Brain Injury

Brain Injury Program

The Brain Injury Program provides comprehensive, continuous care to patients with brain injuries. We provide treatment for all types of traumatic brain injuries. The brain injury rehabilitation program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), a designation that recognizes its adherence to strict requirements for hospital programs providing comprehensive rehabilitation services.

Overview

As part of an academic medical center, the Brain Injury Program is also involved in research and clinical trials.

Physicians work closely with nurses, technicians, social workers and other support staff to provide a continuum of care to patients with traumatic brain injury.  The neurosurgeons provide medical management to these patients at the Neuro-Intensive Care Unit and Acute Neurosurgery Unit of Froedtert Hospital.

Neuro Intensive Care and Acute Care Units

The Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Neuro Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Acute Care units and Rehabilitation units are available to serve patients with different types of neurological injuries, including brain injuries. The NICU is equipped with state-of-the-science monitoring equipment and is staffed by a skilled and experienced team of physicians and nurses. Experts from other disciplines, such as Urology and Plastic Surgery, are readily available for consultation, further enhancing the recovery process and promoting a faster return to the community.

Neuropsychology

Patients diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury may experience cognitive and behavior changes. Our board-certified neuropsychologists provide evaluations to understand how illness or injury to the brain may affect a patient’s behavior and mental process and thus recovery. The Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin neuropsychologists are part of the specialized Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic held weekly with Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation to follow patients early in their recovery from mild to moderate brain injury. Results of cognitive testing of memory, attention, and processing speed is used to make recommendations for treatment as well as to determine when it is appropriate to return to normal activities such as work and driving.

Rehabilitation Program

Rehabilitation starts on the first day of admission and continues after discharge. The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program tailors rehabilitation to patients’ individual needs. There, they work with rehabilitation staff to relearn daily activities such as walking and eating; to improve speech, memory and concentration; and to develop strategies for adapting to residual effects of brain injury.  In 2009, 73 patients with brain injuries were admitted to the rehabilitation program. Of those, 73.4 percent returned home after rehabilitation while others went to subacute or skilled nursing facilities. The average length of stay was 12.3 days.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic

The Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic provides follow-up evaluation and care for individuals who have had a mild brain injury (injuries in which a person loses consciousness only very briefly or not at all), to monitor any subtle problems that may occur in the weeks following the injury.

The clinic is staffed by a team the multidisciplinary specialists, neuropsychologists, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, speech, physical, and occupational therapists. They collaborate further enhancing the recovery process and limit disability.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury at a Glance *

  • Loss of consciousness is very brief, usually a few seconds or minutes.
  • Loss of consciousness does not have to occur — the person may be dazed or confused.
  • Testing or scans of the brain may appear normal.
  • A mild traumatic brain injury is diagnosed only when there is a change in the mental status at the time of injury — the person is dazed, confused, or loses consciousness. The change in mental status indicates that the person’s brain functioning has been altered, this is called a concussion.
  • A concussion is a brain injury.
  • A concussion is the most common type of traumatic brain injury.

* Source: The Brain Injury Association of America’s Web site:www.BIAUSA.org

Neurosurgery Faculty active in the the Brain Injury Program