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Pediatric Critical Care

Pediatric intensivists specialize in caring for adolescents, children and infants who have serious illnesses or injuries. Most intensivists work in critical care centers at hospitals to diagnose and treat emergency conditions. Some work exclusively with patients with very particular conditions, such as asthma attacks or head injuries. Most physicians, however, provide expert care for young people with all types of life-threatening disorders.

Our pediatric intensivists oversee and staff the pediatric intensive care unit at Children’s Mercy Hospital—24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Their patients are typically critically ill or injured, or post-surgical patients with issues that are a constant threat to life.

Treating life-threatening conditions in young people is often very different than caring for adults with similar conditions, as diseases and injuries affect developing body systems in unique ways. A young child’s immune system, for example, is typically less effective at fighting off relatively common bacteria and viruses. The same pathogen that causes an adult to experience a simple cold can cause a child to have serious breathing, cardiac, and neurological complications. Pediatric intensivists receive extensive training in order to recognize and accurately treat health problems in young patients.

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