Severely ill or injured children in Utah County now have more resources close to home thanks to the opening of a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) as part of the Primary Children’s Network at Utah Valley Hospital.

Staffed 24 hours a day by a pediatric ICU physician and specially trained nurses and respiratory therapists, the six-bed unit offers the highest level of care available to children in Utah County and throughout central Utah. The unit is also supported by several pediatric subspecialists including cardiology, infectious disease, neurology, radiology, gastroenterology, surgery and ENT surgery.

All of Utah Valley’s PICU nurses trained at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City to be ready to care for patients on the new unit. The physicians in the new unit are all ICU physicians from Primary Children’s.  

Each of the PICU patient rooms is equipped with telehealth monitoring that includes two-way audio and video feeds. That means local caregivers will have support from additional PICU-trained nurses and physicians at Primary Children’s at a moment’s notice. This “extra set of eyes” is an important piece to providing exceptional care, said Dr. Outsen. “Our partnership with Primary Children’s Hospital is invaluable,” he added.

Pediatric ICUs use artificial life support devices such as breathing machines to treat children with life-threatening conditions such as pneumonia or shock. Children with chronic respiratory diseases, including those with artificial breathing tubes know as tracheostomy tubes, can now also be cared for at Utah Valley when they need to be hospitalized.

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