History and Description of the Neuro-ICU
There is a rich tradition of acute neuroscience at Yale University extending back an entire century. The initial chiefs of neurosurgery, Drs. Samuel Harvey and William German, were trainees of Harvey Cushing at the Peter Bent Brigham in Boston and Cushing himself joined Yale as the Sterling Professor of Neurology. Likewise, the neurology department’s founding chair, Gilbert Glaser, laid the foundation for a nationally unique program in epilepsy research and clinical practice, establishing Yale as a national home for NIH funded epilepsy grants. These early building blocks set the stage for a vibrant program in neurocritical care.
The Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at YNHH is one of the only dedicated certified neuroscience intensive care units in the state of Connecticut staffed by neuro-intensivists who are all board eligible or certified. Five attending faculty, with backgrounds from neurology and emergency medicine, make up the current cohort of clinical staff. The unit is a 14 bed neuro-ICU and has enjoyed multidisciplinary participation from a dedicated neuroscience pharmacist, active cadre of PA and NP’s, respiratory and physical therapists, a case manager, and residents from neurology and neurosurgery.
The Neuro ICU uses state of the art technology to facilitate the most advanced patient care. The ICU also maintains a portable CT scanner and has 24/7 access to an interventional neuro-angio suite which can also be used as a neurosurgical operating room with an intra-operative MRI. The neurocritical care division works closely with epilepsy, led by Dr. Larry Hirsch, an international leader in EEG practice and research in the neuroscience ICU. Nursing staff are nationally involved in the Neurocritical Care Society and regularly present at annual meetings.