The Brain Injury Center
Children’s Hospital Boston’s Brain Injury Center aims to provide the highest level of care to children and adolescents who have sustained a brain injury. The Center coordinates care across several services, including neurology, neurosurgery, trauma, sports medicine, neuropsychology, neurocritical care, radiology and emergency medicine to enhance the health and well-being of patients, minimize distress and prevent longer term difficulties. Access to acute and follow-up care is an essential component of this multidisciplinary Center, according to Mark Proctor, MD, pediatric neurosurgeon and the Center’s director.
The Brain Injury Center is helping to define the best practices in the way brain injuries are cared for, from early response through inpatient care and long-term follow-up. The Center focuses on providing evidence-based diagnostics, clinical management and follow-up services for patients diagnosed with brain injury. We are also developing research protocols to increase our knowledge base and evaluate effectiveness of current management tools. Lastly, we educate the next generation of health care practitioners and increase awareness in the community through continued training and outreach programs.
Head injuries comprise a wide spectrum of injuries, from mild concussion to severe and life-threatening brain injuries that require a prolonged hospital stay. Children with severe injuries are often admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), where neurocritical care specialists play an important role. The care for a brain injury, however, goes on well after the patient suffers the injury or is discharged from the hospital.
Days, weeks or even months after a head injury, a child or adolescent may experience pain, headaches, trouble sleeping, academic troubles or behavior problems. This child may benefit from further care in our Neurology Department, Sports Concussion Clinic or Multidisciplinary Brain Injury Clinic, where access to multiple specialists in a single visit is possible. We also strongly believe in the value of neuropsychological assessment for these children.
We all hope that our children never suffer a brain injury. However, if they do, Children’s has the full complement of resources to treat the entire spectrum of injuries, from sports-related, mild concussions to severe, life–threatening injuries.