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University of Iowa News Release

March 24, 2004

New PICU To Open At UI Hospitals and Clinics

Specialists with Children's Hospital of Iowa at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City will soon begin caring for seriously ill and injured children in the new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

The new PICU is located on the seventh level of the John Pappajohn Pavilion at UI Hospitals and Clinics. Staff and faculty will attend an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. today to tour the facility. The new unit is part of a $23.6 million project to build a new PICU, UI Maternity Center, and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

"The new PICU is truly a state-of-the-art center," said Fred Lamb, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the UI Department of Pediatrics and medical director of the PICU. "We are the only PICU in eastern Iowa affiliated with a Level I Trauma Center that also features a full range of sub-specialists as well as a staff of intensivists, who are trained in caring for critically ill and injured children."

The unit also offers the only dedicated pediatric transport services staffed by pediatric nursing specialists in eastern Iowa.

The PICU team cares for approximately 700 patients a year in the current 12-bed unit. The new PICU will provide 16 private rooms that are all equipped to allow parents to stay in the room with their child if they wish. PICU staff and physicians will also continue to encourage parents to join them in rounds and to participate in their child's care at any time. A multidisciplinary team of respiratory therapists, social workers, dietitians, clinical pharmacists, child life specialists, music therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses and physicians provides advanced care for their patients.

"Our entire team is also very pleased about the enhancements to our concept of family-centered care that the new PICU will offer," said Angela Otto, nurse manager of the PICU. "We will be able to continue to offer the best medical care possible in the most compassionate manner, all in a setting of increased comfort for our patients and their families."

The Family Lounge in the new PICU features showers, Internet access, a lactation center and a kitchenette. The Family Lounge is funded in part by Credit Unions of Iowa and Illinois.

Children's Hospital of Iowa at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City is the state's longest-serving children's hospital. More than 100,000 children receive care at the Children's Hospital of Iowa and its statewide network of outreach clinics each year.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,