​Common paediatric critical illnesses we treat at our PICU

The Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Aga Khan University Hospital primarily cares for critically ill children who have severe illnesses or injuries. The types of diseases and conditions seen in the PICU can vary widely, but here are some common ones:​

Respiratory Conditions

Severe Asthma: Acute exacerbations of asthma can lead to respiratory distress and require intensive care.

Pneumonia/bronchiolitis: Severe cases of pneumonia, especially those requiring mechanical ventilation, may be treated in the PICU.

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS): Severe lung injury can lead to respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation.

Infectious Diseases

Sepsis: Children with severe infections that lead to systemic inflammation can become critically ill and require PICU care.

Meningitis: Bacterial or viral meningitis can cause neurological complications requiring intensive care.

Septic Shock: When sepsis progresses to shock, children may need intensive support.

Neurological Disorders

Status Epilepticus: Prolonged seizures may require intensive care.

Traumatic Brain Injury: Severe head injuries often necessitate PICU admission.

Meningoencephalitis: Inflammation of the brain and meninges can lead to critical illness.

Cardiac Conditions

Congenital Heart Disease: Infants with complex heart defects may require surgery or other interventions in the PICU.

Myocarditis: Inflammation of the heart muscle can result in heart failure and require intensive care.

Kidney Conditions

Acute or chronic kidney di​​seases requiring renal replacement therapy (Intermittent haemodialysis, Peritoneal dialysis and/or continuous renal replacement therapy)

Gastrointestinal Conditions

Severe Gastroenteritis: Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances may necessitate PICU admission.

Necrotizing Enterocolitis: A severe gastrointestinal disease primarily seen in premature infants often requires surgical intervention and PICU care.

Upper or lower GI bleed

Haematological Conditions

Sickle Cell Crisis: Children with sickle cell disease can experience pain crises or acute chest syndrome, requiring intensive treatment.

Haemophilia: Severe bleeding episodes may need PICU care.

Oncological Emergencies

Oncologic Complications: Some children with cancer may develop life-threatening complications from their disease or its treatment.

Multi-Organ Failure

​​Multi-Organ Dysfunction Syndrome (MODS): Various diseases can lead to multiple organ failure, necessitating PICU care.


Severe Trauma: Motor vehicle accidents, falls, or other traumatic injuries may lead to critical care needs.

Non-Accidental Trauma (Child Abuse): Children who are victims of abuse may require intensive care.

Metabolic and Genetic Disorders

Inborn Errors of Metabolism: Some genetic disorders can lead to metabolic crises requiring intensive care.

Ketotic Hypoglycemia: Children with certain metabolic disorders can develop life-threatening hypoglycemia.

Organ Transplantation

Post-Transplant Complications: Children who have undergone organ transplantation may require PICU care due to complications related to the transplant.

Burns: Severe burns can lead to fluid and electrolyte imbalances and may necessitate intensive care.

Toxic Exposures/Poisoning: Children exposed to toxic substances may require critical care management.

The PICU at AKUH are equipped to handle a wide range of paediatric critical care needs, and the healthcare team in the PICU is trained to provide specialized care for these conditions.