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18 - Overview of neurointensive care

from Section 4 - Neurointensive care

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2011

Basil F. Matta
Affiliation:
Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge
David K. Menon
Affiliation:
Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge
Martin Smith
Affiliation:
Department of Neuroanaesthesia and Neurocritical Care, the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, University College London Hospitals
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Summary

This chapter reviews the history, evolution and organization of neurointensive care units. It emphasizes the key role that neurointensive care teams play in delivering improved outcomes for patients. Neurointensive care has evolved from its original single-system focus on the central nervous system (CNS) to a multisystem speciality providing all aspects of a patient's care. Despite the widespread availability and relative simplicity of many neuromonitoring techniques, there is considerable variation in their placement and in the application of monitoring-guided therapeutic strategies. The overall goals of neurointensive care are to resuscitate and support the acutely ill patient, minimize secondary neurological injury, and prevent or treat systemic (non-neurological) complications. Protocol-guided treatment improves clinical outcome in all areas of medicine and is effective in reducing mortality and improving outcome after brain injury. Expertise in neurointensive care involves procedural skills, proficiency with standard (systemic) monitoring and management, as well as specialized neuromonitoring techniques and interventions.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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