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Intensive Care


MU Children's Hospital is the only health care facility that offers a pediatric intensive care unit, or PICU, in Missouri outside of St. Louis and Kansas City. Our PICU is staffed with physicians who are double board certified in pediatrics and pediatric critical care medicine.  Our critical care physicians provide consultation to the primary medical or surgical teams while caring for their young patients. Additionally, patients receiving treatment in our PICU have access to an entire array of specialized health care experts, including nurses trained in pediatric intensive care, social workers, pediatric physical and respiratory therapists, and pediatric surgical sub-specialists including otolaryngologists, orthopaedic, pulmonary and plastic surgeons.

A Health Care Team You Can Trust

Our team of PICU health care experts are specifically trained to give the best quality care possible to children who are faced with life-threatening medical illnesses, traumatic injuries or are in varying stages of recuperation from diagnostic, medical and or surgical interventions. Their mission is to assist the child to reach his or her optimum state of health and to assist the family in learning to provide the care needed after discharge. Our team members are all members of the Pediatrics Division of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and are uniquely trained experts in their field.

We Sweat the "Small Stuff"

At Children's Hospital, everything our team does is centered on children. When a child needs inpatient, critical care, there are a host of things our team must consider. The equipment, everything from ventilators to IVs, needs to be child-sized. Even the way a doctor or nurse gets appropriate vital signs changes when the patient is a child. Every health care expert on our PICU team knows how and loves to interact with kids. They know that some tests can seem scary, some medicines might have different effects and they know where kids are coming from. Our medical team members each have the experience and skill to administer tests and treatments with tiny equipment and a kind, compassionate touch.

We Welcome Family

We know how important it is for family members to be involved in a child's care. That's why our PICU team practices family-centered medicine. Our physicians will take the time to talk with family members, answer questions and involve them in the child's care at every opportunity. Our team members know medicine, but we also know the child's family knows the child. That's why we don't have "visiting hours." Instead, we believe in, and offer, 24/7 patient access for families.

We Want Kids to Be Kids

We've taken every opportunity to create a warm, inviting atmosphere for our young patients. The color-scheme and décor was created with kids in mind. We offer game and activity carts with age-appropriate toys. We also offer access to our child-life therapists who can help children through the tough, emotional healing process with game therapy and expressive play.

What We Commonly Treat

  • Infections
  • Overdose
  • Pneumonia
  • Croup
  • Asthma
  • Sepsis
  • Renal Failure and Renal Disease
  • Surgical recovery
  • Seizures
  • Rare metabolic disorders

Services We Provide

  • Ventilator support including oscillation
  • Dialysis support
  • Infusion of medicines
  • Surgical interventions

Who We Are

Patricia Wankum, MD, medical director of the pediatric ICU, division chief of pediatric critical care and the associate director of the pediatric transport team
Craig Downs, DO
Carroll King, MD

Where We Are

Children's Hospital
404 Keene St., 4th Floor
Columbia, Mo. 65201
(573) 219-4270




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