific procedures and more. Our Child Life specialists help families manage the stress that comes with having a child or sibling in the PICU.

Services We Provide

We provide technologically advanced organ support including:

Conditions We Treat

The PICU supports children who have a wide variety of critical illnesses, including:

  • Heart and lung disease
  • Kidney disease/renal failure
  • Gastrointestinal tract disease
  • Neurologic disease/epilepsy
  • Brain tumors/vascular malformations/brain injury
  • Disorders of blood and cancer
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Severe traumatic injury
  • Sepsis and shock


The sedation service provides sedation and analgesia for children undergoing procedures. Various levels of sedation from simple anxiety relief to moderate sedation for painful or invasive procedures are provided by board-certified pediatric intensivists.

Before a procedure, Child Life specialists help prepare the entire family for what will occur. Parents may remain with their children until they are fully sedated, and are brought back into the room following the procedure before they awaken, minimizing fear and separation anxiety. Following their procedure, the child remains monitored throughout recovery.

Patient Stories

  • “The recovery was pretty challenging. But in my head, I was like, ‘I need to do this if I still want to play football in college.’ So I pushed through it, and in the end, it all came out amazing.”

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  • “I feel amazing. I can move. I can do so much more physical activity without feeling pain.”

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  • A 10-year-old girl collides with a bike, leading to emergency brain surgery.

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Patient Stories

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