Patients who are admitted for a traumatic brain injury are seen immediately by members of our Regional Resource Trauma Center and neurology teams at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center. When necessary, our MedStar medical air transportation service can quickly and safely transport patients to the Trauma Center in just minutes from across an 11-county region.
Memorial is home to a specialized brain injury program that offers skull base surgery for problems that occur anywhere between the craniovertebral junction and the craniofacial region. If surgery is required, it is performed by a team of board certified brain injury specialists in a Memorial surgical suite that is equipped to handle even the most complex brain injuries.
Newly developed brain navigation imaging technology, available at only a few hospitals in Pennsylvania, anchors the suite. Surgeons can pinpoint the injury and, just as importantly, its relationship to vascular structures or veins. This allows surgeons to keep vascular structures intact during surgery, significantly reducing complications and speeding the recovery process. It also enables the surgical team to get to deep-seated, hard-to-reach problem areas with minimal disruption to the brain. As a result, conditions that can be difficult to treat or may be considered “inoperable” can be treated with greater precision and safety.
To reduce secondary injury to the brain, Memorial’s neuroscience and trauma teams have developed and are using protocols that help get as much oxygen to the brain as soon as possible. These protocols begin immediately in the Emergency Department, continue through diagnostic testing and are in place during surgery, too. Memorial researchers hope these efforts will establish new medical standards to help guide health care professionals in the early treatment of traumatic brain injury, reducing the severity of some brain injury side effects.
Under the guidance and direction of the neurosurgeon, patients receive specialized post-operative care until they are strong enough to return home. Conemaugh Health System offers several programs and services to help you or your loved one regain strength and function after being discharged from Memorial. These programs include:
Individuals who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, as well as their families, caregivers and friends are invited and encouraged to join us for monthly support group meetings. This casual forum is a great way to learn how to ease the physical and emotional stress of recovery, or just get together with special people who understand what you’re going through. Because meeting dates can vary, please call us at (814)534-6991 for more information.
For more information, please contact the Traumatic Brain Injury Program at (814)534-5724.