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Pediatric Critical Care

The Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina’s Children’s Hospital is the regional leader in state of the art care of critically ill infants, children and adolescents in South Carolina. Opening in 1987, our PICU continues to deliver high quality, compassionate, and expert care to the children of South Carolina.

The interdisciplinary pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at MUSC is an 11-bed medical-surgical unit staffed by seven board certified pediatric intensivists, as well as by highly skilled and specially trained nurses, respiratory therapists, clinical pharmacists, child life specialists, discharge planners and dieticians. Our critical care physicians also care for children who need continuous monitoring in our 10-bed pediatric intermediate care unit. MUSC Children’s Hospital has a separate 12 bed Pediatric Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit.

A child’s life-threatening illness or injury can be one of the most stressful challenges that families face. Our critical care physicians and staff focus on a family centered approach toward sick and injured children and commit to include parents in the development of daily care plans for each patient.

The MUSC PICU has an expanding telemedicine program with our referral institutions. Emergency department and inpatient physicians from several Lowcountry hospitals can call in to request a telemedicine consultation by MUSC pediatric intensivists. These video links provide a valuable opportunity to see the patient, meet the family and offer timely medical advice to the referral team.

Our PICU patients have access to a full array of MUSC pediatric medical and surgical subspecialists to ensure comprehensive care of acutely ill and injured children. MUSC was the first South Carolina children’s hospital to receive the Level I Trauma Center designation by the American College of Surgeons and we are the pediatric transplant center for SC. In addition, our pediatric surgical colleagues and burn nurses provide outstanding care for the state’s only Pediatric Burn program.

Our seven pediatric intensivists and four pediatric nurses credentialed in sedation comprise the Pediatric Sedation Team, an in-house, mobile unit at MUSC that provides moderate and deep sedation services to over 800 inpatient or outpatient children a year. We provide sedation and expert care to children when complete cooperation is required to successfully accomplish a test or procedure in the children’s hospital.

MUSC’s MEDUCARE Pediatric Flight Team is available 24 hours a day to transport pediatric patients to the PICU by helicopter, airplane, or ambulance from all over the state.

Common Condition We Treat in the PICU

Clinical Services

  • Conventional mechanical ventilation

  • High-frequency mechanical ventilation

  • Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation

  • Inhaled nitric oxide

  • Hemodynamic management, including PiCC02 monitoring

  • Ultrasound guided vascular access

  • Pediatric extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)

  • Continuous renal replacement therapies (CRRT)

  • Continuous video electroencephalographic (EEG) monitoring

  • Intracranial pressure monitoring

Training Programs

The Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine is active in the education of nursing, pharmacy, respiratory therapy, nutrition, and medical students at MUSC as well as pediatric and emergency medicine resident physicians.

Research Programs

  • Duke Endowment Award to establish the SC Children’s Hospital Collaborative Telehealth Network (2015; S.D. McSwain, PI)
  • Duke Endowment Award to establish a telemedicine program for pediatric emergency and critical care (2012; S.D. McSwain, PI)
  • The Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine is a member of the PALISI (Pediatric Acute Lung Injury and Sepsis Investigators) research network.

Division Publications

View All Recent Publications


Contact Us

MUSC Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
Attn: Nancy Saldutte
Rutledge Tower
135 Rutledge Avenue, MSC 566
Charleston, SC 29425
Phone: 843-792-2618
Fax: 843-792-3022
Email: pedscritical@musc.edu