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Intensive Care / Critical Care Area: what makes us different

In 1973, SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital opened one of the first intensive care units in Spain and it has extensive experience in this field. All personnel involved in caring for children in a critical condition are highly specialised in their field. The members of this Unit belong to the Spanish Society of Paediatric Intensive Care (SECIP) and to the European Society of Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care (ESPNIC).

Care adapted to all situations

The Unit is equipped with the life-support techniques necessary to handle the most complex situations, notably the following:

  • Heliport. This facility allows a quick response to situations that require an immediate transfer from isolated areas of our Unit.
  • Our centre features a base of the Medical Emergencies System of Catalonia (SEM) dedicated to the medical transport of children in a critical state. The base coordinates with other centres that do not have intensive care units and need to transfer a patient. During transportation, the necessary care and treatment is given to children in a serious condition. The professionals in this area are integrated into our Unit.
  • Non-invasive mechanical ventilation. It is used as a support for children with respiratory failure without the need for intubation. It is less aggressive, does not require sedation (or only mild sedation), reduces the risk of infections (especially pneumonia) and, in some situations, even allows oral feeding. The Unit works with the hospital's home ventilation program in conjunction with the paediatric and pulmonology teams.
  • ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation). In 2000, we were the first hospital in Spain to introduce the use of this technique in children above the infant age, as a support for patients with very serious haemodynamic or respiratory problems. All staff of the Unit are familiar with this complex technique that is used only where necessary.
  • Complex monitoring systems. They allow continuous monitoring of the sick child and early detection of any changes that can be treated.
  • Advanced laboratory techniques. They facilitate the rapid detection of complications that may require changes to treatment, such as those performed on cancer patients suffering from infections as a result of their immunosuppression.

Comprehensive care model

We focus on the comprehensive care of the children and their family in situations where emotional overload can be important. We offer the following services:

  • The Paediatric Intensive Care Unit is open to parents 24 hours a day. The goal is to make the stay of the children and their family as comfortable as possible. To this end, parents are welcomed throughout the day, whenever the family wants.
  • Emotional support. All our professionals are trained to respond to the needs that arise in serious situations. We have a team of psychiatrists and psychologists trained to handle the complex situations that arise in intensive care.
  • Social work. One social worker is also part of our team. Their function is to offer help to families that require it.
  • Spiritual care service. This is integrated into our team to support anyone who may need it.
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