About Us

Inside the entry way of the UF Health Shands Children's Hospital

Starting out as Florida’s first Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, or PICU, at Shands Teaching Hospital in 1967, the current PICU at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital is now a 24-bed medical-surgical unit that cares for all children from birth to 21 years of age. With a catchment area encompassing North Central Florida and South Georgia, our unit treats an average of 2,600 patients per year.

The PICU at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital is a level one pediatric trauma center and works closely with nearly every pediatric medical and surgical subspecialty. Medical subspecialties include Cardiology, Nephrology, Infectious Disease, Endocrinology, Neurology, Rheumatology, Gastroenterology, Pulmonology, Hematology/Oncology, and Genetics. Surgical subspecialties include General Pediatric Surgery, Otolaryngology, Neurosurgery, and Orthopedics.  A separate 22-bed cardiac intensive care unit cares for children with congenital and acquired heart disease and is supported by the Congenital Heart Center. The PICU and PCICU support cardiac and non-cardiac ECMO and solid organ transplantation for heart, lung, and kidney.

Under the direction of pediatric critical care medicine Interim Division Chief, Lara Nicolas, MD., a group of expert pediatric medical and surgical subspecialists closely coordinate care in the PICU. We pride ourselves on our multidisciplinary team approach to care for the sickest children and their families. Our team includes specialized pediatric physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, social workers, child life specialists, physical and speech therapists, and case managers. We also serve as a training site for the future generation of pediatric critical care physicians and operate a robust research program with multiple studies seeking to refine the best care for critically ill and injured children.