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Clinical Program

Critical Care Patient Transport ("SkyHealth" and "Adult Critical Care Ground Transport")

Physicians who wish to transfer a critically ill neurology or neurosurgical patient to Yale New Haven Hospital for stroke, trauma, or other neurological care can call us at 1-888-YHH-BED (888-964-4233) to arrange for a transfer, 24/7.

Acute Stroke Revascularization with Clot-Busting and Clot Removal Treatments

We offer FDA-approved clot-dissolving therapy (alteplase/t-PA) for the treatment of stroke. To be effective, t-PA must be given within 4.5 hours of symptom onset. We are a thrombectomy-capable center that is able to remove stroke-causing clot from the blocked artery in the brain 24/7. This emergency therapy is the only way to both extend the treatment window for patients not eligible for t-PA or for whom t-PA is not immediately effective.

Brain Cooling ("Targeted Temperature Management")

Cooling the brain can prevent tissue damage, reduce brain swelling, and significantly improve the likelihood of a good recovery in patients after a cardiac arrest. Our Neuro-ICU program is a national leader in the application of targeted temperature management for survivors of cardiac arrest, as well as other brain injuries, and works with our multidisciplinary colleagues in Emergency Medicine, Pulmonary Critical Care, and Cardiology to care for these patients throughout the health system.

Multimodal Brain Monitoring and Advanced Imaging

Continuous monitoring enables our Neuro-ICU specialists to prevent, detect, and treat secondary brain injuries that often develop after a stroke. Our Neuro-ICU is among the few in the country to use portable CT and MRI scanners to deliver imaging at the bedside. To monitor seizure activity (an important cause of secondary damage after brain injury), we provide continuous electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring with EEG technicians onsite 24/7. Our Neuro-ICU is the only unit in Connecticut and the surrounding region with this capability. In addition, as part of our multimodal monitoring program, we able to implant temporary monitors in comatose patients with severe brain injuries to better detect early signs of secondary brain injury and individualize care to that patient's specific physiological needs.

Depth of Experience

National guidelines suggest that patients treated at high-volume centers have the best chances of survival and recovery, and that outcomes for patients with life-threatening brain injuries are improved when care is delivered in a specialized Neurosciences-ICU. Our Neurosciences-ICU is also home to one of the fastest growing and successful neurocritical care fellowship training programs in the country.

Patient- and Family-Centered Care

Our Neurosciences-ICU has and continues to spearhead efforts to offer family-centered care, allowing families to actively participate in all phases of the acute care and recovery process for their loved one. We facilitate communication and encourage participation in treatment decisions by including families on rounds (in-person or with the aid of video conferencing), thus allowing families to be advocates and valued members of the care team. We also seek counsel on strategies to improve care in our Neurosciences-ICU (through our Patient Family Advisory Council).

Continuum of Care and Transition to Early Integration of Rehabilitation

Beginning rehabilitation as early as is safely possible is an essential part of our approach to neurocritical care, as it promotes each patient's transition from critical illness to recovery.