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BETHLEHEM, Pa. - St. Luke's University Health Network is opening a new pediatric intensive care unit at its hospital in Bethlehem.

The 8-bed PICU is set to open in early 2020, according to a news release from St. Luke's.

The private rooms will include video game connectivity, color-changing lights, books and toys, the release said. Additional amenities, like access to washers and dryers, showers, and a sofa, will be available for parents and families who need to stay for extended periods of time with their children.

“The support goes beyond the extra amenities - we understand that caring for a child in the PICU includes caring for the whole family. Parents and family members play an integral role in the care team and we welcome their involvement," said Glenn Stryjewski, MD, PICU medical director.

St. Luke's will also provide pet therapy and art therapy, the health network said.

The expansion includes several new pediatric subspecialists and primary care physicians, officials said.

“Last year, the St. Luke’s network of ten emergency departments provided care to over 46,000 children, with over 200 of these children transferred from St. Luke’s to other organizations for PICU-level care,” Stryjewski said. “When the new PICU is complete, these children and their families will be able to remain in the region and within the St. Luke’s network for high quality pediatric critical care.”

The St. Luke's PICU will have a 2:1 nurse-to-patient ratio, and will include nursing stations outside each patient room to ensure close monitoring, officials said.

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