Neurocritical Care

The Penn Neurocritical Care Unit is an acute brain injury center offering a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to the treatment and care of patients with severe, life-threatening neurological injuries. Located at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, a Level I Trauma Center, this distinguished unit is among the most technologically sophisticated neurocritical care units in the nation, offering a complete continuum of care, with coverage 24-hours-per-day.

Conditions Treated at the Neurocritical Care Unit

Our Neurocritical Care team treats a wide variety of conditions using the latest advanced technology including:

  • Acute ischemic stroke
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage/brain aneurysms
  • Head trauma — traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Brain and spine tumors
  • Acute spinal cord injury
  • Seizures/Epilepsy
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Neuromuscular disorders (Myasthenia Gravis, Guillain-Barré Syndrome)
  • Infections of the nervous system
  • Severe neurological manifestations of medical illness
  • Post-operative management of neurosurgical patients

Neurocritical Care Services

Our Neurocritical Care Unit treats more patients with brain injury than any other hospital in the region, seeing nearly 1,500 patients a year. Our patients receive specialized post-operative care in our modern 22-bed facility with the latest technology on hand. In addition to round-the-clock care, the PennSTAR flight program provides critical care air medical transportation within a 100-mile radius of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Our Neurocritical Care Program will soon be expanding services to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where we will continue to deliver focused care to patients with traumatic brain injury. In recognition of our lifesaving efforts, the Neurocritical Care Program was awarded the prestigious Beacon Award for excellence in critical care by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN).

Advanced Brain Monitoring Technology

Penn is one of the few institutions in the nation that offer the latest advanced brain monitoring techniques available, including:

  • Continuous seizure monitoring (EEG)
  • Brain oxygen monitoring
  • Cerebral blood flow monitoring
  • Brain tissue chemistry monitoring
  • Intracranial pressure monitoring
  • Near infrared spectroscopy
  • Transcranial oppler ultrasonography
  • Advanced neuroimaging techniques such as:
    • CT scan
    • Angiography
    • And MR perfusion

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Care

Penn neurologists work collaboratively with other Penn Medicine specialists across multiple disciplines including:

Leaders in Neurocritical Care

Penn's Neurocritical Care Unit is home to a premier academic medical center with experienced faculty who are the best in their field. Our nationally renowned training site educates fellows and hosts clinicians and educators from around the country to train them in the latest techniques.

Penn patients have access to numerous clinical treatment trials that offer hope and advance the understanding of severe brain injury. Our neurocritical care research includes brain monitoring techniques, trials for coagulation disorders, brain tumor trials and spinal cord injury trials.