Neurointensive Care Unit

When your loved one requires the highest level of neurocritical care, put your trust in the experts at Henry Ford Health. Our services offer a lifeline to people with severe conditions affecting the brain, nerves and spinal cord. We are at your loved one’s side throughout their recovery. And our family-centered approach keeps you informed every step of the way.

Our highly skilled team delivers around-the-clock personalized services that give your loved one the best chances of recovery. A Level 1 Trauma Center, Henry Ford Hospital is home to one of the busiest neurointensive care units (neuro ICUs) in Michigan, caring for more than 1,000 people each year.

What is a Neuro ICU?

A neuro ICU is where specially trained doctors and nurses care for people with complex neurologic conditions, including aneurysms, stroke, spinal injuries, or head injuries.

Services include:

  • Neuromonitoring to detect changes in brain activity that may signal progress toward recovery milestones or complications
  • Treatments to meet your loved one’s changing needs, which may include breathing assistance and medications
  • Therapies that help your loved one regain skills such as speaking, moving around and getting dressed

The Neuro ICU at Henry Ford: why choose us?

We have been delivering trusted services for the most severe conditions and neurologically fragile patients for nearly two decades. Our doctors and nurses specialize in neurocritical care and offer a depth of experience that’s not widely available. We focus on your loved one’s unique needs and deliver services reflecting the latest research and techniques.

Highlights of our program include:

  • Expertise: Neurologists who completed additional training (fellowships) in neurocritical care guide your loved one’s treatment. We stay current on advancements in the field to ensure we are delivering the best available care. A member of our team is available any time, day or night.
  • Coordination: We work closely with Henry Ford neurosurgeons and stroke and epilepsy experts to deliver seamless services. We learn as much as possible about your loved one’s diagnosis and treatment history. This information helps us tailor monitoring and therapies to advance their recovery.
  • Neuromonitoring: Neuro ICU services typically include multiple types of continuous brain monitoring, including brain pressure and blood flow. This approach enables us to quickly detect changes that can affect recovery. At the first sign of a problem, we coordinate services to reduce the risk of permanent brain damage.
  • Innovation: We established a new method for lowering the risk of bedsores, which occur from being in one position too long. A bedsore prevention specialist and nurses determined the appropriate level of movement for each patient. Nursing aides with additional training assist patients with motions that reduce pressure on the skin.

Our team approach to Neuro ICU services

Our team approach helps your loved one receive the services that are best for their situation. Many of our specialists meet daily to evaluate every patient’s progress and adjust care plans. We typically include family members in these discussions. We welcome your input and questions.

In addition to neurocritical care specialists, your loved one benefits from the expertise of:

  • Nurses and nurse practitioners with additional training in neurocritical care who keep a careful watch over neuromonitoring and other therapies
  • Pharmacists specializing in neurocritical care who ensure your loved one receives the correct medications in the right dose for their needs
  • Physical therapists who deliver treatments to prevent long-term muscle weakness and help your loved one start regaining strength
  • Occupational therapists who assist your loved one in relearning skills for performing everyday tasks, like eating and getting dressed
  • Case managers who help patients and families prepare for discharge by coordinating services, medical equipment and support
  • Chaplains and other representatives who help address spiritual care needs

Who is Neuro ICU care for?

Neurological issues and other situations that may require a stay in the neuro ICU include:

  • Cerebral edema: Fluid build-up in the brain that may increase pressure on sensitive tissue
  • Certain seizures: Long-lasting episodes or recurring seizures followed by periods of irregular brain activity
  • Hemorrhages: Bleeding that occurs when a blood vessel ruptures, such as during a hemorrhagic stroke
  • Neurosurgery: Recovering from procedures that include epilepsy surgery and facial pain procedures
  • Stroke: A disruption of blood flow to the brain due to a blood clot (ischemic stroke) or hemorrhagic stroke
  • Trauma: Serious injuries affecting the brain or spinal cord
  • Neuro complications: Other life-threatening conditions, like organ failure and severe infections, such as sepsis, that affect brain functioning

Neuro ICU leadership and research

Henry Ford specialists are constantly advancing neuro ICU care through research. We are exploring new brain monitoring methods as well as ways to help more patients achieve excellent results. Get more information about neurosurgery research and innovation.

We are training the next generation of neuro ICU specialists through an accredited fellowship program. Find out more about our neurocritical care fellowship.

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