Critical Care

Pediatric critical care specialists provide intensive care for sick children requiring a range of care from close monitoring to advanced life support. This specialty supervises the multidisciplinary Pediatric Critical Care Unit (PCCU), recognized by the Illinois Department of Public Health as a Certified Pediatric Critical Care Center for Excellence.

A team of full-time, board-certified pediatric intensivists (intensive care specialists) work together with pediatric medical and surgical specialists, specially trained nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, dieticians and occupational and physical therapists to provide care for critically ill children. A senior resident physician is in the unit 24 hours a day and works under the close supervision of a pediatric intensivist.

In addition to its medical capabilities, the PCCU treats the human spirit of our patients and their families. Dedicated social workers and a child-life specialist are trained to cope with the special needs of a hospitalized child and help ease the child’s anxiety. In keeping with Loyola University Health System’s (Loyola) Jesuit tradition, chaplain services are available at all times.

Specialty Services

Telemedicine Services

Our telemedicine program is the first of its kind in the State of Illinois. When not in house, intensivists can immediately connect over a secure audio-visual connection. This technology is used to evaluate patients, talk to the bedside team and families to ensure that the best decisions are being made for critically ill children.

Our intensivists lead the PARTNERS pediatric rapid response team. This team responds to concerns from nurses, doctors and families on the pediatric inpatient units to bring immediate evaluation and assistance. Our research has shown that this program provides immediate management assistance and saves lives, with improved outcomes in high risk patients.

Critical Care Transport
Our One-Call transfer center assists in bringing a ground or aeromedical Critical Care Transport Team to a patient’s bedside, no matter where they are located. Teams are standing by 24 hours a day to assist in the transport of critically ill children from outlying hospitals. If you are a physician who needs to arrange transport to the Pediatric Critical Care Unit, call (800) 888-LUMC 24 hours a day. The call center will connect you immediately to attending physicians who can provide immediate management advice and accept your patient. The call center will also take care of all the details to arrange the transfer and admit the patient.

Every center that refers a patient will also receive a personalized letter from our attending staff with an update on the patient’s progress. A dedicated transport director is available to answer questions, provide detailed follow up and help streamline processes to meet the needs of physicians and patients requiring critical care services.

Pediatric Trauma Services

Loyola University Medical Center is a certified Level 1 Trauma Center. Critically injured children receive care in the PCCU under the direction of board-certified trauma surgeons and their teams, working together with the pediatric intensivists.

Community Outreach and Education

Loyola's pediatric critical care specialists are committed to ongoing education of members of the local health-care community. Pediatric basic and advanced life support courses are offered throughout the year in conjunction with Nursing Education. Our Friends and Family CPR program also offers free basic life support training to families of patients who have been admitted to the ICU.

In addition, pediatric intensivists are available for educational conferences and telephone consultation with other health-care providers in the community. These educational opportunities have been provided both in person and via live web based conferencing. A wide variety of options is available to meet your individual needs.

Resident Education

The critical care division is committed to training the next generation of pediatricians in caring for the sickest of children. We are the faculty leaders for the Pediatric Advanced Life Support Program and have also developed an innovative program for training residents in procedural sedation. We utilize a web based learning system that allows multi-disciplinary education with residents, nurses and clinical staff interacting with intensivists in an asynchronous interactive environment that allows flexibility in adapting their learning time around clinical duties and lifestyle. In addition we are active in simulation training as a tool for honing necessary clinical skills.

Research and Expertise

In addition to bedside experience and clinical expertise, our intensivists are actively involved in continually improving the care of critically ill children through research, innovation and collaboration with national organizations.

Our intensivists work with others regionally and nationally to ensure that the most up-to-date care is brought to the bedside. In addition, we are active in developing standards and guidelines to be implemented on a regional or national level. Some of the organizations we have worked with include the following:

American Academy of Pediatrics

Section on Critical Care

Section on Palliative Care

Section on Telehealth

Section on Transport Medicine

American College of Physician Executives

American Heart Association

American Medical Association

American Society of Bioethics and Humanities

American Telemedicine Association

Chicago Patient Safety Forum

Illinois Telehealth Work Group

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Society of Critical Care Medicine

Publications and Presentations as a result of our work include the following:

Small Comfort: Ethical Quandaries Aboard the USNS Comfort after the Haitian Earthquake. Medical Humanities Report. Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. In press.

Patient Safety and Quality Improvement
Pediatric CPR Training: Empowering Families to Make a Difference. Presented at Chicago Patient Safety Forum 2006 Annual Scientific Meeting.

Improving Process Quality and Reducing Total Expense Associated with Specimen Mislabeling in an Academic Medical Center. Presented at Institute for Quality in Laboratory Medicine Conference. Atlanta, GA April 28, 2005.

Pediatric Critical Care
Massive stroke with unknown etiology. Poster presentation at the Society for Critical Care Medicine 38th Critical Care Congress, 1/31/09, Nashville TN.

Impact of a Sedation Weaning Scale on Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms. Poster presentation. American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition. Oct 19, 2009. Washington DC

Surfactant Administration prior to One Lung Ventilation: Physiological and Inflammatory Correlates in a Piglet Model. Pediatric Pulmonology DOI 10.1002/ppul.21485

Surfactant Replacement Therapy in Pediatric Acute Lung Injury/ARDS. Current Respiratory Medicine Reviews, Vol 5, No 3, Aug 2009

Cerebral Venous Thrombosis in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (submitted to Journal of Pediatrics)

Critical Appraisal of: Use of Polyclonal Immunoglobulin's as Adjunctive Therapy for Sepsis or Septic Shock. Available from:

Prophylactic Calfactant administration prior to One Lung Ventilation to minimize injury. Society of Critical Care Medicine Annual Conference 2009, Nashville, TN

Changes in Pulmonary Function and Inflammatory Profile Secondary to Surfactant Treatment in a Translational Model of One-Lung Ventilation Strategy. American Thoracic Society International Conference 2010, New Orleans, LA.

Effects of an Exogenous Surfactant (Calfactant) in an Animal Model of One-Lung Ventilation. Neonatal Pulmonology Publish Only. E-Pediatric Academic Society Annual Meeting May 2009:619

Extensive Dural Venous Hemorrhagic Stroke during Induction therapy in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. 6th World Congress on Pediatric Critical Care, Mar 2011, Sydney, Australia.

Resident Education
Improving Resident Competence in Pediatric Sedation
Central Group on Educational Affairs (CGEA) Spring Conference
March 21-22, 2007 Indianapolis, IN

American Association of Medical Colleges MedEdPORTAL MEP:754 " A Checklist to Document Sedation Competency" Peer reviewed site, Posted November 2007

Evaluative Measures, Outcome Measures and CQI in Pediatric Telemedicine. Invited platform presentation, 5th Annual Pediatric Telehealth Colloquium. Baltimore MD Sept 2010

“Return on Investment and Cost Analysis: Creating a Fiscally Meaningful Case for Telehealth and Telerehabilitation” Pre-meeting course, American Telemedicine Association 15th Annual International Meeting and Exhibition, San Antonio TX May 16, 2010

Telemedicine Grand Rounds: Boldly Going Where No Pediatrician Has Gone Before. Invited Platform presentation. American Telemedicine Association Mid Year Meeting. Sept 24-25 2009 Palm Springs CA.

Pediatric ward use of telemedicine critical care consults: Setting the stage for a remote rapid response team. Telemedicine and e-Health July/Aug 2008;14(6):614.

Evaluative methods in telehealth:getting to outcomes –A physician’s insight. Telemedicine and e-Health. December 2010: 984-985.

Evaluation methods in pediatric telehealth. Telemedicine and e-Health. May 2010; 16(Suppl 1): S-58.

Use of a broadcast game show to reduce pain scores in hospitalized children. Telemedicine and e-health May 2010; 16(Suppl 1): S-124-125.

Reduction in transfer patient mortality with telemedicine facilitated rapid response team. Telemedicine and e-Health, May 2010 16(suppl 1): S-75.


Julie Fitzgerald, M.D.

Rahul Bhatia, M.D.

David Ubogy, M.D.

Almas Syed, M.D.