Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

Dr. Erin Burns, one of the specialists in our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, has advanced training in caring for critically ill infants and children.
Dr. Erin Burns, one of the specialists in our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, has advanced training in caring for critically ill infants and children.

OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital provides expert care for children who are critically ill, hurt or recovering from surgery. Our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) offers:

  • Experts who are specially trained in caring for the sickest children.
  • Around-the-clock monitoring and care.
  • A nurse for every one or two patients.
  • A soothing, family-centered environment.
Meet Dr. Dana Braner and hear how he and our intensive care team saved a young boy’s life.

Why do children come to the PICU?

The most common reasons include:

  • To recover from a complex surgery
  • Serious injury
  • A serious breathing problem
  • An ongoing (chronic) condition
  • Short-term diabetes complications
  • Severe infection

Complete care

Our team of doctors, nurses and other providers treat 1,500 patients each year. Our PICU can treat up to 20 children at a time, from infants to young adults. Learn about visiting and what to expect.

National recognition and expertise

Top trauma and surgery center: Doernbecher is a Level 1 Children’s Trauma Center and a Level 1 site for Children’s Surgery, as verified by the American College of Surgeons. We have operating rooms and an emergency room dedicated to kids.

Advanced training: Our doctors have advanced training in pediatric intensive care. Many have worked in our PICU at least 10 years. Our nurses are nationally certified in pediatric critical care and pediatric advanced life support. We also offer expertise in treating children who need life-sustaining heart and lung support (ECMO).

Heart care in the ICU: Our team includes intensivists (experts in critical care) and a nurse practitioner who specializes in caring for children with heart conditions. We have Oregon’s highest level of care for babies and children with heart conditions and who are recovering from heart surgery.

Brain care after the ICU: Doernbecher has the West Coast’s only Pediatric Neurocritical Care Clinic. Specialists help children recover from serious brain and spinal cord conditions after they leave the PICU.

Advanced transport services: Our Pediatric and Neonatal Doernbecher Transport (PANDA) service safely and quickly brings children to Doernbecher from other hospitals. The PANDA team offers life-sustaining care during transport.

Care near home: We have one of the nation’s largest telemedicine networks for secure video visits. The OHSU telemedicine network connects OHSU specialists with patients and their doctors at hospitals across Oregon. This allows children to be treated closer to home. Dr. Miles Ellenby, the network’s medical director, specializes in caring for critically ill infants and children.

Learn more about Doernbecher’s awards and recognition.

Team-based care

Your child’s PICU team will include any specialist your child needs, from across Doernbecher and OHSU.

  • Teamwork: Our specialists work together and with you at every step. We also closely coordinate transfers into and out of the PICU.
  • Attentive care: We have at least one pediatric intensivist — a doctor highly trained in critical care — on duty 24/7. We also often have one critical-care nurse for every one or two patients.
  • Any specialist needed: In addition to critical-care providers, your child’s care team may include:
    • Child imaging specialists
    • Pediatric surgeons and other specialists
    • Respiratory care providers
    • Speech and occupational therapists
    • Dietitians

More information

For families

Questions? Please call us at 503-494-8811.


OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital

700 S.W. Campus Drive
Portland, OR 97239

Free parking for patients and visitors

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