Dartmouth-Hitchcock Opens Neurocritical Care Unit

Jul 15, 2019

This is one of 10 beds in Dartmouth Hitchcock's new neurocritical care unit. The unit will treat patients post-surgery and those with epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and other neurological complications.
Credit Daniela Allee / NHPR

Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center has opened a neurocritical care unit that's the first of its kind in Northern New England.

The 10-bed neurocritical care unit will treat patients post-surgery and those who have epilepsy, Parkinson's, aneurysms, and other complications.

Previously, many of those patients would be treated in the surgical intensive care unit.

“The care is good, but it's not specific to neurology. We would spend time in terms of education with the nurses and physicians there,” said Jeffrey Cohen, the neurology department chair.

But this new unit will have more neurology specific equipment, like machines that monitor brain wave activity and physicians with more training and expertise for patients who need advanced neurological care.

Cohen says the region is seeing more and more of these cases.

"Neurology, for better or for worse, affects people as they age. Particularly with the demographics of New Hampshire, Vermont, and specifically the Upper Valley, this is important,” Cohen said.

New Hampshire has the second oldest population in the country.

The unit will open for patients on Tuesday.