Neurocritical care is a new and emerging subspecialty in neurology that is making a difference in patients’ lives with neurological disorders. Medical experts know the goal of neurocritical care is to improve the outcome of patients with neurological diseases by providing early and aggressive treatment of their condition.
A neurological disease is any disorder that affects the nervous system. The nervous system comprises the brain, spinal cord, and nerves.
There are many different types of neurological diseases. Some common examples include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and traumatic brain injury.
These are diagnosed by their symptoms which may include changes in mental status, movement, sensation, or mood. Other less common neurological diseases include epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and brain tumors.
Neurocritical care is a relatively new field, but it has already significantly impacted the lives of patients with neurological disorders. In the past, patients with neurological diseases often did not receive the early and aggressive treatment needed to improve their outcomes. This was because there was no subspecialty specifically dedicated to the care of these patients. As a result, many patients with neurological diseases died or were left with debilitating disabilities.
The emergence of neurocritical care has changed all of this. Neurocritical care specialists are specifically trained to provide early and aggressive treatment of neurological conditions. This means that more patients are surviving their disease, and fewer are being left with disabling disabilities.
One of the essential aspects of neurocritical care is providing 24-hour access to specialist care. This is because many neurological disorders can worsen quickly and without warning. This can be very dangerous for patients, as they may not be able to receive the timely treatment they need if they are not under the care of a neurocritical care specialist.
Another essential aspect of neurocritical care is the ability to provide treatment for both acute and chronic conditions. This is because many neurological disorders can last for years or even decades. As a result, patients need access to specialists who can provide both long-term and short-term care.
Finally, neurocritical care specialists are also trained to support families of patients with neurological disorders. This is because the journey through a neurological disorder can be very difficult for patients and their families. Families often need help dealing with the emotional, financial, and practical aspects of their loved one’s condition.
Neurocritical care specialists use various techniques to treat patients with neurological disorders. These include both medical and surgical interventions.
Medical interventions used in neurocritical care include using medication to control symptoms, relieve pain, and improve function. Medicines used in neurocritical care can be either short-term or long-term. Short-term medications are typically used to treat acute symptoms, while long-term drugs generally are used to treat chronic conditions.
Surgical interventions used in neurocritical care include the placement of shunt systems, the implantation of deep brain stimulators, and the removal of tumors. Shunt systems relieve pressure on the brain by draining excess fluid. Deep brain stimulators are used to improve the function of some brain regions. Finally, tumors can be removed surgically if they are causing symptoms or if they are cancerous.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a neurological disorder, it is essential to find a neurocritical care specialist as soon as possible. This is because early and aggressive treatment is necessary for improving the outcome of patients with neurological disorders.
There are many ways to find a neurocritical care specialist. You can ask your primary care doctor for a referral, search the internet, or contact a local hospital. Once you have found a few specialists, you can compare their qualifications, experience, and treatment philosophies to find the one that is right for you.
If you have been diagnosed with a neurological disorder, your doctor will likely refer you to a neurocritical care specialist if they feel you would benefit from their care. However, there are also some cases where it may not be clear if you need neurocritical care. In these cases, it is essential to discuss your options with your doctor so that you can make an informed decision about your care.
If you are unsure if you need neurocritical care, consider asking your doctor questions like “What are the risks of not being treated by a neurocritical care specialist?” and “How likely is it that my condition will improve with treatment?” These questions can help you better understand your options and make an informed decision about your care.
Neurocritical care is making a difference in neurology by providing early and aggressive treatment for patients with neurological disorders. Neurocritical care specialists are specially trained to provide 24-hour access to specialist care and support for families of patients with neurological disorders. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with a neurological disorder, consider seeking out the services of a neurocritical care specialist.