Neurotrauma is a term used to describe any trauma which impacts the brain and spinal cord. Receiving medical attention as soon as possible is important for any type of potentially moderate to severe neurotrauma. Injuries that do not receive proper care can cause long-term disability and impairment.

Neuro & Trauma Intensive Care Units

The  Neuro and Trauma ICU’s are located inside Greenville Memorial Hospital. The patients in the Neuro ICU suffer from severe brain injuries, stroke or brain tumors and many are post-op from a neurosurgical procedure. These can include insertion of various invasive brain monitoring devices, craniotomy for trauma, cerebral aneurysm repair or tumor resection.

Other patients have injuries to the brain or spinal cord secondary to trauma, as well as other traumatic injuries involving the chest, abdomen, major vessels and long bones. This unique neurotrauma patient population requires specialized management of hemorrhagic shock, sepsis, renal failure, adrenal suppression, and respiratory failure in order to optimize their potential for neurological recovery.

Pictured above are Ryan Hakimi, DO, Medical Director of Neuro ICU, along with team members Annette Davis, ACNP-BC, Marisha Trelinski, NP, Priscilla Massesy, NP, Sarah Hierholzer, NP, and Sarah Denes, NP.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

TBI includes injuries to the scalp, skull, or brain caused by trauma. One of the most common injuries to the brain is concussion. You don’t have to be hit in the head to experience a concussion. An impact elsewhere on the body can create enough force to jar the brain. You also won’t necessarily lose consciousness with a concussion. Concussions range from mild to severe. The effects may be apparent immediately, or they may not show up until hours or even days later. Other types of TBI include:

  • Contusion: a bruise on the brain that can cause swelling
  • Hematoma: bleeding in the brain that collects and forms a clot
  • Skull fracture: a head injury that can affect the brain. Sometimes with a fracture, pieces of bone can cut into the brain and cause bleeding and other types of injury.

Spinal Cord Trauma

The spinal cord carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body. These messages allow you to move and to feel touch, among other things. A spinal cord injury stops the flow of messages below the site of the injury. Spinal cord injury can be direct trauma to the spinal cord itself or indirect damage to the bones, soft tissues, and blood vessels surrounding the spinal cord.

Spinal cord injuries may result from falls, motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, industrial accidents, gunshots and physical assaults, among other causes. If the spine is weak because of another condition, such as arthritis, minor injuries can cause spinal cord trauma.

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Kevin Kopera, MD, MPH

Neurotrauma Recovery

A female physical therapist assists an older male patient while doing gait training.  The man is holding on to railings, while the woman is behind him.

Brain Injury Program

A dedicated and self-contained unit, the Brain Injury Inpatient Program provides patients with a remarkable environment to maximize their rehabilitation efforts.

Spinal Cord Injury Program

The Spinal Cord Injury Program strives to provide comprehensive care to persons with spinal cord injuries due to either trauma, degeneration or disease, enabling the persons served to achieve optimal health and physical function.

The Spinal Cord Injury Program is the only program of its kind in the state accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

Learn More About Trauma Rehabilitation