Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit

The Gary S. Haas, M.D. Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (PCICU) is dedicated to children's surgical and medical cardiovascular care for critically-ill patients. Our pediatric patients receive 24-hour post-operative management in this specially equipped unit from physicians and clinicians specially trained in the care of children with congenital and acquired cardiovascular disease.

Exclusive Partnership

Along with our congenital heart surgery program, our PCICU also operates in partnership with UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, providing patients locally, with resources from one of the nation’s top-ranking pediatric heart service providers. Our local, full-time team of cardiac intensivists are associate faculty at UPMC and collaborate routinely with UPMC physicians in Pittsburgh, to discuss patient care and develop specialized treatment plans.   

UPMC Children's Hospital logo

UPMC physicians provide additional support to our PCICU patients, families and caregivers via telemedicine. Telemedicine allows experts from Tampa and Pittsburgh to collaborate and deliver efficient, team-based solutions in a timely manner. Rounds occur with the use of a telemedicine cart that includes a camera and a computer that may be brought into the patient care room. A telemedicine physician may be talking with the team during rounds. The utilization of audio, video and other electronic links will help bedside caregivers monitor patients and allow us to continue to provide excellent quality care.

Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)

Our PCICU is equipped to provide extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). ECMO is a highly specialized therapy that uses a machine, outside of the body, to perform the work of the heart and lungs. There are two different types of ECMO treatments, one supports the lungs while the other supports both the heart and the lungs.  This therapy can be used for a child who’s in severe but reversible lung and/or heart failure. prior to heart surgery, or after surgery to give their vital organs time to rest and recover. 

Our congenital cardiac surgeons collaborate with the cardiac intensivists to determine an individualized plan of care for patients who may require this potentially life-saving therapy.

Our PCICU also provides Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT) to support kidney function for critically ill patients.

Family Centered Care

We recognize the effect that a child’s congenital heart disease diagnosis can have on the entire family. That’s why our care focuses on the whole family, and includes open and ongoing communication. Our nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants are available to families 24 hours a day. While in the hospital, parents are encouraged to stay in the room with their child and participate in patient care early on, working side by side with the child's care team.  

Our Cardiac Critical Care Nurse Navigator provides further education and support, guiding families through their child’s care while in the PCICU, offering resources and answering any questions along the way.

Extended Specialty Care

Critical patients who do not require cardiac-specific care may also be admitted to our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) or our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Neonatal and Pediatric Transport Services

For emergency pediatric cardiac care outside of the hospital, we provide 24-hour access to board-certified pediatric cardiovascular surgeons through our Pediatric and Neonatal Transport Service. The specialized transport team, trained in neonatal and pediatric medicine, travels by dedicated ambulance or medical helicopter to pick up newborns, infants and children under 18 from hospitals in West-Central Florida and brings them for specialized pediatric treatment at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. 

For more information about our pediatric heart services, call our KIDS Heart Hotline: (813) 644-6679.