Neurocritical Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (NPICU)
When a child has a brain tumor, intractable epilepsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury, spine injury or any severe neurological condition, parents want to find the best care available.
Our Neurocritical Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (NPICU) delivers specialized treatments for the most critically ill children, teens and young adults. Our specialists are skilled in the latest technologies and advanced procedures. This means we can treat even the most difficult neurological diagnoses of the brain, spine, nerve and muscle.
Our NPICU is part of the Critical Care Program at Cook Children’s. As part of our Level I Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), we are able to treat even the sickest children, including those recovering from severe injuries and intensive surgeries. Our NPICU admits more than 500 patients each year, and our extensive services mean each child receives expertly delivered, individualized attention with outstanding support.
33 PICU beds and 10 NPICU beds.
NPICU beds have:
- Electroencephalogram (EEG) video monitoring 24/7.
- EEG technicians always onsite.
- Artic Sun for targeted temperature control.
- Pupillometer for accurate, objective and reliable measurement of pupil reactivity.
- NIRS (continuous non-invasive monitoring for brain oxygenation).
- Multimodal monitoring.
Acute management of status epilepticus, refractory status epilepticus.
Acute management of patients with intracranial and spinal vascular disorders, including: acute ischemic strokes, embolic disorders, aneurysms and vascular malformations.
Acute management of patients with neuromuscular and movement disorders (myasthenia gravis, spinal. muscular atrophy, muscular dystrophy, primary and secondary dystonic syndromes).
Management of patients with traumatic brain injury providing multimodal therapy and monitoring:
- Intracranial pressure monitoring
- Cardiovascular support
- Continuous EEG monitoring
- Cerebral oximetry
- Mechanical ventilation
- Osmotic therapy
- Target temperature control
Pre- and post-operative care of patients with:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Central nervous system (CNS) tumors
- Congenital brain and skull malformations
- Surgeries of the brain and spine
- Epilepsy surgery
- Cranial vault reconstruction
- Selective dorsal rhyzotomy
- Deep brain stimulators and baclofen pumps for movement disorders
Acute management of patients with autoimmune and infectious disorders of the brain, spine and nerves as well as demyelinating diseases. ADEM (acute disseminated encephalomyelitis), FIRES (febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome), transverse myelitis, acute flaccid paralysis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, autoimmune encephalitis, meningitis, brain abscesses are some examples)
Targeted temperature control for patients who have suffered cardiac arrest and status epilepticus refractory to standard therapy.
Cook Children's NPICU program brings together specialists across multiple disciplines to ensure that each child's medical needs are met. We provide round-the-clock access to critical care services and evaluations, as well as cardiac, neonatal and pediatric intensive care. It's advanced medicine designed to advance the outcomes for our patients and their families.
We have a dedicated intensivist for the NPICU. We also have support from the neurology, neurosurgery, stroke and neuroradiology teams during our daily rounds. Pharmacists, nutritionists, and therapists from physical, occupational and speech rehabilitation are also rounding daily with the NPICU team.
Our team is highly skilled and dedicated to the treatment of critically ill children. We do this by providing innovative care, every day, to infants, children and young adults.
Many of the children we treat in the NPICU have additional conditions that also need care. We work closely with doctors in other specialties so your child has the complete care they need. Some of the specialists your child may see are:
Cook Children's neurosciences and neurosurgery is consistently recognized as one of the nation's top pediatric neurology and neurosurgery programs. We're continually innovating to help improve patients' lives, from advanced diagnostic testing to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. This includes:
At Cook Children's Jane and John Justin Neuroscience Research Center, we believe that all children deserve the best treatment strategies. Our focus is on broadening our understanding of pediatric neurological and behavioral disorders so that we can provide faster and more precise diagnoses and treatments. Our research environment applies the latest in scientific knowledge, leading-edge technology and evidence-based practice to improve the quality of care and outcomes for children with neurological disorders. Our goal is to help the children we care for live their best possible lives.
When a child needs transport, we're ready, on the ground and in the air. Many of our patients are transferred from other health care systems to our NPICU by our award-winning Teddy Bear Transport team.
Ours is one of the largest pediatric transport programs in the nation, with more than 4,000 transfers to Cook Children's each year. Our fleet includes a King Air B200 critical care transport airplane*, an American Eurocopter 145 helicopter* and five ambulances. We also have a Cessna Citation Encore+ jet enabling us to transport patients from thousands of miles away—at jet speed.
Every unit of our fleet is equipped to transport critical care patients and features pediatric-oriented technology. Our fully equipped fleet has all of the necessary supplies:
- Satellite phones to ensure constant communication.
- The ability to provide noninvasive ventilation for all patients.
- Active cooling in transport.
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) on board.
Our team of highly specialized nurses, respiratory therapists and paramedics start providing critical services the moment your child is put into their care.