Critical Care Medicine Contact number | 202-476-2130

Critical Care Medicine

Families at the Center of What We Do

We engage families in every step of their child's care--including as part of the daily rounds in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Here's an overview of how it works.

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With the only pediatric, cardiac, and neuro intensive care units  in the immediate Washington, DC, area, Children's National Health System is the region's leading provider of critical care medicine for seriously ill and injured infants and children.

Our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (Cardiac ICU) earned the prestigious Beacon Award granted by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), and Children's National received designation as a magnet facility by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). These distinguished honors mean that Children's National upholds the highest standards in patient care.

Critical Care Medicine for Children

In-house critical care physicians and a dedicated team of specially trained critical care nurses, respiratory therapists, case managers, and support staff treat and monitor patients 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Our program includes advanced forms of life-support technologies for respiratory, neurological, and cardiac conditions, including Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) therapy. Conditions commonly treated by our teams include:

  • Severe asthma
  • Coma
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Heart failure
  • Meningitis
  • Neurologic injuries
  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory failure
  • Seizures
  • Sepsis
  • Trauma

As a patient at Children's National, your child has access to some of the world's foremost experts in pediatric medicine. Because our work revolves around children, we have an intuitive understanding of their unique needs and those of their families. Children's ICU care emphasizes compassion and comfort for families, and facilities offer private rooms and special waiting and resting areas for parents.

We also recognize the value of an extensive support network when a child is ill. Children's National created the Parent's Letter Project to help parents support each other by sharing their stories. We encourage you to read letters from other families with a shared experience at the hospital.

Research to Advance Care for Children

Children's National plays an active role in advancing the field of pediatric critical care medicine through research, advocacy, and education. Children's intensive care specialists are national and international authorities in their fields, conducting research on topics ranging from advances in health services to brain injury and recovery.

Through participation in the Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Research Network and other trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, Children's National strives to reduce the mortality and morbidity of pediatric critical illness. This access to research ensures that Children's team is up-to-date on the latest therapies and interventions, which leads to better outcomes for patients.

To learn more about our current research activities, speak with a member of your child's care team.

Related Resources:

Tyson and Tyler's Story

Tetralogy of Fallot TOF

conjoined twins

Before they had even entered the world, Children's National doctors had hatched a plan to safely deliver and then separate conjoined twins Tyson and Tyler. Tyson and Tyler's Story

Critical Care Medicine Team

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Children’s National provides a healthcare experience designed with kids in mind, and delivers confidence and assurance when parents need it most. We provide a wide range of clinical services and specialties dedicated to improving children’s health.

Contact Information

Have a question about a specific disease or condition or treatments or services we offer?


Children’s National sees children from around the Washington, DC, metropolitan region, nation, and world who need the kind of specialized expertise and child-focused care we offer. No matter what your child needs, we can provide care that’s just right.

Neurocritical Care

The Neurocritical Care Unit at Children’s National is the only pediatric neuro ICU in the Washington, D.C., area.

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

In 1975, Children's National Health System opened one of the first intensive care units dedicated for children in the United States. While advances in technology have changed the look of our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, an enduring hallmark of our care is an emphasis on comfort for patients and compassion for the entire family.

Related Care Services

Pediatric specialists at Children’s National work closely to ensure an integrated approach to caring for each child and family.

Resources for Families

Children’s National offers resources for families to help answer questions and ease their experience.