Neurocritical Care Division
The neurocritical care program, based at University Hospital, provides acute medical care for critically ill patients who require perioperative neurosurgical care or who are suffering from an underlying neurological process.
Specific diseases and conditions include, but are not limited to, cerebrovascular, neurotrauma, tumors, refractory seizures, neuromuscular, infections and alterations in consciousness.
Clinical services are provided in the neuroscience intensive care unit (NSICU) and acute care unit. The NSICU is a 20-bed, state-of-the-art unit with full cardiopulmonary monitoring capabilities and additional specialized monitoring options for brain pressure and oxygenation, transcranial Dopplers and continuous EEG.
The NSICU’s features include substations located close to patient rooms, enabling the highly skilled nursing staff to observe patients at all times. Five full-time dedicated intensivists provide attending coverage. Other team members include fellows, residents, critical care nursing staff, pharmacists, respiratory therapists and medical students.
The high volume of cases seen at University Hospital, combined with an emphasis on aggressive patient management, provides the residents and fellows with unsurpassed training and experience in critical care and neurotrauma surgery. Residents learn the fundamentals of neurocritical care during their first year of training while working directly, one on one, with neurointensivists.
Exposure to the operative intervention of neurotrama patients also begins during PGY1. Treatment responsibilities increase gradually throughout the residency, in accordance with the resident’s capabilities and experience.
The division has accelerated its participation in clinical trials, which aim to improve the outcome from traumatic brain injury through physiological and pharmacological interventions. Recent clinical protocols have involved treatment for carotid artery occlusion, brain swelling following large hemispheric stroke, prevention of secondary injury after a traumatic brain injury, and tumor resections requiring the opening of the brain’s protective dura mater.
These trials—and others that have not yet begun—will keep the neurotrauma program at the forefront of the neuro-critical care field.