What is neurocritical care?
When a child is hospitalized in the intensive care unit—whether because of trauma, a serious neurological condition or another life-threatening illness or injury—her developing brain needs special care.
Neurocritical care is a field devoted to protecting and treating the brains of critically ill and injured children. This involves several important steps:
- assessing the full effects of the injury or illness on a child's brain
- continually monitoring brain functions through sophisticated imaging and testing
- developing customized treatment plans that address each child's particular needs and circumstances
How Boston Children's Hospital approaches neurocritical care
Boston Children's Hospital is home to the nation's first comprehensive, multidisciplinary Neurocritical Care Program for pediatric patients. Located within the Children's Medical and Surgical Intensive Care Unit (MSICU), the program brings together highly skilled and extensively trained experts from key specialties, including:
Our Neurocritical Care Program treats children of all ages who are hospitalized in the ICU. Among the conditions we treat are:
- acute neurological illnesses
- acute/traumatic brain injuries
- acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM)
- brain or central nervous system tumors
- cerebrovascular disorders or stroke
- coma and minimally conscious states
- Guillain-Barré syndrome
- status epilepticus
- traumatic spinal cord injuries
In addition, our program is equipped to care for all children who are on ventilators or undergoing major surgical procedures.
Neurocritical care: Reviewed by Robert Tasker, MB, BS, MD
© Children’s Hospital Boston; posted in 2012