Research and Innovation

Now that technological and medical advances have made it possible to save some of the sickest children, we have the opportunity to take a step back and study how to help them not just survive but thrive. Our NeuroPICU team is developing methods that result in the best short- and long-term outcomes, from conducting lab research to refining PICU protocols and developing care pathways for specific conditions.

This work is part of our plan to bring our comprehensive neurocritical care capabilities to all of our intensive critical care settings: the PICU, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and cardiac intensive care unit (CICU).

A sampling of the work our team is involved in:

Cardiac arrest

Since integrating neurocritical care in the PICU, we have been generating data allowing us to learn from care we’re providing. One project looks at patients with cardiac arrest who immediately receive brain-protective care, such as temperature management, EEG monitoring and other interventions. We are using this data to develop a post–cardiac arrest protocol, in part to prevent seizures and mitigate brain injury.

Stroke

Our team is involved in creating integrated stroke care pathways. If a child is suspected of having had a stroke, caregivers from all disciplines know how to quickly get the child neuroprotective care and are trained in how to monitor for brain-related complications.

Traumatic brain injury

Working with neuroradiology, our team is studying MRI scans of children with traumatic brain injuries. The study is looking at the brain’s inflammatory response after a severe injury, and whether markers in the blood can help predict what is going on in the brain, how severe the injury is, and what the prognosis is. The goal is to identify which children have better outcomes, so that we can develop new interventions.

Specialized training

Many children have nausea after neurosurgery. A nursing-led initiative aims to standardize how to measure nausea and vomiting in children and how to prevent/treat it in neurosurgical patients when they are admitted to the PICU.