Neurological Critical Care (NeuroICU)
Elizbieta Wirkowski, MD, Co-Director
Michael Brisman, MD, Co-Director; Chief, Division of Neurosurgery
Jay Yasen, MD, Director, Neurovascular Laboratory
Typically, patients with serious neurological problems are treated in medical-surgical ICUs where the traditional orientation is toward the medical or surgical aspects of the patient’s condition. However, neurological diseases and episodes are best treated by experienced specialists highly trained to manage such conditions, which can threaten both survival and brain function.
What is a NeuroICU?
Winthrop-University Hospital’s Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit (NeuroICU) is reserved for patients recovering from complex neurosurgical procedures or those with acute neurological problems. These include: brain hemorrhaging, stroke caused by a blood clot, unremitting epileptic seizures, traumatic brain injury, serious neuromuscular disorders that can cause life-threatening paralysis and tumors or infections of the brain or spinal cord.
Established in 2002 as the first of its kind on Long Island, the Unit includes 14 acute-care beds, six step-down beds, and an expert team of neurosurgeons, neurointensivists, neurologists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurses with extensive training in neurocritical care and the use of advanced monitoring technology. They work as a team to orchestrate the complex range of testing and immediate interventions required to minimize immediate or delayed brain damage and maximize the chances for a full recovery.
With state-of-the-art technology the NeuroICU staff assess situations such as brain aneurysms, cerebral hemorrhages and strokes. They use:
- Continuous EEG Monitoring
- Intracranial Pressure Monitoring (ICP)
- Licox (Brain Oxygenation) Monitoring
- Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT)
Specialized procedures include:
Additionally, an array of sophisticated neuroradiology and interventional neuroradiology diagnostic tools are located in close proximity to the NeuroICU. They include:
- Induced Hypothermia
- Interventional Neuroradiology Procedures
- Specific Pharmacotherapies
- Ventricular Drainage
- 64-slice Computed Tomography Scanner (CT)
- Biplane Digital Angiography system
- Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA)
- CT Perfusion
- Magnetic Resonance Angiograpy (MRA)
- Positive Emission Tomography (PET)
Regarding research as vital to the delivery of high-caliber care, the neurological specialists affiliated with the Unit are involved in research to further advance neuroscience. Current studies include:
- Apoptosis in intracerebral hemorrhages
- Role of activated Factor VII in the acute intracranial bleed
- ARUBA trial