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Starship Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

We are the only dedicated paediatric intensive care facility within New Zealand. PICU provides a national service for children requiring intensive care for longer than 24 hours and a regional service for all children requiring intensive care or high dependency care. PICU's national service role is steadily growing with more than half of children coming from outside the greater Auckland region.

The paediatric intensive care unit is a combined cardiac and general intensive care facility with a physical capacity for 16 ICU beds along with a 6-bed high dependency area (HDU), admitting approximately 1,100 children each year. Approximately 45% of admissions are cardiac, providing pre- and post-operative care for children undergoing treatment for congenital cardiac conditions. General admissions include the full range of medical and surgical conditions and therapies, including liver transplantation, spinal surgery and neurosurgery. All intensive care support techniques are employed, including renal replacement therapy, HFOV and ECMO.

PICU also staffs and runs the only dedicated paediatric retrieval service in New Zealand. Children are retrieved from throughout New Zealand and occasionally by international flight from the South Pacific region. There are approximately 300 retrievals each year, with a mix of road, fixed wing and helicopter transfers.

Family Centred Care is the dominant philosophy within the unit and staff care for critically ill children in partnership with the child's family/whanau. Parents' presence at the bedside of their critically ill child is accepted as the norm, and parents are not asked to leave for any procedures ranging from insertion of intravenous lines to resuscitation.

Contact us

For general enquiries and information, please email us on contactpicu@adhb.govt.nz

For clinicians wishing to refer or to discuss a patient please call the PICU registrar on 021 893 885 or the front desk on 09 307 4903 and we will put you in contact wih the on-call intensivist.

To search our guidelines, follow this link to the PICU Clinical Guidelines