The multi-disciplinary PICU was established in 1999/2000 and was an amalgamation of separate surgical, medical, cardiac and neonatal units. We currently have a 22 bed unit with approximately 1400 annual admissions. Approximately 60% of all admissions are acute medical, we care for about 250 post-operative cardiac patients annually and provide support to general paediatric surgeons, neurosurgeons and transplant programs. The PICU team are actively involved in paediatric life support training and simulation training. In addition there is an active research team involved in a number of projects focussed primarily on the care of the critically ill child.
Teaching and Training
Staff members contribute to weekly bedside teaching of 5th year medical students and seminars every 8 weeks to the whole group of students assigned to Paediatrics. Ward rounds are used to educate 5th and 6th year students.
The unit provides education and training to undergraduate and postgraduate students, including doctors specialising in paediatrics and paediatricians specialising in paediatric critical care. It is HPCSA accredited for training paediatricians in paediatric critical care in a 2 year training program with the College of Medicine (SA), Certificate in Paediatric Critical Care.
There is also a programme to train paediatricians from other African countries as part of the African Paediatric Fellowship Programme. These trainees spend from 6 months to up to 2 years training in the paediatric critical unit. A Postgraduate Diploma in paediatric critical care is available through the University of Cape Town. The unit also provides supervision and mentorship to a number of post graduate students undertaking Masters or PhD projects. Members of the unit have a strong involvement in continuing medical education initiatives nationally and internationally and in national, African and international professional societies.
Research projects are encouraged and the supervisors will facilitate this.