Many of our patients come to us because they have had a serious head injury. Our priorities are to minimise any secondary injuries to the brain such as can be caused by inadequate blood pressure or lack of oxygen. We use protocols to guide the intensity of the treatment provided for each individual patient. The use of these protocols has been shown to improve the overall outcomes for patients.
Many patients require a monitor to measure the pressure within the head (known as the intracranial pressure) as the brain can swell following injury or a clot of blood can develop due to bleeding within the brain or between the brain and the skull. We can control the pressure through a number of techniques. These include using drugs to heavily sedate and paralyse the patient, increasing their blood pressure, cooling, the use of specialist drains or surgery if needed.
Whilst patients are on the NICU we seek to maximise their recovery through active rehabilitation programmes coordinated by the nursing and physiotherapy staff. Patients who have suffered a head injury often require long-term support. We have a head injury specialist nurse who is able to give support and advice to patients and families.