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Neuro Critical Care Unit

6 Things to Know About the Neurocritical Care Unit

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Most people are familiar with the hospital emergency room, or ER, as a place to go in the event of a medical emergency. But what if something is wrong with your brain, spine or nervous system? It can be scary to think about, but if you or a loved one were to suffer a traumatic brain injury, aneurysm, stroke, or a similar type of accident that affected your brain or nervous system, there’s a special place and care team who would be prepared to treat you. In a nutshell, that’s the neurocritical care unit.

Neurocritical care units or care centers offer specialized care for critical neurological issues as well as post-neurological surgical patients. The team is staffed by all the specialists required to treat a serious or complex neurological problem including neurosurgeons, neurologists, anesthesiologists, radiologists, pharmacists, critical care nurses and rehabilitation therapists.

It’s comforting to know that one of the country’s largest and most experienced neurocritical care units is right in your own backyard. Below are six things to know which are specific to our Ochsner neurocritical care unit on Jefferson Highway.

  1. We’re leaders in our field. Dr. Vivek Sabharwal launched Ochsner Health's neuro-critical care unit over ten years ago. What started as a five-bed unit is now a 34-bed unit dedicated treating over 950 patients a year with strokes, severe brain illnesses and injuries. The number of patients we care for as well as the size of our New Orleans unit makes us one of the largest neurocritical care units in the country!
  2. We’re experts at managing neurocritical conditions. The neurocritical care team provides intensive care management of patients with life-threatening neurological and neurosurgical illnesses such as massive stroke, bleeding in or around the brain, anoxic brain injury after cardiac arrest, brain tumors, brain infections, brain trauma, status epilepticus, nerve and muscle diseases, spinal cord disorders and the cardiopulmonary complications of brain injury in addition to other medical and cardiac critical care illnesses.
  3. We’re passionate about patient care. Ochsner Health’s neurocritical care unit is staffed by highly trained professionals who specialize in the care of critically ill patients. With both neurology and anesthesia backgrounds, our team provides state-of-the-art neuro intensive care with a passion for excellence and compassion for patients and their families. While treating patients with catastrophic brain and spinal cord injury or disease, our team builds relationships with family members and caretakers to determine the most appropriate goals for the patient's care.
  4. We’re focused on recovery. Ochsner is ranked in the highest percentage by U.S. News and World Report for direct hospital-to-home discharges. The duration that patients stay in Ochsner’s Neurocritical Care Unit depends on the severity of the underlying condition. Once patients become more stable and meet the standards for baseline neurological functions, they may be transferred out of neurocritical care to a regular floor bed, rehab or home.
  5. We’re nationally recognized. Our neurocritical care unit has been named one of the best fifty neurology and neurosurgery programs in the country by US News and World Report – for the past five years. In addition, the patient survival rate is ranked as one of the highest in the country.
  6. We’re a collaborative team. A multidisciplinary team of specially trained physicians, nurses, therapists and other professionals provides collaborative, coordinated and attentive care in the neurocritical care unit. The team now has seven board-certified neurocritical care physicians – and isn’t stopping there! The neurocritical care unit plans to expand with more advanced practice providers, fellows, residents, nurses, pharmacists, therapists and more to better care for patients.


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