The Neurocritical Care (NCC) Division of the Department of Neurology was established in July 2012 in a collaborative effort with the Department of Critical Care Medicine (CCM). The clinical focus of NCC is on the 20 bed Neurovascular and 10 bed Neurotrauma ICU at UPMC Presbyterian hospital. Unit-based, disease-specific patient management protocols have been developed to optimize the basic foundation of clinical care. In addition, a number of unit-based, multidisciplinary quality improvement projects with other members of the NCC team (advanced practice providers, nurses, pharmacists, and therapists) have been completed. These projects include the development of a nursing-driven fever management algorithm, introduction of pupillometry, and use of phenobarbital to manage alcohol withdrawal.
The UPMC NCC fellowship is accredited by the United Council of Neurological Subspecialties (UCNS) and now has 3 accredited tracks for training opportunities within the Multidisciplinary Critical Care Training Program of the Department of Critical Care Medicine. The tracks consist of the traditional 2- year training program, a 1 year track for physicians who have obtained critical care training through another medical specialty, and a 1 year track for Neurosurgery residents who desire specialty training in NCC.
Research activities for the Division of NCC focus on efforts to understand the pathophysiology of neurological injury and clinical management of critically ill neurology patients. There are a number of ongoing clinical trials with NCC faculty in leadership roles and additional projects are being considered.