Pediatric Recovery After Critical Care

A little girl smiling at Doernbecher Children's Hospital, where she is a patient.

OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital offers your child advanced care to recover from a serious illness or injury. The Pediatric Critical Care and Neurotrauma Recovery Program (PCCNRP) is the only one of its kind on the West Coast.

You'll find:

  • A team of specialists devoted to your child's recovery.
  • Close cooperation with your family and your child's school, therapists and primary care doctor.
  • Expertise in all aspects of care, from hospitalization through recovery at home.
  • Treatment tailored to your child's needs.
  • Services specifically to help children recover from critical illness or injury.

What to expect

Children who receive treatment in our Pediatric  Intensive Care Unit (PICU) may not be done healing when they leave the hospital. At Doernbecher, we know that your child’s recovery may be a stressful time for your whole family. We offer services at every step.

We provide ongoing care for children with issues such as:

  • Headaches and pain
  • Sleep problems
  • Tiredness (fatigue)
  • Seizures
  • Issues with muscle tone and weakness
  • Acting anxious or depressed
  • Personality changes or behavior problems
  • Problems paying attention, thinking, learning or remembering
  • Developmental delays

Conditions we treat

  • Traumatic injury
  • Brain infection, such as meningitis
  • Cardiac arrest that injures the brain
  • Severe concussion
  • Delirium
  • Brain injury that results from critical illness involving:
    • Severe infections such as sepsis or pneumonia
    • Treatment such as ECMO, a life-support system for the heart and lungs

Evaluation and services

We’ll hear from your child’s care team before your child leaves the hospital if the team thinks we can help. If so, we will set an appointment for a month later, with follow-up appointments as needed.

First appointment, early recovery: Most patients have a joint visit with a pediatric critical care doctor and a pediatric neuropsychologist. Some patients, depending on needs, meet with a pediatric neurologist or developmental pediatrician. This first appointment lasts one to two hours. We will identify ongoing concerns or needs, and work with you to make sure your child receives all needed services for the best recovery possible.

Long-term recovery follow-up: This phase of the program offers a treatment plan tailored to your child’s specific needs. Appointments are available with specialists in ongoing medical needs, neuropsychology or developmental assessment.

Psychological care: Some children and families benefit from services to work through the stress and trauma of an injury or illness. Our team includes experts in family and child recovery strategies.

PICU Family Night: Patients with brain injury or illness and their families gather for dinner, children's activities and support.

  • When: 6 to 8 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month.
  • Where: Please email PICUBrains@ohsu.edu for details.

Our team

Our specialists offer expertise in:

  • Critical care (intensive care for patients with serious or life-threatening conditions)
  • Neurology (care for conditions of the brain, spinal cord and the rest of the nervous system)
  • Neurophysiology (the use of specialized tests to map and diagnose brain, spinal cord and nervous system conditions)
  • Neuropsychology (how brain conditions affect behavior, emotion and thinking)

Program leaders

Director:

Associate director:

Other providers

We work with specialists in:

  • Pediatric neurology
  • Developmental pediatrics
  • Pediatric psychology
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech-language pathology
  • Occupational therapy

Learn more

For families

Call 503-346-0640 to:

  • Request an appointment.
  • Seek a second opinion.
  • Ask questions.

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