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St. Luke’s in Bethlehem opens new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit


St. Luke’s University Health Network unveiled its new, eight-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) during a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Thursday at St. Luke’s University Hospital in Bethlehem. The new unit opened to patients Monday.

The new unit is part of an $11 million expansion dedicated to improving pediatric health care within the region and providing advanced care to critically ill and injured children close to home. The multidisciplinary unit is furnished with the latest technology including mechanical ventilation and dialysis equipment.

The unit is staffed with pediatric critical care intensivists available 24/7. The PICU intensivists will collaborate with St. Luke’s pediatric subspecialists to manage care for children suffering from a variety of illnesses such as severe respiratory distress, infections, serious injury and heart disease. As part of its expansion of pediatric care, St. Luke’s continues to add pediatric subspecialists to meet the needs of children and teenagers who are experiencing critical illness or injuries.

The intensive care unit has a 2:1 nurse-to-patient ratio with nursing stations positioned outside each patient room to allow for close patient monitoring.

Each room is private and spacious with homelike amenities and equipped for parents who need to spend extended periods of time with their children. Each room has video game connectivity, color-changing lights, books and toys for patients. The rooms also have televisions with programming for parents, access to washers and dryers, extra charging ports, showers and a sofa for an “at home” comfortable feeling.

The new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is located on the third floor of St. Luke’s University Hospital near the current neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). In phase two of the Bethlehem Campus’s ongoing pediatric expansion, the inpatient pediatric unit will be relocated to the third floor adjacent to the new PICU.