Pediatric Neurocritical Care Services

In caring for children in the PICU, we use guidelines our team created that focus not only on their immediate health outcomes but also on their long-term cognition and function.

State of the art neuro-monitoring equipment

In order to ensure that we are at the forefront of neurological care and neuromonitoring in the PICU, our neurocritical care team trials and employs new devices, trains clinicians in their use and implements them into care protocols. Devices include:

  • Pupillometers (machines that measure the pupil reactivity at the bedside)
  • Advanced cooling and temperature management tools
  • Near infrared spectroscopy for advanced warning of changes in brain oxygenation
  • Intracranial pressure monitors with the latest technology
  • Intracranial catheters that monitor the amount of oxygen in the brain
  • Trans-cranial doppler ultrasound to measure blood flow in the brain at the bedside

Advanced diagnostics

Because children in the PICU are at risk of neurological complications, they receive continual EEG monitoring to track their brain activity. This is especially useful in detecting nonconvulsive seizures that can’t be seen otherwise, so that they can be treated right away.

Dedicated neuro ICU beds

We are excited to announce the opening of 6 dedicated neurocritical care beds in June of 2020. These beds allow our nurses and doctors to easily coordinate care and treatment discussions amongst multiple specialties working together with your child’s brain in mind.

Multidisciplinary care 

Our neurocritical team meet regularly in conferences, huddles, and rounds to discuss children who may have, or who are diagnosed with, problems that affect their brain function. These specialists integrate their expertise in neurologyneurosurgery, strokeinterventional neuroradiologyneuro anesthesia and critical care into a comprehensive care plan for shared patients. 

Commitment to quality improvement

Traditionally, children follow up with their pediatrician after they get better and leave the PICU. But now, it is increasingly recognized that children’s development and return to their lives can be affected by a hospital stay with critical illness.  We are developing a unique model in which neurocritical care patients follow-up with a specialized neurologist and team.

Stroke Care

Most people assume strokes only happen later in life, but unfortunately, children have strokes, too.  In fact, stroke in childhood can sometimes cause disabilities that affect the patient and their family for many decades.  Despite this, pediatric strokes are under-recognized and diagnosis is often delayed due to a lack of awareness of stroke symptoms and difficulty obtaining fast brain imaging in children.

To address this problem, Stanford Children’s Health has developed a multidisciplinary pediatric stroke program with a team of specialists who have the necessary experience and knowledge to skillfully diagnose, treat, and manage strokes in children. All members of our team are committed to delivering around-the-clock comprehensive care during an acute stroke, including providing emergent intravenous or surgical interventions for the right candidates. All along the way, we are committed to supporting patients and their families in making informed treatment and management decisions and to providing optimal rehabilitation options after stroke. Children have strokes for very different reasons than adults, and a multidisciplinary group of providers with specialized pediatric stroke expertise is essential to providing our patients with the very best care.

Our pediatric stroke team is made up of leading experts in a wide array of specialties, including neurology, neurosurgery, neurointerventional radiology, neuroradiology, neurogenetics, hematology, cardiology, and neuropsychology. We work closely with the Stanford Stroke Center, one of the busiest and most successful stroke programs in the nation, to provide swift around-the-clock access to treatment options for acute pediatric strokes. Our priority is to ensure open lines of communication with each other, with the patient, and with the patient’s family to ensure the best possible stroke treatment for the child.

ROSA™/epilepsy surgeries 

Stanford Children's Health is the only hospital in Northern California to offer the ROSA™ robotic surgical assistant for pediatric neurosurgery, which reduces anesthesia time, increases precision and improves safety.