Conditions and Treatments

The PICU clinicians and other health care professionals at Brenner are experts in the treatment of very sick and injured infants and children with a wide range of health problems, including congenital heart defects, trauma, childhood cancer, medical emergencies and post-operative care following complex operations (such as a kidney transplant). We work with more than 120 specialists at Brenner to ensure the highest level of care for our pediatric patients.

Our team is specially trained to care for children who have had heart, lung, brain, orthopedic, plastic and reconstructive surgery, as well as specialized airway surgery. We help critically ill children get better every day in our state-of-the-art PICU through diagnosis, treatment and continual care.


Endocrine and Metabolic Conditions

Ketoacidosis – a condition in which the body produces little or no insulin to use as fuel

Hyperosmolarity – a condition in which there is too much sugar in the blood, which can cause a person to lose consciousness; this condition is typically found in children with Type 2 diabetes

Metabolic Syndrome – a syndrome in which children experience high blood pressure and high cholesterol; this syndrome is possibly due to kidney disease, but is most often due to being overweight

Gastrointestinal Conditions

Bleeding - bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract

Bowel perforation - an opening in the wall of the stomach, small intestine, or large intestine or bowel

Pancreatitis - an infection in the pancreas

Heart Conditions

Congenital heart defects - Congenital heart defects are heart defects found in the structure of the heart, which occur while the heart is forming in a baby. The most common form of birth defect, heart defects are found in 1 out of every 100 newborns in the United States.

Acquired heart defects - Acquired heart defects are heart problems that occur in children after they are born; these commonly occur after a child faces an illness.

Arrhythmia - an irregular heart rhythm

Atrial septal defect or ASD - a hole in the wall of the upper chambers of the heart

Cardiomyopathy - an enlarged or thickened and stiffened heart that doesn’t pump blood well

Dysrhythmia - an irregular heart rhythm

Endocarditis - an infection of the heart

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome – a congenital heart condition where parts of the left side of the heart do not fully develop

Marfan syndrome - a weakening of the connecting tissue in the heart

Patent ductus arteriosus or PDA – a condition in which a blood vessel that should close shortly after birth does not close on its own, which can cause too much blood to flow to an infant’s lungs

Patent foramen ovale or PFO - a condition caused when an opening between the left and right atria does not close before or shortly after birth

Pulmonary hypertension – a condition in which a patient has very high blood pressure in the arteries inside the lungs

Rheumatic heart disease - a damaging of the heart from complications of rheumatic fever, which begins with strep throat

Ventricular septal defect or VSD - a hole in the wall of the lower chambers of the heart

Hematology and Oncology Conditions

Anemia – a common blood disorder that occurs when there is a low amount of red blood cells; this disorder can lead to a range of health problems and complications, including fatigue and added stress on the body’s organs

Chemotherapy – medication used to treat cancer

Sickle Cell disease – a disease caused by abnormal red blood cells that cannot carry enough oxygen through the body

Thrombocytopenia – a condition in which a person has very few blood platelets (which help with clotting in the blood)


Botulism – an infection in infants that can cause paralysis

Sepsis – a bacterial infection that causes the immune system to attack the body’s organs and tissues

Strep (streptococcus) –bacterial infections that may lead to strep throat, strep pneumonia, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever or other conditions

Kidney Conditions

Kidney failure –when kidneys stop functioning

Kidney transplant – surgery in which a new kidney replaces an abnormal kidney

Neurological Conditions

Encephalitis – inflammation or swelling of the brain

Meningitis – an infection in the tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord

Seizures – convulsions or abnormal movements caused by uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain

Stroke – abnormal blood flow to the brain


Carbon monoxide poisoning – inhalation of carbon monoxide that leads to a range of problems, including a lack of oxygen to vital organs

Snake or spider bites – bites that may result in a range of complications, including heart and nervous system problems

Respiratory Conditions

Apnea – long pauses in breathing that lead to an irregular breathing pattern and, potentially, a decrease in the body’s oxygen levels and disruption of normal sleep patterns

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia or chronic lung disease – a condition caused by limited oxygen transferred from the lungs into the blood due to lung injury

Pneumonia (bacterial and viral) – an infection in the lung

Respiratory distress syndrome – a syndrome that causes difficulty in breathing

Trauma – any type of condition caused by a traumatic injury