Neurocritical Care

Our Program

The Neurocritical Care Program at Keck Medical Center of USC in Los Angeles treats patients who have had acute brain or spinal cord diseases such as stroke, aneurysms, hemorrhages or are recovering from surgery of the central nervous system or spine, or of the ear, nose and throat. Our team is composed of subspecialists in neurocritical care who are experts in managing the unique level of care required by patients with life-threatening neurologic illnesses.

Our Approach

The Neurocritical Care team, utilizing a dedicated neurointensive care unit, is led by neurointensivists who are trained in intensive care practices for patients with nervous system disorders or injuries. The team closely coordinates its efforts, working with neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists and intensive care specialists who are working concurrently to manage neurological injury and speed up the patient’s recovery.



Patients in the neurocritical care program at Keck Medical Center of USC in Los Angeles are often referred to the program from other physicians who determined the need for more advanced care. Many patients in the program are recovering from stroke, but the program team also treats other disorders requiring intensive care. Keck Medical Center of USC offers a highly specialized level of care and treatment for stroke and other cerebrovascular disorders, such as:

  • Aneurysm
  • Brain Tumors
  • Infections of the brain and spinal cord
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Spinal cord trauma
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Symptomatic carotid occlusions
  • Symptomatic vasospasm
  • Traumatic brain injury

Treatments and Services

The multi-disciplinary team making up the Neurocritical Care Program at Keck Medical Center of USC can meet the needs of patients with acute stroke and other serious neurological and neurosurgical conditions by providing immediate, advanced treatment and neurocritical care.
Frequently, community hospitals will offer immediate, brain-saving treatment in their emergency departments and then transfer the patient to Keck Medical Center of USC for a higher level of care. Neurointensivists provide medical management for patients, while working alongside neurosurgeons and neurologist. Our patients have access to advanced treatments provided in other critical care locations at Keck Medical Center, if necessary, including:

  • Endovascular procedures with or without intravenous tissue plasminogen (tPA) – can reopen blocked arteries
  • Endovascular treatment of cerebral venous occlusion – can reopen blocked veins
  • Endovascular angioplasty and stenting – may be inserted to maintain blood flow
  • Surgical decompression for large cerebellar infarcts – can reduce swelling in the area of a blocked vessel, easing pressure on brain tissue
  • Surgical decompression for large hemispheric strokes – an operation that can reduce swelling caused by large-scale strokes
  • Extracranial-intracranial bypass surgery for symptomatic carotid occlusions – a surgical method that moves blood to an area affected by carotid artery blockage, by bypassing blood supply from outside to inside the cranium
  • Treatment for subarachnoid hemorrhage / aneurysm – treats bleeding and swollen blood vessels in the brain
  • Endovascular coiling of cerebral aneurysms – insertion of a catheter containing coils to the vessels of the brain and into the aneurysm. These coils are packed into the aneurysm, preventing blood flow from entering the aneurysm
  • Surgical clipping of cerebral aneurysms – an operation in which the surgeon clips off the base of an aneurysm, preventing blood from entering the aneurysm
  • Medical and endovascular treatment for symptomatic vasospasm
  • Treatment for intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Minimally invasive surgical hematoma evacuation – a number of techniques can drain bleeding on the brain’s surface, reducing pressure on brain tissue with minimal disruption of healthy tissue
  • Carotid endarterectomy – surgical removal of plaque from the inner walls of the carotid (and other) arteries, reducing the risk of ischemic stroke

Patient Information

Patients admitted to the Neurocritical Care Program at Keck Medical Center of USC in Los Angeles will be treated by a coordinated team of neurologists, neuroradiologists, medical intensive care specialists and surgeons.
Patients who have recently suffered a stroke or are in need of critical care can be transferred to Keck Hospital of USC by our Rapid Transport Program. Upon arrival at our hospital, the patient is rapidly admitted to our neurocritical care unit dedicated to patients with severe brain or spine injuries where they can receive cutting edge multi-disciplinary care and have access to specialized procedures and surgeries as needed.

Clinical Trials

Patients have the option of taking part in clinical trials being conducted at Keck Medical Center of USC. Participation in clinical trials helps provide invaluable information for future treatments and possibly a cure in the future. Learn about neurocritical care clinical trials at Keck Medical Center of USC in Los Angeles here:

Evaluating Accelerated Resolution of Intraventricular Hemorrhage Phase III (CLEAR III)

Latest News & Articles