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Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) helps by caring for critically ill and injured children who require intensive care monitoring from a team of dedicated and skilled health care professionals. The majority of patients are from newborn to 16, from across Atlantic Canada.

What to expect

We realize that not all admissions to the PICU are planned, so we’ll help provide the items that you’ll need until you're able to bring them from home. If your child has a booked admission to the PICU you should bring their health card, toiletries, PJs and a favourite blanket or toy to help comfort them.

Each day the PICU team meets in the unit for rounds.  This is a time to review your child’s condition and to assess the plan of care. You’re welcome to stay with your child at this time and are encouraged to ask questions to the team.

Family members are welcome to stay with their child throughout the PICU stay.  We have four sleep rooms for parents while their child is admitted to PICU. There are also additional rooms for parents at Ronald MacDonald House. There are no designated visiting hours in PICU. Parents are not considered visitors. They may come and go as they need. However, there are limitations to the number of people allowed at your child's bedside; this rule have been changing over the COVID-19 pandemic Call the unit to check on the current restrictions. Information about your child’s condition will only be given to you. Please speak with your child’s nurse about your child’s condition and their need for rest, quiet time and infection control.  

It’s often difficult to remember everything that you've been told. We encourage you to write down your thoughts and any questions you may have for the health care team. Family journals are available for this purpose and will be given to you upon admission. Please ask for one if you did not receive a journal upon admission.

After your child has recovered enough to leave the PICU, you may be transferred to one of the inpatient units, NICU, or directly to home. This will depend on the amount of further recovery and care your child requires.

Accessing this Clinic, Program or Service

Link Building -IWK Health Centre

The PICU is located on the 3rd floor of the Link Building. If coming into the hospital from the parking garage, enter the hospital through the Gallery. Take your first set of elevators to the 3rd floor and follow the signs to the PICU.  

The PICU is a secured unit however access can be obtained through an access phone to the nurses station. Once your child is admitted you'll be given a family pass to allow you easy unrestricted access without using the intercom.

5850/5980 University Avenue
Halifax, Nova Scotia