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Neurointensive Care Unit

Cleveland Clinic’s Neurointensive Care Program is a multidisciplinary program dedicated to treating patients with the most severe, acute neurological diseases.

Our physicians use state-of-the-art technology and compassionate holistic treatment to give patients the best chance for recovery. Our qualified team of critical care professionals provides treatment for patients with the following neurological conditions:

  • Major acute stroke
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Spine injury
  • Status Epilepticus
  • Post-operative neurosurgery patients
  • Myasthenic crisis
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Brain tumor patients who require intensive care
Neurointensive Care Unit

Within our 22-bed, state-of-the-art dedicated Neurointensive Care Unit (NICU), we treat more than 1,300 patients per year, with 24/7 coverage. This full service NICU is equipped to treat any patient with neurological injury, regardless of the severity. The NICU also is equipped to handle any heart, lung and gastrointestinal problems that may arise in neurological patients. In addition, we have specialized equipment specifically for the treatment of patients with neurological illnesses, including inside-the-brain oxygen sensors and blood flow monitors, and portable head Computed Tomography (CT) scanning.

Neurointensive Care Team

Our healthcare professionals work as a team to provide patients with the best care. This team includes neurologists, neurosurgeons, specially trained nurses, respiratory therapists and pharmacists, under the direction of specially trained neurointensivists. In addition, nutritionists, speech pathologists, social workers, clergy, ethicists, physical and occupational therapists and case managers collaborate on the care of patients.

Our research

Our staff devotes a significant amount of time to research activities that focus on improving the care of patients with brain injuries. We have a dedicated laboratory that studies the cause of strokes that occur after the rupture of an aneurysm in the brain (subarachnoid hemorrhage). In addition, we also study the cause of heart damage after a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Our clinical research includes determining the best time to transition NICU patients from a breathing machine to breathing on their own. We also test new medicines and devices to improve the care of our patients. Some of our current projects include:

  • The role of inflammation in vasospasm after aneurismal subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • The mechanism and outcome of cardiac damage after subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Predictors of extubation success in neurologically injured, ventilated patients
  • The role of a new calcium channel blocker in hypertension after intracerebral hemorrhage (ACCELERATE)
National activities

Our staff is invited all over the world to give presentations and lectures. Our national activities include publications in peer-reviewed journals, papers and posters presented at national meetings and a strong annual presence at the Neurocritical Care Society, Society of Critical Care, American Society of Anesthesiology and American Heart Association Stroke meetings. In addition, members of our staff are fellows of the American College of Critical Care Medicine and board members of the Neurocritical Care Society.

Scientific publications
  • Provencio JJ. Subarachnoid hemorrhage: a model for heart-brain interactions. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. 74 Suppl 1: S86-90, 2007.
  • Provencio, JJ, Vora, Nirav. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage and inflammation: Bench to bedside and back. Seminars in Neurology. 2005, 25(4): 435-444.
  • Boissy, AR, Provencio, JJ, Smith CA, Diringer, MN. Neurointensivists opinion about the diagnosis of death by neurological criteria, organ donation and donation after cardiac death. Neurocritical care. 2005, 3(2): 115-121.
  • Deogaonkar, A, Gupta, R, DeGeorgia, M, Sabharwal, V, Gopakumaran, B, Schubert, A, Provencio, JJ. Bispectral index monitoring correlates with sedation scales in brain injured patients. Crit Care Med. 32: 2403-2406. 2004.
  • Suarez JI. Zaidat OO. Suri MF. Feen ES. Lynch G. Hickman J. Georgiadis A. Selman WR. Length of stay and mortality in neurocritically ill patients: impact of a specialized neurocritical care team. Critical Care Medicine. 32(11): 2311-7, 2004.
  • Suarez JI. Shannon L. Zaidat OO. Suri MF. Singh G. Lynch G. Selman WR. Effect of human albumin administration on clinical outcome and hospital cost in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage. Journal of Neurosurgery. 100(4): 585-90, 2004.

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