A photo of Erika Stalets.

Erika Stalets, MD, MS

  • Associate Chief of Staff, Critical Care Services
  • Attending Physician, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
  • Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
I’ve learned to trust my own feelings and the feelings of others — especially a parent — when something doesn't seem quite right. When talking with patients and families, my approach is to always tell the truth, even if it's, 'I don't know,' and especially when it's hard.



As a pediatric intensivist, I care for infants, children and young adults who are critically ill or injured and need intensive care in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Patients may also need attention in the PICU following surgery, for administration and management of high-risk therapies, and/or increased monitoring and nursing care.

A PICU stay can be overwhelming and frightening, especially when it’s traumatic and unexpected. I believe having information can help. Our team invites parents and family members to join rounds and ask questions, and all questions are welcome.

I’ve learned to trust my own feelings and the feelings of others — especially a parent — when something doesn't seem quite right. When talking with patients and families, my approach is to always tell the truth, even if it's, "I don't know," and especially when it's hard.

In my research and as an institutional and divisional quality improvement leader, I apply quality improvement methodologies and implementation science to improve care for hospitalized patients. Rigorous quality improvement can transform pediatric health and healthcare delivery, decrease waste, and improve efficiencies. My main projects focus on preventing hospital-acquired central line-associated bloodstream infections and improving the quick recognition and management of septic shock.


Association Between the First-Hour Intravenous Fluid Volume and Mortality in Pediatric Septic Shock. Eisenberg, MA; Riggs, R; Paul, R; Balamuth, F; Richardson, T; DeSouza, HG; Abbadesa, MK; DeMartini, TK M; Frizzola, M; Lane, R; et al. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 2022; 80:213-224.

Antibiotic indications and appropriateness in the pediatric intensive care unit: a ten-center point prevalence study. Chiotos, K; Blumenthal, J; Boguniewicz, J; Palazzi, DL; Stalets, EL; Rubens, JH; Tamma, PD; Cabler, SS; Newland, J; Crandall, H; et al. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2022.

Transfusion-Associated Delirium in Children: No Difference Between Short Storage Versus Standard Issue RBCs. Traube, C; Tucci, M; Nellis, ME; Avery, KL; McQuillen, PS; Fitzgerald, JC; Muszynski, JA; Cholette, JM; Schwarz, AJ; Stalets, EL; et al. Critical Care Medicine. 2022; 50:173-182.

Assessment of a Situation Awareness Quality Improvement Intervention to Reduce Cardiac Arrests in the PICU. Dewan, M; Soberano, B; Sosa, T; Zackoff, M; Hagedorn, P; Brady, PW; Chima, RS; Stalets, EL; Moore, L; Britto, M; et al. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. 2022; 23:4-12.

Relentless Improvement: Overcoming the "Active Resisters and Organizational Constipators " to Drive Change. Dewan, M; Wolfe, H; Stalets, EL. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. 2021; 22:842-844.

Care Does Not Stop Following ROSC: A Quality Improvement Approach to Postcardiac Arrest Care. Pfeiffer, S; Zackoff, M; Bramble, K; Jacobs, L; Ruehlmann, K; Stalets, EL; Tegtmeyer, K; Dewan, M. Pediatric Quality and Safety. 2021; 6.

Healthcare-Associated Infections. Benscoter, A; Brilli, R; Wheeler, D; Stalets, E. In: Zimmerman J; Rotta A, Ed. Fuhrman and Zimmerman's Pediatric Critical Care. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021.

Do I Need Proof of the Culprit? Decreasing Respiratory Viral Testing in Critically Ill Patients. Innis, K; Hasson, D; Bodilly, L; Sveen, W; Stalets, EL; Dewan, M. Hospital pediatrics. 2021; 11:e1-e5.

The impact of public health interventions on critical illness in the pediatric emergency department during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Dean, P; Zhang, Y; Frey, M; Shah, A; Edmunds, K; Boyd, S; Schwartz, H; Frey, T; Stalets, E; Schaffzin, J; et al. Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians Open. 2020; 1:1542-1551.

Identification of the Physiologically Difficult Airway in the Pediatric Emergency Department. Dean, PN; Hoehn, EF; Geis, GL; Frey, ME; Cabrera-Thurman, MK; Kerrey, BT; Zhang, Y; Stalets, EL; Zackoff, MW; Maxwell, AR; et al. Academic Emergency Medicine. 2020; 27:1241-1248.

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