SIU School of Medicine

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Department of Pediatrics

Critical Care Medicine

The unit

Our pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) is one of 9 such units designated a “pediatric intensive care unit” in the state of Illinois and the only one in Southern Illinois. It is an 8 bed unit with private rooms and state of the art technology and monitoring systems to take care of severely ill children. Our team is multidisciplinary and involves highly skilled nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists, physical and occupational therapists, child life specialists, social workers, in addition to pediatric intensivists and resident physicians. We are dedicated to the care of burns, trauma, respiratory failures, septic shock, neurosurgical conditions, and other medical and surgical critical diseases. Our primary goal is evidence-based scientific approach to management of critical illnesses in a family centered environment.

Procedural Sedation

The administration of sedative-analgesic medication allows infants and children to tolerate unpleasant procedures by relieving anxiety, discomfort, or pain; examples of such procedures include lumber punctures, bone marrow biopsies, PICC line placements, abscess drainage, burn and other dressings, orthopedic procedure, and many others. It also facilitates procedures that are not really painful to the patient but require the patient to remain still; for example MRI, renal scans, EMG, and other radiologic procedures. In other words it can enhance the comfort and acceptance of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in children. Our Sedation Team consists of pediatric critical care physicians, anesthesiologists, and trained and certified pediatric sedation nurses that serve all inpatient and outpatient sedations 24 hours a day, 7days a week. The goal of this team is to provide safe and effective high quality procedural sedation to infants and children.

Patient transfers and Transports

Our children’s hospital is a major tertiary referral center for Southern Illinois for pediatric medical and surgical illnesses.  Referring physicians receive direct and immediate access to the pediatric intensivist, 24 hours a day, who guides the management and triage of the patient. Patients transferred to our hospital are directly admitted to the PICU or general pediatric floor. With a PICU attending physician serving as the medical control physician, the Pediatric Transport Team is dispatched to outside hospitals to assist in the evaluation, resuscitation, and transfer of sick children who require admission to our hospital. The team that consists of trained critical care nurses and respiratory therapists currently has the ability to transport these patients utilizing a dedicated ground ambulance or helicopter aircraft, in partnership with ARCH, designed and equipped for a high level of care.


Pediatric Critical Care attendings are dedicated to the teaching of medical students and pediatric residents. One month elective is offered to fourth-year medical students with acceptable academic standing and successful completion of a third-year pediatric clerkship. Medical students become an important member of the multidisciplinary team taking primary responsibility of one or two patients. Education is primarily patient-based self learning with several didactic sessions and bed-side teaching. Residents rotate through the PICU during their 2nd and 3rd years. They learn critical skills including assessment/recognition, monitoring, and stabilization of the critically ill child. Emphasis is placed on communication skills, professionalism, team work, and ownership. Self-learning is expected, however, scheduled didactics of important, pertinent topics in pediatric critical care is an integral part of the curriculum.

Meet the faculty

Sangita Basnet, MD, FAAP
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Chief, Division of Pediatric Critical Care
Medical Director, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Dr. Basnet completed a three-year fellowship in critical care at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (2002) and a three-year pediatric residency at Cook County Children's Hospital in Chicago (1999). She earned her medical degree at Tribhuvan University, Institute of Medicine in Kathmandu, Nepal (1992). Dr. Basnet is board certified in pediatric critical care medicine and pediatrics. She has published scientific articles and is a member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and American Academy of Pediatrics. Her clinical interest includes pediatric critical care. Her research interests include optimizing management of diabetic ketoacidosis, status asthmaticus, and sedation in the pediatric intensive care unit. She is also very interested in pediatric international health and has played a key role in establishing pediatric and neonatal intensive care units in her native country, Nepal.



Giovanna Caprirolo, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Division of Pediatric Critical Care

Dr. Caprirolo completed fellowships in pediatric critical care at the Medical College of Wisconsin Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee (2012) and her residency in pediatrics at SIU School of Medicine (2009). She earned her medical degree at the Universidad Mayor de San Simon in Bolivia (2004). Dr. Caprirolo is a member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and American Academy of Pediatrics. Her research interests include cortisol levels in infants with cyanotic congenital heart disease. Dr. Caprirolo is board certified in pediatrics and board eligible in pediatric critical care medicine.

Contact Information

Phone: (217) 544-6464 ext. 30460
Hours: Monday - Friday 8am to 4:30pm
Address: PO Box 19676
             Springfield, IL 62794


Physician Referrals

  • 217-757-6421