The Pediatric Neurocritical Care Program is a multi-dimensional effort to improve the neurological outcomes of children with critical illnesses that includes care, research, education and advocacy. The care of children within the program is multi-disciplinary endeavor from a variety of faculty and staff from Critical Care Medicine, Neurological Surgery, Neurology, Trauma Surgery, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Nursing, Respiratory Therapy and other Departments.
Children with a wide variety of clinical conditions including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, hypoxic/ischemic encephalopathy after cardiac arrest, refractory status epilepticus, brain tumor, stroke, cerebral vascular abnormalities, acute neuromuscular weakness disorders and others are cared for by a specialized service within the Pediatric Critical Care Unit. Unique amongst the various efforts across the country at providing neurological care for children, the primary medical care for children on the Neurocritical Care Service is provided by a group of intensivists that have extensive experience in neurological conditions through years of clinical care and research. This care is provided to over 400 children per year and occurs in close consultation and co-management with surgical and other medical specialties.
Cutting edge clinical research linking advances in the laboratory to the bedside has been a hallmark of the program for many years. Ongoing, funded clinical trials for traumatic brain injury, cardiac arrest, hepatic encephalopathy, septic encephalopathy and status epilepticus are leading the field toward improved therapies for a host of conditions.
Education within the program exists on multiple levels, including bedside teaching of pediatric residents and critical care fellows, weekly case reviews, translational/basic science journal clubs and a number of presentations by nationally-renowned visiting professors throughout the academic year. Through an NIH-funded training grant, advanced training in Pediatric Neurocritical Care is available to qualified Pediatric Critical Care Fellows to support the next generation of leaders within the field.
Advocacy for children with neurological injuries has been established through the Pediatric Neurotrauma Parental Advisory Board and efforts to advocate for increased support for these conditions has been ongoing through national and international efforts among the faculty members.