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Advancing neurologic care in the intensive care nursery

Abstract

© 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics. All rights reserved. Up to 25% of neonates at tertiary care nurseries are diagnosed as having neurologic conditions, including encephalopathy and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy [HIE], as well as seizures, stroke, and intracranial hemorrhage. These children are at high risk for lifelong disabilities, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and cognitive and behavioral disabilities. Establishing a neurointensive care nursery involves a culture change toward brain-focused care, with all bedside clinicians (including physicians, nurses, respiratory technologists, and trainees) maintaining constant awareness of the potential neurologic complications of critical illnesses, as well as the effect of management on the developing or injured brain. Team-based, brain-focused care to monitor, diagnose, and treat neurologic conditions of the developing brain has the potential to improve outcomes in neonates with brain injuries and congenital conditions of the developing nervous system.

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